Introduction to Corvallis, Oregon
Nestled in the heart of Oregon's Willamette Valley is the city of Corvallis, county seat of Benton County. The city is situated in the central part of western Oregon at the confluence of the Willamette and Mary's Rivers, approximately 83 miles south of Portland, 47 miles north of Eugene and Springfield, and 30 miles south of the state capital of Salem. Incorporated as a city in 1857, the city's roots trace back to 1845 when the first official claim to land in this area was made by Joseph C. Avery. Originally called Marysville, Corvallis was renamed in 1853 in order to avoid confusion with Marysville, California. Avery is credited with coming up with Corvallis as the city's new name, which he derived from a compounding of a Latin phrase meaning "heart of the valley."
Corvallis is home to Oregon State University, which also happens to be the city's largest employer. Another large employer in Corvallis is Hewlett-Packard Corporation, whose printer cartridge manufacturing and prototyping facility is located in the northeast part of the city. Corvallis in fact was the birthplace of computer ink jet printing technology by Hewlett-Packard. Highways in the city include U.S. Route 20 and Oregon State Highways 34 and 99W. About 10 miles east of the city is the city of Albany and also Interstate 5, which provides access to the larger cities of Eugene, Salem, and Portland.
Things to do in Corvallis
Corvallis and its surrounding area have more than 50 parks and designated wildlife preserves. One of the largest is Riverfront Commemorative Park, which runs along the Willamette River on the eastern edge of downtown Corvallis. Designated as a "Bike-Friendly City," Corvallis boasts miles of bike paths and trails. The city is also home to a number of annual events and festivals, including the following:
- Red White & Blues Festival: Held every July 3rd and 4th, the festival features great blues bands, food, Oregon wines and micro brews, arts & crafts, a family parade, and fireworks.
- Philomath Frolic & Rodeo: Held during the second weekend of July, this event includes three rodeos sanctioned by the Northwest Professional Rodeo Association (NPRA). Also featured are Lions Club breakfasts, beef and chicken barbecues, crafts, and parades.
- da Vinci Days Festival: Held annually on the third weekend in July, this event features music, entertainment, contests, and hands-on activities for all ages.
- Benton County Fair and Rodeo: Held during the first week in August.
- Hoop Jam: A two-day 3-on-3 basketball tournament open to all interested basketball players (youth and adult) which takes place in mid-August.
- The Shrewsbury Renaissance Faire: Held in September.
- Corvallis Fall Festival: Held in late September, this is the largest Arts & Crafts festival in the Corvallis area.
There are a large variety of other things to do in Corvallis. The Benton County Historical Museum houses an extensive collection of materials relating to the county's history. The Opera Theater Corvallis, founded in 1991, is involved in many community events, including ballet, lectures, and full-scale operatic productions. Day trips can be made to a number of interesting nearby attractions, including Alsea Falls (25 miles south of Corvallis) for fishing or picnicking, Mary's Peak (16 miles west of Corvallis), the highest peak in the Coast Range Mountains, and the Peavy Arboretum (8 miles north of Corvallis). Wineries are abundant in the area, and several are located off Highway 99W close to Corvallis.
Corvallis sports fans are still buzzing about the outcome of the 2006 College World Series, where the Oregon State Beavers baseball team overcame long odds to capture the NCAA national championship. The team that many people did not think could win a game in the College World Series ended up winning it all. Despite losing both the opening game of the World Series and the opening game of its best-of-three championship series, the Beavers capped their dream season by edging North Carolina 3-2 in Game 3 to take the crown. Surprisingly, 60 percent of the players on the Beavers championship roster were homegrown natives of Oregon. Major league scouts were obviously impressed with the team, as nine of its players were subsequently selected in the 2006 Major League Baseball amateur draft.
Professional sports can be found in cities near Corvallis. The area's only major league franchise is located in Portland, and it is the National Basketball Association's Portland Trail Blazers. Portland is also home to hockey's Winter Hawks, who play in the Western Hockey League (WHL) and to Minor League Baseball's Portland Beavers, a Pacific Coast League team which is the Triple-A affiliate of Major League Baseball's San Diego Padres. Other minor league teams not too far from Corvallis are baseball's Eugene Emeralds (single-A Padres affiliate) and the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (short-season single-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants).