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Springfield, Oregon

springfield oregon simpsons, springfield oregon news obituaries
Springfield is a city in Lane County, Oregon, United States Located in the Southern Willamette Valley, it is within the Eugene-Springfield Metropolitan Statistical Area Separated from Eugene to the west, mainly by Interstate 5, Springfield is the second-most populous city in the metropolitan area after Eugene As of the 2010 census, the city has a total population of 59,4037

The Briggs family first settled the Springfield area, arriving in 1848 The community was incorporated as a city in 1885 The city was named after a natural spring located in a field or prairie within the current city boundaries8 For the majority of the 20th century the economy of Springfield was largely dependent on the Oregon timber industry, but since the 1990s the economy has diversified with PeaceHealth now the largest employer in the city Public education in the city is provided by the Springfield School District


  • 1 History
  • 2 Economy
    • 21 Healthcare
    • 22 Largest employers
  • 3 Government
    • 31 Public safety
  • 4 Geography
    • 41 Neighborhoods
  • 5 Demographics
    • 51 2010 census
  • 6 Arts and culture
    • 61 Library
    • 62 Cultural venues
  • 7 Education
  • 8 In popular culture
    • 81 The Simpsons
  • 9 Notable people
  • 10 Climate
  • 11 References
  • 12 External links


Springfield was settled when Elias and Mary Briggs and their family arrived in 1848 They were among the first party to travel to the region via the "Southern Route" by Klamath Lake, over the Cascades, into the Rogue Valley, then north to the Willamette Valley9 Elias Briggs along with William Stevens ran a ferry on the nearby Willamette River

According to donation land claim records, Stevens was the first settler to stake a claim in the Springfield locale, arriving in October 1847 He commenced building a house with his three oldest sons, and when the house was completed in December, the rest of his family joined him on Christmas Day that year

Another early arrival in the Springfield vicinity was Captain Felix Scott, Sr who settled between the McKenzie and Willamette rivers in 1847

In 1854 Springfield School District No 19 was formed A small schoolhouse was built near the corner of south 7th and B streets; it served the community until the 1880s Miss Agnes Stewart, a young woman from Pennsylvania, was the first teacher She had arrived in Springfield via the Lost Wagon Train of 1853

In 1871 the main line of the Oregon and California Railroad bypassed Springfield for Eugene The story goes that a group of prominent Eugene businessmen paid railroad financier, Ben Holladay, $40,000 to bypass Springfield by crossing the Willamette River near Harrisburg instead of Springfield Thus began a rivalry that lasts up to the present daycitation needed

Springfield was incorporated as a city in 1885 Albert Walker, a blacksmith in town, was Springfield's first mayor

In May 1992 the municipality became the first in the United States to include anti-gay legislation in its city charter after a campaign by the Oregon Citizens Alliance10 However, the state legislature later passed a law that prevented anti-gay ordinances from being enforced11


For years, the economy of Springfield hinged on the timber industry, with the largest employer being Weyerhaeuser Company Weyerhaeuser opened its Springfield complex in 1949, and after years of aggressive logging was forced to downsize as old growth lumber became less available In the 1990s, the Weyerhaeuser sawmill and veneer plywood plants closed, and the paper plant was downsized Springfield has now developed a more diversified economy

Ken Kesey's brother Chuck, and Chuck's wife Sue, started the Springfield Creamery in 1960 The business survives today based partly on sales of their flagship product, Nancy's Yogurt, developed from recipes of Nancy Hamren In the 1970s, the creamery avoided bankruptcy with the help of the rock band Grateful Dead, who over time held a series of 10 benefit concerts on behalf of the creamery The documentary film Sunshine Daydream was shot at the first performance August 27, 19721213

The city of Springfield is surrounded by filbert hazelnut orchards The production has declined over time as fields have been developed into housing The city used to be sponsor an annual Filbert Festival in early August as a general summer celebration, featuring music, food, and family fun; it was canceled in 2007 due to withdrawal of a key sponsor, and the future for the festival is uncertain Filbert harvesting occurs in October 98% of American filbert production is harvested in the Willamette Valley14


Springfield is home to two hospitals, McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center and PeaceHealth's Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend

