Woodburn, Oregon
Location in Oregon
Location in Oregon
Woodburn is located in the United States
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 45°08′52″N 122°52′00″W / 45.14778°N 122.86667°W / 45.14778; -122.86667
CountryUnited States
 • MayorFrank Lonergan
 • City5.86 sq mi (15.17 km2)
 • Land5.86 sq mi (15.17 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation184 ft (56 m)
 • City26,013
 • Density4,439.84/sq mi (1,714.36/km2)
 • Metro
Time zoneUTC−8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−7 (Pacific)
ZIP Code
Area code(s)503/971
FIPS code41-83750[4]
GNIS feature ID2412296[2]

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 26,013 at the 2020 census, it is the third-most populous in that metropolitan area after Salem and Keizer.[5]


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.[6] Cooley immigrated to Oregon in 1845, and Bonney established his land claim in 1849.[6] Ducharme's land was sold off in 1862 in a foreclosure, with Mt. Angel farmer Jesse Settlemier purchasing the 214 acres (87 ha) on the cheap.[6]

Settlemier had traveled west over the Oregon Trail in 1849 and first settled in California before moving north to Oregon in 1850.[7] He settled in the Mt. Angel area where he was a successful nurseryman.[7] Settlemier then moved to his new property in 1863 and established the Woodburn Nursery Company.[6] Despite improvements to the land, including construction of his home, title in the land remained in doubt due to the purchase via a foreclosure.[6]

During the litigation over title in the land, Settlemier borrowed money from capitalist William Reed with the land as collateral.[6] 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.[6] 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.[6]

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.[6]

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.[6] 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.[8] A railroad official witnessed the fire and renamed the community.[6] The city was incorporated by the Oregon Legislative Assembly on February 20, 1889.[9]

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.[10]

Climate data for Woodburn, OR
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °F (°C) 47
Mean daily minimum °F (°C) 34
Average precipitation inches (mm) 6.08
Average snowfall inches (cm) 1
Source: [11]


Historical population
2022 (est.)29,173[12]4.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[13]
2018 Estimate[14][3]

2010 census

As of the census[15] 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,[4] 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,[5] 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.

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.[16]

Old Believers

Woodburn is home for a sizable community of Russian Orthodox Old Believers.[17] 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 its men wear 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.

Mexican immigration

In the 1950s, Mexican immigration to Oregon began to increase. Woodburn became a destination that accumulated immigrant farmworkers, and was a place where Mexican workers were caught in sweeps during a federal initiative called Operation Wetback, which returned about one million illegal immigrants to Mexico. Immigration of Mexicans to Woodburn continued to increase through the 1980s, when Latinos made up about 2.5 percent of Oregon's population. By the early 21st century, 59% of the population of Woodburn was Latino, with a mix of first-generation immigrants and long-term residents.[18]

Woodburn Estates

Woodburn is also home to the largest 55+ retirement community in Oregon[19] with 1510 single family homes, a mobile home park, a private, eighteen hole golf course surrounding a clubhouse with auditorium, swimming pool, fitness center, restaurant, billiards room, crafts room, RV storage, and a variety of social events, clubs and activities.


In August 1999, Woodburn Premium Outlets, known as the Woodburn Company Stores until June 2013, opened in Woodburn. This is an outlet mall with many name-brand clothing companies represented.

MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility is on Oregon Route 99E on the outskirts of Woodburn, in which young delinquent and criminal males are incarcerated.

Arts and culture

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

Willamette Ballet Academy was founded in 1982.

Scenes from the 2007 Hallmark Hall of Fame production The Valley of Light, starring Chris Klein, were filmed in Woodburn.[20]

Museums and other points of interest

Listed in 1974 on the National Register of Historic Places,[21] 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 has grown more popular and now it 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.


The Woodburn Dragstrip is a 1/4-mile National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) dragstrip that hosts an annual event on the NHRA Lucas Oil Series.[22] It is located about 2 miles (3 km) west of Woodburn on Oregon Highway 219.

The Oregon Golf Association (OGA) Golf Course in Woodburn is a public course, rated by Golf Digest in 1996 as one of the top 10 affordable courses in the United States.[23] It routinely hosts many large amateur and high school events in the state.

The Woodburn Golf Club is a 9-hole public course 2 miles west of Woodburn. Established in 1925, play is on a first come basis with sand greens.[24]


Woodburn is served by the Woodburn School District, which includes four elementary schools and two middle schools.[25] Woodburn High School included the following small schools: the Wellness, Business and Sports School, the Woodburn Academy of Art, Science and Technology, the Academy of International Studies at Woodburn, and the Woodburn Arts and Communications Academy. But the small school model was abandoned at the beginning of the 2022 school year. Woodburn Success High School is the district's alternative high school, serving grades 7–12.[26]

Chemeketa Community College has a satellite campus in Woodburn.[27]

Pacific University opened a College of Education satellite campus in 2012.[28]


The Woodburn Independent is a weekly community newspaper serving the immediate area.[29] The region is also served by the larger Statesman Journal daily newspaper based in Salem and the state's largest newspaper The Oregonian based in Portland.

Woodburn is home to two radio stations. KWBY broadcasts a regional Mexican format and is owned by 94 Country, Inc. It transmits as "La Pantera" ("The Panther") 940 AM. KPCN-LP is a low-power community radio station owned and operated by Oregon's largest farmworker union, los Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN). The station was built by volunteers from Woodburn and around the country in August 2006 at the tenth Prometheus Radio Project barnraising.[citation needed] KPCN broadcasts music, news, and public affairs to listeners in Spanish and several indigenous Latin American languages. It transmits as "Radio Movimiento" ("Movement Radio") 95.9 FM with the slogan "La Voz del Pueblo" ("The Voice of the People").



