From the earliest days of Oregon statehood, rural residents felt isolated from their political leaders and the state capitol in Salem. That distance has sparked several efforts to carve a new state out of Southern Oregon and Northern California called the "State of Jefferson.”

From the earliest days of Oregon statehood, rural residents felt isolated from their political leaders and the state capitol in Salem. That distance has sparked several efforts to carve a new state out of Southern Oregon and Northern California called the “State of Jefferson.”

Oregon Historical Society

Every week, Oregon Experience shares a photo highlighting the state’s diverse, exciting history.

Oregon’s most rural residents often feel ignored by the state’s far off capitol in Salem. Distance, and lack of local control, has sparked a series of secessionist movements in Southern Oregon and Northern California. One of the most infamous attempts came in 1941 when community leaders organized and publicized their attempts to create a “State of Jefferson.” Eventually, the effort died. Today, Jefferson lives on as a state of mind.

Watch the Oregon Experience documentary “State of Jefferson” for more information.