Largest employersedit

According to the City's 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,15 the largest employers in the city are:

Rank Employer # of Employees !
1 PeaceHealth 3,350
2 Springfield School District 1,291
3 Symantec 1,253
4 McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center 786
5 PeaceHealth Laboratories 473
6 Royal Caribbean International 425
7 City of Springfield 423
8 Walmart 405
9 Willamalane Park and Recreation District 341
10 Rosboro Forest Products 320


Springfield has a council–manager form of government The current mayor of Springfield is Christine Lundberg,1 and the city manager is Gino Grimaldi16 The city council comprises members from 6 wards17 The current council members are:17

  • Ward 1: Sean Van Gordon
  • Ward 2: Hillary Wylie
  • Ward 3: Sheri Moore
  • Ward 4: Dave Ralston
  • Ward 5: Marilee Woodrow
  • Ward 6: Joe Pishioneri

Public safetyedit

The Springfield Police Department and Eugene Springfield Fire are the city's public safety agencies1819


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1575 square miles 4079 km2, of which, 1574 square miles 4077 km2 is land and 001 square miles 003 km2 is water2

The McKenzie River forms the northern city limits


Springfield does not have any official neighborhood designations Unofficial neighborhood areas include:

  • Gateway
  • Glenwood
  • North Springfield
  • Thurston
  • Washburne Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places


Historical population
1860 198
1870 200 10%
1880 160 −200%
1890 371 1319%
1900 353 −49%
1910 1,838 4207%
1920 1,855 09%
1930 2,364 274%
1940 3,805 610%
1950 10,807 1840%
1960 19,616 815%
1970 27,047 379%
1980 41,624 539%
1990 44,683 73%
2000 52,864 183%
2010 59,403 124%
Est 2016 61,893 42%
Source:721 US Decennial Census22
2013 Estimate4

2010 censusedit

As of the census3 of 2010, there were 59,403 people, 23,665 households, and 14,737 families residing in the city The population density was 3,7740 inhabitants per square mile 1,4571/km2 There were 24,809 housing units at an average density of 1,5762 per square mile 6086/km2 The racial makeup of the city was 859% White, 11% African American, 14% Native American, 13% Asian, 03% Pacific Islander, 52% from other races, and 48% from two or more races Hispanic or Latino of any race were 121% of the population

There were 23,665 households of which 332% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 409% were married couples living together, 152% had a female householder with no husband present, 62% had a male householder with no wife present, and 377% were non-families 279% of all households were made up of individuals and 92% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older The average household size was 249 and the average family size was 300

The median age in the city was 345 years 243% of residents were under the age of 18; 101% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 29% were from 25 to 44; 25% were from 45 to 64; and 116% were 65 years of age or older The gender makeup of the city was 490% male and 510% female

Arts and cultureedit

Author Ken Kesey moved to Springfield when he was young and graduated from Springfield High School before moving on to the nearby University of Oregon After some years of wandering described in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe, Kesey bought a farm in nearby Pleasant Hill and remained a prominent local celebrity until his death in 2001


The Springfield Public Library is located within city hall23

Cultural venuesedit

The Richard E Wildish Community Theater on Main Street in downtown Springfield, a complete renovation of the historic McKenzie Theater, opened in December 2006 The theater seats 284 people and is designed to host music concerts and recitals, dance, drama, festivals and small musicals The Springfield Renaissance Development Corporation spearheaded the six-year renovation project, completed at a cost of $31 millioncitation needed


There are 15 elementary, 4 middle, and 4 high schools in the Springfield School District, making it one of the largest in the state2425 The largest public high schools, by enrollment, are Thurston High School and Springfield High School Pioneer Pacific College also has a campus in the Gateway area of Springfield26

In popular cultureedit

The Simpsonsedit

The city took third in the voting to choose one of the sixteen possible Springfields in the US to host the premiere of The Simpsons Movie27 The show's creator, Oregon resident Matt Groening, sent a plaque to the city of Springfield that stated, in part "Yo to Springfield, Oregon – the real Springfield"28 In April 2012, Groening confirmed to Smithsonian magazine that he named the fictional Springfield after Springfield, Oregon He also confirmed that he intentionally left it a secret to allow people the enjoyment of assuming it was based on their own Springfield29

