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Woodburn, Oregon
OR Woodburn square.jpg
Location in Oregon
Location in Oregon
Country United States
State Oregon
County Marion
Incorporated 1889
 • City 5.37 sq mi (13.91 km2)
 • Land 5.37 sq mi (13.91 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
197 ft (60 m)
 • City 24,080
 • Estimate 
 • Density 4,484.2/sq mi (1,731.4/km2)
 • Metro
Time zone UTC-8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-7 (Pacific)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 503/971
FIPS code 41-83750
GNIS feature ID 1163363

Woodburn is a city in Marion County, Oregon, United States. Incorporated in 1889, the community had been platted in 1871 after the arrival of the railroad. The city is located in the northern end of the Willamette Valley between Portland and Salem. Interstate 5 connects it to major cities to the north and south. Oregon routes 211, 214, 219, and 99E also serve the city, as do Union Pacific and Willamette Valley Railway freight rail lines.

Woodburn is part of the Salem Metropolitan Statistical Area. With a population of 24,080 at the 2010 census, it is the third-most populous in that metropolitan area after Salem and Keizer. Those who identify as Hispanic or Latino make up a majority of the population in the city. The Woodburn area also has a significant historic population of Russian Orthodox Old Believers, whose ancestors settled here after the October Revolution of 1917.


Settlemier House - Woodburn Oregon
Settlemier House in 2007

Originally, the area around Woodburn was inhabited by the Kalapuya Native Americans. After the Provisional Government of Oregon set-up land claims in the Oregon Country, the United States annexed much of the Pacific Northwest and established the Oregon Territory in 1848. Congress passed the Donation Land Claim Act in 1850 and many earlier land claims became donation land claims.

Eli C. Cooley, Bradford S. Bonney, George Leisure, and Jean B. Ducharme all established donation land claims on the eastern part of the French Prairie where Woodburn would later be founded. Cooley immigrated to Oregon in 1845, and Bonney established his land claim in 1849. Ducharme's land was sold off in 1862 in a foreclosure with Mt. Angel farmer George Settlemier purchase the 214 acres (87 ha) on the cheap.

Settlemier had traveled west over the Oregon Trail in 1849 and first settled in California before moving north to Oregon in 1850. He settled in the Mt. Angel area where he was a successful nurseryman. Settlemier then moved to his new property in 1863 and established the Woodburn Nursery Company. Despite improvements to the land, including construction of his home, title in the land remained in doubt due to the purchase via a foreclosure.

During the litigation over title in the land, Settlemier borrowed money from capitalist William Reed with the land as collateral. When Reed began to build a railroad through the area, he decided to run the line through what became Woodburn in anticipation of acquiring the land himself, as he expected Settlemier to default on the mortgage. However, Settlemier did not default and eventually his case made it to the Supreme Court of the United States in Settlemier v. Sullivan, 97 U.S. 444 (1878). He gained a favorable ruling and retained the land.

Meanwhile, transportation baron Ben Holladay ran his Oregon and California Railroad through what became Woodburn in 1871, at which time Settlemier platted the first four blocks of the town.

Originally, the town and station were called Halsey, but the name was changed to Woodburn due to the existence of Halsey, Oregon, further down the valley. The name Woodburn came about after a slash burn that got out of control and burned down a nearby woodlot in the 1880s, after the railroad line had been laid through the area. A railroad official witnessed the fire and renamed the community. The city was incorporated by the Oregon Legislative Assembly on February 20, 1889.


OR Woodburn 2ndSt
Corner of 2nd and Garfield. Willamette Ballet Academy and Cornwell colonial chapel

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.37 square miles (13.91 km2), all of it land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 405
1900 828 104.4%
1910 1,616 95.2%
1920 1,656 2.5%
1930 1,675 1.1%
1940 1,982 18.3%
1950 2,395 20.8%
1960 3,120 30.3%
1970 7,495 140.2%
1980 11,196 49.4%
1990 13,404 19.7%
2000 20,100 50.0%
2010 24,080 19.8%
Est. 2015 25,173 4.5%
U.S. Decennial Census
2013 Estimate

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 24,080 people, 7,545 households, and 5,375 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,484.2 inhabitants per square mile (1,731.4/km2). There were 8,283 housing units at an average density of 1,542.5 per square mile (595.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 60.4% White, 0.5% African American, 2.8% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 31.5% from other races, and 3.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 58.9% of the population.

There were 7,545 households of which 35.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.8% were married couples living together, 11.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 28.8% were non-families. 24.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.17 and the average family size was 3.74.

The median age in the city was 31.7 years. 30.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.2% were from 25 to 44; 17.9% were from 45 to 64; and 15.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 50.2% male and 49.8% female.

2000 census

As of 2000, there were 6,274 households out of which 34.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.1% were married couples living together, 8.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.4% were non-families. 23.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.11 and the average family size was 3.63.

In the city, the population was spread out with 30.9% under the age of 18, and, as of 2000, 11.8% from 18 to 24, 25.5% from 25 to 44, 14.6% from 45 to 64, and 18.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 107.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 104.7 males.

OR Woodburn Cityhall
Woodburn city hall

As of 2000, the median income for a household in the city was $33,722, and the median income for a family was $36,730. Males had a median income of $21,702 versus $22,606 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,954. About 11.5% of families and 17.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.6% of those under age 18 and 8.8% of those age 65 or over.

According to the 2000 Census, English is the most popular language, used by 46.53% of the general population and 25.94% of those aged 5–17. On the other hand, Spanish is used by 45.83% and 60.41% respectively, while Russian & Ukrainian are spoken by 7.02% among the general population and 13.64% of those aged 5–17.

Old Believers

Woodburn is home for a sizable community of Russian Orthodox Old Believers. This Christian traditionalist church had escaped persecution from the official Russian Orthodox Church and moved to the United States from Turkey in the 1950s. Its women wear traditional long skirts and scarfs, and men have beards.

Also present in the city are communities of Russian Molokans, Doukhobors and recent refugees from the former USSR: Ukrainian and Russian Pentecostals and Baptists.

Arts and culture

Willamette Ballet
Chris Klein filming Hallmark Hall of Fame Production The Valley of Light in downtown Woodburn
Tulip Festival in Woodburn in 2007

Willamette Ballet Academy was founded in 1982.

Scenes from 2007 Hallmark Hall of Fame production The Valley of Light, starring Chris Klein, were filmed in Woodburn.

Museums and other points of interest

Listed in 1974 on the National Register of Historic Places, the Jesse H. Settlemier House is a museum located on Settlemier Avenue.

The World's Berry Center Museum was founded in the early 1980s. The World's Berry Center Museum occasionally produces plays by Miracle Theatre.

La Fiesta Mexicana is the most important Hispanic event in the area. Each fiesta should include a queen; Francisca Gonzalez was the first selected to receive this honor in the first fiesta in 1964. It was a one-day event that was held in downtown Woodburn. Forty-five years later, the event grew more popular and now it currently lasts close to a week. One of the main reasons this event happened was that the ranchers and merchants recognized the importance of the new bicultural relationship with the increased Hispanic population in the area.

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