Oregon Geographic Names
Cover of 7th edition
AuthorLewis A. McArthur and Lewis L. McArthur (editors)
SubjectOregon place names
PublisherOregon Historical Society
Publication date
1928 (1st edition); 2003 (7th edition)
Pages1073 pp. (7th edition)
LC ClassF874.M16 2003
LCCN 2003-20467

Oregon Geographic Names is a compilation of the origin and meaning of place names in the U.S. state of Oregon, published by the Oregon Historical Society. The book was originally published in 1928. It was compiled and edited by Lewis A. McArthur. As of 2011, the book is in its seventh edition, which was compiled and edited by Lewis L. McArthur[a] (who died in 2018).


In its introduction, it identifies six periods in the history of the state which have contributed to the establishment of local names:

The seventh edition contains 6,252 entries, with references to another 2,679 names scattered throughout the text.[1] Entries are listed in alphabetical order, beginning with A B Crossing, a railroad station in Coos County,[2] and ending with Zwagg Island, an island near Brookings, Oregon.[3]

Edition history

The first three editions were edited by Lewis A. McArthur and published by Binford & Mort;[4] Lewis L. McArthur took over from his father as of the fourth (1974) edition,[5] which was the first to be published by the Oregon Historical Society Press.[6]

The seventh edition also includes a CD-ROM with a complete biographic and geographic index as well as various maps of Oregon locations.[7]

Year Edition Editor Publisher Pages
Library of Congress
Control Number
1928 1st McArthur, Lewis A. 450pp. LCCN 28-6175
1944 2nd McArthur, Lewis A. Binford & Mort 581pp. LCCN 45-36769
1952 3rd McArthur, Lewis A. Binford & Mort 686pp. LCCN 53-95
1974 4th McArthur, Lewis L. Oregon Historical Society 835pp. ISBN 0-87595-038-8 LCCN 72-86812
1982 5th McArthur, Lewis L. Western Imprints (Oregon Historical Society) 839pp. ISBN 0-87595-113-9 LCCN 82-18808
1992 6th McArthur, Lewis L. Oregon Historical Society 957pp. ISBN 0-87595-236-4 LCCN 92-17234
2003 7th McArthur, Lewis L. Oregon Historical Society[b] 1073pp. ISBN 0-87595-278-X LCCN 2003-20467

Lewis L. McArthur died in 2018.[8] His daughter, Mary McArthur, reportedly took over editorship for the book's upcoming 8th edition.[9][10][11]


McArthur, Lewis A.; McArthur, Lewis L. (2003). Oregon Geographic Names (Seventh ed.). Portland, Oregon: Oregon Historical Society Press. ISBN 978-0-87595-277-2.


  1. ^ Lewis' grandfather was Oregon Supreme Court justice Lewis Linn McArthur.
  2. ^ According to the Library of Congress (LCCN 2003-20467), the 7th edition was distributed by University of Washington Press


  1. ^ McArthur & McArthur 2003, Introduction p. xi.
  2. ^ McArthur & McArthur 2003, A B Crossing p. 1.
  3. ^ McArthur & McArthur 2003, Zwagg Island p. 1070.
  4. ^ "Book publishing". The Oregon Encyclopedia.
  5. ^ McArthur, Lewis Ankeny (1974). Oregon Geographic Names: McArthur, Lewis Ankeny), 1883-1951 (Fourth ed.). ISBN 9780875950389. Retrieved August 9, 2020.
  6. ^ McArthur & McArthur 2003.
  7. ^ McArthur & McArthur 2003, Preface p. viii.
  8. ^ Perry, Douglas (September 7, 2018). "Lewis McArthur, who set state's geographic names standard, dies". The Oregonian. p. A14.
  9. ^ Welch, Bob (June 22, 2008). "When studying Oregon names, McArthur reins [sic]". The Register-Guard. p. C17. Retrieved August 14, 2009.
  10. ^ Welch, Bob (September 9, 2008). "Place name takes its place on the map". The Register-Guard. p. B13. Retrieved August 14, 2009.
  11. ^ Richard, Terry (December 26, 2009). "Opie Dilldock Pass? Noti? What's in an Oregon name?". The Oregonian. Retrieved February 3, 2012.