| United States|
5.4% (Feb 2015)
43.74 sq mi
| Hult Center for the Performing Arts, Cascades Raptor Center, Alton Baker Park, Hendricks Park, Mount Pisgah|
University of Oregon, Lane Community College, Northwest Christian University, New Hope Christian College, University of Oregon School of Architecture and Allied Arts
Eugene ( ew-JEEN) is a city of the Pacific Northwest located in the State of Oregon. It is the second largest city in the state (after Portland) and the county seat of Lane County. It is located at the south end of the Willamette Valley, near the confluence of the McKenzie and Willamette rivers, about 50 miles (80 km) east of the Oregon Coast.
As of the 2010 census, Eugene had a population of 156,185, and Lane County (co-located with the Eugene-Springfield Metropolitan Statistical Area) (MSA) had a population of 351,715. While Eugene has long been the second-largest city in Oregon, it was briefly surpassed by Salem between 2005 and 2007. The Eugene-Springfield, Oregon MSA is the 146th largest metropolitan statistical area of the U.S., and the third-largest in the state, behind the Portland Metropolitan Area and the Salem Metropolitan Area. The citys population was estimated by the Portland Research Center to be 159,580 in 2013.
Eugene is home to the University of Oregon. The city is also noted for its natural beauty, recreational opportunities (especially bicycling, running/jogging, rafting, kayaking), and focus on the arts. Eugenes slogan is "A Great City for the Arts and Outdoors". It is also referred to as the "Emerald City", and as "Track Town, USA". The Nike corporation had its beginnings in Eugene. In 2021, the city will host the 18th Track and Field World Championships.
Eugene is named after its founder, Eugene Franklin Skinner. Until 1889, it was named Eugene City. In 1846, Skinner erected the first cabin in the area. It was used as a trading post and was registered as an official post office on January 8, 1850. At this time the settlement was known as Skinners Mudhole. It was relocated in 1853 and named Eugene City, but was not formally incorporated as a city until 1862. Skinner later ran a ferry service across the Willamette River where the Ferry Street Bridge now stands.
The first major educational institution in the area was Columbia College, founded a few years earlier than the University of Oregon. It fell victim to two major fires in four years, and after the second fire, the college decided not to rebuild again. The part of south Eugene known as College Hill was the former location of Columbia College. There is no college there today.
The town raised the initial funding to start a public university, which later became the University of Oregon, with the hope of turning the small town into a center of learning. In 1872, the Legislative Assembly passed a bill creating the University of Oregon as a state institution. Eugene bested the nearby town of Albany in the competition for the state university. In 1873, community member J.H.D. Henderson donated the hilltop land for the campus, overlooking the city.
The university first opened in 1876 with the regents electing the first faculty and naming John Wesley Johnson as president. The first students registered on October 16, 1876. The first building was completed in 1877; it was named Deady Hall in honor of the first Board of Regents President and community leader Judge Matthew P. Deady. The citys name was shortened from Eugene City to Eugene in 1889.
Eugene grew rapidly throughout most of the twentieth century, with the exception being the early 1980s when a downturn in the timber industry caused high unemployment. By 1985, the industry had recovered and Eugene began to attract more high-tech industries.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 43.74 square miles (113.29 km2), of which, 43.72 square miles (113.23 km2) is land and 0.02 square miles (0.05 km2) is water. Eugene is located at an elevation of 426 feet (130 m).
To the north of downtown is Skinner Butte. Northeast of the city are the Coburg Hills. Spencer Butte is a prominent landmark south of the city. Mount Pisgah is southeast of Eugene and includes Mount Pisgah Arboretum and Howard Buford Recreation Area, a Lane County Park. Eugene is surrounded by foothills and forests to the south, east and west, while to the north the land levels out into the Willamette Valley and consists of mostly farmland.
The Willamette and McKenzie rivers run through Eugene and neighboring city, Springfield. Another important stream is Amazon Creek, whose headwaters are near Spencer Butte. The creek discharges west of the city into Fern Ridge Reservoir, maintained for winter flood control by the Army Corps of Engineers. Eugene Yacht Club hosts a sail school and sailing regattas at Fern Ridge during summer months.
Eugene has 23 neighborhood associations:
Eugenes largest employers are PeaceHealth Medical Group, the University of Oregon and the Eugene School District. Eugenes largest industries are wood products manufacturing and recreational vehicle manufacturing.
Eugene has a significant population of people in pursuit of alternative ideas, and a large original hippie population. Beginning in the 1960s, the countercultural ideas and viewpoints espoused by Ken Kesey became established as the seminal elements of the vibrant social tapestry that continue to define Eugene. The Merry Prankster, as Kesey was known, has arguably left the most indelible imprint of any cultural icon in his hometown. He is best known as the author of One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and as the male protagonist in Tom Wolfes The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.
In 2005, the city council unanimously approved a new slogan for the city, "Worlds Greatest City for the Arts & Outdoors." While Eugene has a vibrant arts community for a city its size, and is well situated near many outdoor opportunities, this slogan was frequently criticized by locals as embarrassing and ludicrous. In early 2010, the slogan was changed to "A Great City for the Arts & Outdoors."
Eugenes Saturday Market, open every Saturday from April through November, was founded in 1970 as the first "Saturday Market" in the United States. It is adjacent to the Lane County Farmers Market in downtown Eugene. All vendors must create or grow all their own products. The market reappears as the "Holiday Market" between Thanksgiving and New Years in the Lane County Events Center at the fairgrounds.