Notable peopleedit

  • Sheila Bleck, IFBB professional bodybuilder
  • Peter DeFazio, US Representative for Oregon's 4th congressional district
  • Bill Dellinger, Olympic athlete and former University of Oregon track coach
  • Diane Downs, child murderer arrested and jailed in Springfield
  • Ken Kesey, author
  • Kip Kinkel, perpetrator of the Thurston High School shooting
  • Eric Millegan, Broadway and television actor
  • Travis Smith, major league baseball player
  • Dan Straily, starting pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds
  • Robert W Straub, Oregon governor
  • Theodore Sturgeon, science fiction author


This region experiences warm but not hot and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above 716 °F According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Springfield has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps30


  1. ^ a b Palmer, Susan December 7, 2010 "Lundberg selected Springfield mayor" The Register-Guard Eugene, Ore Retrieved December 8, 2010 
  2. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010" United States Census Bureau Retrieved 2012-12-21 
  3. ^ a b "American FactFinder" United States Census Bureau Retrieved 2012-12-21 
  4. ^ a b "Population Estimates" United States Census Bureau Retrieved 2014-09-26 
  5. ^ "American FactFinder" United States Census Bureau Retrieved 2008-01-31 
  6. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names" United States Geological Survey 2007-10-25 Retrieved 2008-01-31 
  7. ^ a b "American FactFinder: Oregon population" US Census Bureau Retrieved March 3, 2011 
  8. ^ "Names of Lane County Communities Reveal Interesting Histories, Anecdotes" Eugene Register-Guard 4 January 1942 p 4 Retrieved 23 April 2015 
  9. ^ "Early History of Springfield, Oregon" City of Springfield 
  10. ^ "Oregon to vote on plan to allow bias against gays Conservative group forces a referendum" The Baltimore Sun New York Times News Service August 16, 1992 Retrieved April 10, 2011 The campaign was used successfully by Mr Mabon's group in May, when the Oregon town of Springfield voted, by 55 percent to 45 percent, to become the nation's first municipality to include anti-gay language in its city charter 
  11. ^ Neville, Paul April 13, 1995 "Appeals court deals setback to gay rights foes" Eugene Register-Guard Eugene, Oregon p 1 Retrieved April 10, 2011 The Oregon Court of Appeals upheld a state law Wednesday that bars cities and counties from enforcing anti-gay rights ordinances 
  12. ^ Blair Jackson 2012 "Review of Sunshine Daydream" Blair's Golden Road Blog 
  13. ^ Diane Dietz September 6, 2010 "50 years in the creamery" Register-Guard We had some debts that had to get paid, so we said, “Well, what do you think Do you think the Dead would come up and do a benefit concert for us” My brother-in-law and Chuck’s brother Ken Kesey said, “I don’t know why not You might as well ask them” 
  14. ^ http://wwwugaedu/fruit/hazelnuthtml ugaedu
  15. ^ "City of Springfield 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report" PDF 
  16. ^ "Springfield City Manager's Office" 
  17. ^ a b "City Council and Wards" City of Springfield, Oregon 
  18. ^ "SPD Website" 
  19. ^ "Eugene Springfield Fire website" 
  20. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates" Retrieved June 9, 2017 
  21. ^ Moffatt, Riley Population History of Western US Cities & Towns, 1850–1990 Lanham: Scarecrow, 1996, 216
  22. ^ United States Census Bureau "Census of Population and Housing" Retrieved September 26, 2014 
  23. ^ "SPL Downtown City Hall" 
  24. ^ "SPS" 
  25. ^ "SPS- Homepage" 
  26. ^ "PPC" 
  27. ^ "Springfields Vie For "Simpsons" Premiere" CBS News March 9, 2007 Retrieved on March 9, 2007
  28. ^ The Register-Guard, Eugene, Oregon, USA
  29. ^ De La Roca, Claudia May 2012 "Matt Groening Reveals the Location of the Real Springfield" Smithsonian Retrieved November 9, 2013 
  30. ^ Climate Summary for Springfield, Oregon

External linksedit

  • Springfield Chamber of Commerce
  • Entry for Springfield in the Oregon Blue Book

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