Lane County Oregon is named for the Oregon Territory’s first governor and 1860 Southern Democratic candidate for Vice President of the United States, Joseph Lane. by Pat Farr


Joseph Lane, namesake of Lane County Oregon, was John C. Breckinridge’s running mate it the 1860 presidential election against Abraham Lincoln.  They received 72 electoral votes to Lincoln’s 180 and the southern states subsequently seceded from the Union.

On Facebook, June 18, a Lane County resident asks, “Pat Farr, just read the Lane County name change idea and the article seems to indicate that you are behind this idea. Are you?

Thank you for asking this question.  It is a good one.  You ask, am I behind the idea of changing the name of Lane County?

What I am behind is listening to what people ask for and letting them know that they have been heard.  If I don’t do that I will be remembered not for my actions and decisions but for my deaf ear.  What I have called for is a thoughtful and factual, facilitated community discussion about the history of the naming of Lane County and the man for whom it was named.  I think the KVAL TV News reporter and camera operator captured that in their report on June 18, 2020.  If I choose to ignore the call it will not go away, it will continue to grow louder.

Recently Debi’s and my youngest child changed their name from the name we had given them at birth. We supported that because we listened to the reasons and we knew it was the right thing to do.

Will I support changing the name of Lane County?  Yes, if it’s the right thing to do after the reasons for and against doing it are weighed.  No if it isn’t.  And after paying attention to the reasonable discussion I know I will not be alone in my support or opposition.

In answer to the question, am I behind the idea of the discussion?  Yes, along with a unanimous Board of Lane County Commissioners.

I have lived in Lane County for nearly a half-century and I love the beauty of this place that stretches from the Pacific waves to Waldo Lake and the slopes of the Three Sisters volcanoes…

Tall spruce trees in Honeyman State Park, Lane County

Heceta Head Lighthouse in Lane County is the most photographed view on the west coast of the USA…

The west slopes of the Three Sisters Volcanoes are in Lane County

Historic McKenzie Pass highway, Lane County, is the gateway to a world of experiences

A lonely mountain highway framing Diamond Peak near Waldo Lake , Lane County

Joseph Lane (1801-1881)  was the first governor of Oregon Territory. A leading Democrat, he was a U.S. senator and candidate for vice president in 1860. Fiercely independent and ambitious for personal political power, Lane was a successful advocate of his constituents’ interests and an outspoken and controversial defender of slavery.



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