A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from June 14, 2012
Beaver State (Oregon nickname)

Oregon is known as the “Beaver State” because fur companies operated in Astoria from 1811. “DEMOCRACY OF OREGON.—The gallant Democracy of the Beaver State are actively in motion” was cited in an Idaho newspaper in 1870.

However, other states were also called the ‘Beaver State.” “Beaver State (Iowa)” was cited in a Chicago (IL) newspaper in 1871. “Idaho takes the lead of every other American locality in the multitude of its beavers, and will come into the Union as the Beaver State” was cited in several newspapers in 1872. “MISSOURI—The Beaver State Does Not Show Her Hand” was cited in the New York (NY) Herald in November 1872.  An 1881 newspaper list of state nicknames had “Web Foot” and “Hard Case” for Oregon and “Beaver State” for Florida.

The “Beaver State” moniker was usually associated with Oregon by the 1880s. Books printed in 1881, 1882 and 1885 (see below) identified Oregon as the “Beaver State.” “Oregon—On., Beaver State” was cited in an 1883 newspaper’s list of state nicknames.

The beaver was named the official Oregon state animal in 1969.


State Symbols USA
The Beaver State
The nickname for Oregon is The Beaver State, originating in the early 19th century when fur hats were fashionable and Oregon’s streams were an important source of beaver pelts. The trapping routes used by early “mountain men” later became known as The Oregon Trail, traveled by thousands of pioneers in the 1840’s. The beaver is also Oregon’s official state animal and appears on the state flag.

Chronicling America
17 March 1870, Idaho World (Idaho City, ID), pg. 2, col. 1:
DEMOCRACY OF OREGON.—The gallant Democracy of the Beaver State are actively in motion, ...

7 September 1871, Chicago (IL) Republican, “Sparks from the Locomotive,” pg. 2, col. 4:
That the Beaver State (Iowa) is to be a great fruit grower in the not far distant future, is evident.

17 September 1871, Chicago (IL) Republican, “Sparks from the Locomotive, pg. 2, col. 4:
This is the present terminus of the Iowa division of the Illinois Central Railroad, and one of the most rapid—in growth and enterprise—of the Beaver State cities.

Chronicling America
16 July 1872, Memphis (TN) Daily Appeal, “Current News,” pg. 2, col. 3:
Idaho takes the lead of every other American locality in the multitude of its beavers, and will come into the Union as the Beaver State.

27 July 1872, Cincinnati (OH) Daily Gazette, “Miscellaneous,” pg. 1, col. 6:
Idaho will come into the Union as the “Beaver State.”

3 August 1872, Oakland (CA) Daily Transcript, “Odds and Ends,” pg. 4, col. 1:
Idaho takes the lead of every other American locality in the multitude of its beavers, and will come into the United States as the Beaver State.

6 November 1872, New York (NY) Herald, pg. 7, col. 4:
MISSOURI.
The Beaver State Does Not Show Her Hand.

Chronicling America
3 May 1881, The Daily Bee (Omaha, NE), “State Nicknames,” pg. 3, cols. 4-5:
... Florida, the Beaver State; (...) Oregon, Web Foot or Hard Case; ...

Google Books
Higher Geography:
Embodying a comprehensive course with many original features

New York, NY: D. Appleton and Company
1881
Pg. 64:
Oregon Ore.  Beaver State

Google Books
The Teachers’ and Students’ Library:
A compendium of knowledge necessary to teachers, students and the general reader, embracing reading, penmanship, arithmetic ...

By G. Dallas Lind
Chicago, IL: T.S. Denison
1882
Pg. 527:
Oregon, Sp. oregano, wild marjoram, “The, Beaver State.”

Chronicling America
21 April 1883, The Carbon Advocate (Lehighton, PA), “Our States and Territories,” pg. 1, col. 7:
Oregon—On., Beaver State.

Google Books
Practical Work in Geography:
For the use of teachers and advanced pupils

By Henry McCormick
Chicago, IL: A. Flanagan
1885
Pg. 319:
OREGON — Motto, Alis volat propriis, “She flies with her own wings.” The name is derived from the principal river of the State, and means the"River of the West.” It is known as the “Beaver State.”

Google Books
U. S.
An Index to the United States of America

Compiled by Malcolm Townsend
Boston, MA: D. Lothrop Company
1890
Pg. 72:
NICKNAMES OF THE STATES.
(...)
Oregon...Beaver...Owing to the number of this class of animals.

Google Books
The International Cyclopaedia:
A compendium of human knowledge, Volume 13

By Harry Thurston Peck, Selim Hobart Peabody, Charles Francis Richardson, et al.
New York, NY: Dodd, Mead and Company
1892
Pg. 788:
BEAVER STATE. Oregon, from the early fur-trade originally carried on by John Jacob Astor.

Google Books
The Advanced Class-Book of Modern Geography:
Physical, Political, Commercial

By William Hughes and J. Francon Williams
London: G. Philip & son
1892
Pg. 629:
OREGON, the “Beaver State,” extends north of California to the Columbia River, which divides it from Washington.

Google Books
September 1893, The Teachers World, “For Interesting the Geography Class” by Gertrude E. Thompson, W. Medford, Mass., pg. 17, col. 2:
Oregon— White Fort State; “Hard Case State”; Beaver State; Pacific State.

7 September 1893, Cleveland (OH) Leader, pg. 4, col. 5:
... Oregon, “Web-foot Country”, and “Beaver State”; ...

13 May 1894, The Morning Star (Rockford, IL), “From San Diego to Siskiyou,” pg. 5, col. 3:
Oregon is known as “The Beaver state.”

Google Books
Universal Dictionary of the English Language
Edited by Robert Hunter and Charles Morris
New York, NY: Peter Fenelon Collier, Publisher
1898
Pg. 5344:
Oregon. Beaver State (from the number of beavers). The Web-foot Country (from the excessive winter rains).

OCLC WorldCat record
The beaver state : march
Author: Harker S Perkins
Publisher: Portland, Or. : H.S. Perkins, ©1915.
Edition/Format:  Musical score : Marches : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Oregon, the beaver state.
Author: R T Aitchison; Mentholatum Company.
Publisher: Wilmington, Del. : Mentholatum Co., copyright, R.T. Aitchison, 1940.
Edition/Format:  Map : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Poets of the Beaver state : an anthology of verse by the residents of the state of Oregon.
Publisher: [S.l.] : Paebar Co., 1948.
Edition/Format:  Book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Oregon, the Beaver State
Author: Scott Ingram
Publisher: Milwaukee, WI : World Almanac Library, 2002.
Series: World Almanac Library of the states. 
Edition/Format:  Book : Juvenile audience : English
Summary: Presents information on the history, people, geography, economy, government, culture, and more of the state of Oregon.

OCLC WorldCat record
The beaver state : Oregon from A to Z.
Author: Betty Debnam
Publisher: [USA] : Universal Press Syndicate, ©2002.
Series: Mini pages
Edition/Format:  Book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Oregon : the Beaver State
Author: Helen Lepp Friesen
Publisher: New York, NY : AV2 by Weigl, ©2013.
Series: Explore the U.S.A. 
Edition/Format:  Book : Juvenile audience : English

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