The Transit Division of the Woodburn Community Services Department runs the Woodburn Transit System (WTS), which uses small buses during non-holiday weekdays within the city's limits, and the Dial-a-Ride program, which operates paratransit vans for reservation by the elderly and disabled during weekdays within the local area and, for medical appointments, anywhere between Portland and Salem.[30]

Other public bus systems making stops in Woodburn include CARTS (Chemeketa Area Regional Transportation System),[31] administered by Oregon Housing and Associated Services, Inc. (OHAS) in Salem, and CAT (Canby Area Transit), run by the city of Canby.[32] Both also only operate during non-holiday weekdays.

Greyhound buses also stop in the city. Amtrak's Coast Starlight and Cascades trains pass through but do not stop. The Amtrak affiliated Cascades POINT bus service stops at the Woodburn Park & Ride at the Woodburn I-5 exit.

Kat Bjelland, lead singer of Babes in Toyland, grew up in Woodburn.

Notable people

Stacy Allison (born 1958), a 1976 graduate of Woodburn High School and a 1984 Oregon State University alum, was the first American woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, during her second attempt on September 29, 1988.[33][34] That same year, when Mayor Nancy Kirksey declared November 17 "Stacy Allison Day," she visited and spoke at several Woodburn venues and attended ceremonies when a street in the city, Stacy Allison Way, was dedicated to her.[35]

Kat Bjelland, of the punk band Babes in Toyland, grew up in Woodburn. Her first performance was at the now-closed Flight 99 tavern.[36]

Model and actress Kate Nauta grew up in Woodburn and lived there until 2000.

Woodburn-born baseball player Dick Whitman was an outfielder for the Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies; the teams played in the 1949 and 1950 World Series, respectively.

Dorothy Olsen, pilot and member of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) during World War II, was born in Woodburn.


  1. ^ "ArcGIS REST Services Directory". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 12, 2022.
  2. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Woodburn, Oregon
  3. ^ a b "Census Population API". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 12, 2022.
  4. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  5. ^ a b "QuickFacts". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved February 13, 2023.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Parker, Ivan C. (1940). "The History of Woodburn, Oregon: 1851–1900" (PDF). City of Woodburn. Retrieved May 26, 2011.
  7. ^ a b Corning, Howard M. (1989) Dictionary of Oregon History. Binfords & Mort Publishing. p. 219.
  8. ^ McArthur, Lewis A.; McArthur, Lewis L. (2003) [1928]. Oregon Geographic Names (7th ed.). Portland, Oregon: Oregon Historical Society Press. p. 1056. ISBN 978-0875952772.
  9. ^ Baker, Frank C. (1891). "Special Laws". The Laws of Oregon, and the Resolutions and Memorials of the Sixteenth Regular Session of the Legislative Assembly Thereof. Salem, Oregon: State Printer: 861. Retrieved May 26, 2011.
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 21, 2012.
  11. ^ "Zipcode 97071". www.plantmaps.com. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
  12. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  13. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved September 26, 2014.
  14. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  15. ^ "QuickFacts: Woodburn city, Oregon". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 21, 2012.
  16. ^ "Data Center Results".
  17. ^ Kramer, Andrew (November 24, 2001). "Three Centuries on, Russian Old Believers Hang on in Oregon". The Berkeley Daily Planet. Associated Press. Retrieved March 3, 2021.
  18. ^ Jerry Garcia (September 17, 2020). "Latinos in Oregon (essay)". The Oregon Encyclopedia.
  19. ^ "Woodburn Estates & Golf 55+ Community". Retrieved April 24, 2021.
  20. ^ "Filming Locations for 'The Valley of Light'". The Internet Movie Database. IMDb.com, Inc. Retrieved May 27, 2011.
  21. ^ "Oregon National Register List" (PDF). Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. October 19, 2009. p. 28. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
  22. ^ "Track Facts". Woodburn Dragstrip. Retrieved May 27, 2011.
  23. ^ "Course Details". Oregon Golf Association. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
  24. ^ "Woodburn Golf Club". Retrieved April 24, 2021.
  25. ^ "Our Schools". Woodburn School District. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
  26. ^ "Success High School". Woodburn School District. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
  27. ^ "Chemeketa Woodburn". Chemeketa Community College. Retrieved May 26, 2011.
  28. ^ "Woodburn Campus | Pacific University". www.pacificu.edu. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
  29. ^ "Our Newspaper". Woodburn Independent. Eagle Newspapers, Inc. Retrieved May 26, 2011.
  30. ^ "Transit Division Home Page". City of Woodburn. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
  31. ^ "CARTS Schedules & Fares". Salem-Keizer Transit. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
  32. ^ "Canby Area Transit". City of Canby. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
  33. ^ Hall, Bennett (April 20, 2008). "In the Footsteps of a Legend". Corvallis Gazette-Times. Retrieved May 26, 2011.
  34. ^ Choi, Grace (March 2007). "Mountain Climber Stacy Allison". The Stacks. Scholastic, Inc. Retrieved May 26, 2011.
  35. ^ Oregon State Archives: Governor Neil Goldschmidt's Records (pages 32–34)
  36. ^ Karlan. Babes in Toyland: The Making and Selling of a Rock and Roll Band. 1995.