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Philomath, Oregon is located in Benton County. The word “philomath” means “lover of learning.” The city is named in honor of Philomath College, which was founded in 1867 by the United Bretheren Church. The college was closed due to a sharp decline in enrollment during the Great Depression. Philomath began its life in 1882 when it was incorporated. It was an agricultural center, with farms as well as ranches. By the early 1900s, the lumber industry has a toehold in the city as well, and in fact was a major hub for logging and lumbering well into the 20th century. But in the early 1980s, when mills began closing in the Pacific Northwest, Philomath began to suffer as well. Unemployment rose for a time, until the neighboring city of Corvallis boomed in the new technology industry, but many who lived in Philomath found work there as their own city morphed into a bedroom community. It is the subject of the 2006 Sundance Film Festival entry called “Clear Cut: The Story of Philomath, Oregon.”

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