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Oakridge is a town in Lane County, Oregon, United States. The population was 3,205 as of the 2010 census. It is located east of Westfir on Oregon Route 58, about 40 miles (64 km) east of Eugene and 150 miles (240 km) southeast of Portland. Surrounded by the Willamette National Forest and the Cascade Range, Oakridge is popular with outdoor enthusiasts for its hiking, mountain biking, wildflowers, fly fishing, birding, watersports, and nearby Willamette Pass Resort.
The city was originally a community called "Hazeldell", and its post office was established on July 26, 1888. When a station on the Southern Pacific Railroad opened in May 1912, it was named "Oak Ridge" by a railroad executive for the surrounding topography, and on July 19 of that year the name was changed to "Oakridge".
The economy of Oakridge and nearby Westfir has been centered on the railroad, the logging industry, and recreation. In the 20th century, there were two sawmills that processed logs from nearby timberland—an Oakridge mill owned by the Pope and Talbot Lumber Company and an Edward Hines mill in Westfir. Both of the mills had closed by 1985, and the local economy declined. Since then it has been slowly rebounding, with a new general store opening in 2010, a bakery in 2011, and a brewery and mercantile.
The area now known as Oakridge was first explored in 1852 as a possible route for pioneers coming from Central Oregon to the Willamette Valley. A post office was named "Hazeldell" in 1888, and the place's name later changed to "Big Prairie", and then "Oak Ridge". In 1912, a new community was formed and officially named Oakridge.
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