Salem and Vicinity

Salem is the capital of Oregon and one of its largest cities. It is located in the center of the sprawling Willamette Valley and straddles the Willamette River and Interstate 5, both of which run north to south. The area was first settled by the Kalapuya Indians who called this fertile area along the river banks "Chemeketa," which means the "meeting or resting place." These Native Americans would often congregate here in large camps to fish the rivers, hunt in the woodlands or harvest the wild-growing camas root. The first Euro-Americans arrived in the early 1800s and were mostly interested in trapping local beavers for the flourishing fur trade. More settlers followed however and the first permanent settlement was established in 1840. The modern city is home to approximately 155,000 people and is surrounded by farmland, natural areas and a multitude of lakes, ponds and rivers. Farming and agriculture are major industries in the area and produce a huge variety of meats, fruits and vegetables.

  • Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge

    Category: General Article

    The Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge is a lush 1700+ acre protected wilderness outside of Salem, Oregon. It is a haven for a variety of species, including the threatened Dusky Canada Goose.