Oregon Commemorative Quarter

By Lee Juillerat

In 2005, Crater Lake was featured on the Oregon State Quarter, part of the U.S. Mint's State Quarter Program, which began in 1999. As the thirty-third state, the Oregon quarter was thirty-third in the series.

Crater Lake was selected as the state's iconic symbol. The tail side features Crater Lake as viewed from the south-southwest and includes Wizard Island, the Watchman, and Hillman Peak. The head's side has the standard bust of George Washington. Governor Ted Kulongoski credited his wife, Mary Oberst, with persuading him to choose the lake: “She told me, ‘You better get something unique to Oregon.’ ‘What’s that?’ She said, 'Crater Lake,' and she was right.” Other themes considered included the Oregon Trail, Mount Hood, and a Chinook salmon.

Kulongoski endorsed the selection of the Crater Lake quarter on May 24, 2004. It was designed by Donna Weaver at the recommendation of the Oregon Commemorative Coin Commission. The Department of the Treasury approved the design on July 13, 2004, and began circulating the quarters on June 6, 2005. The Philadelphia and Denver mints produced 720,200,000 Oregon quarters, the second largest run in a year that included quarters commemorating California, Minnesota, Kansas, and West Virginia.

Two quarter ceremonies were held. The first was in Portland on June 15, 2004. The second ceremony was held at Crater Lake National Park on August 24, 2004, with Governor Kulongoski, Treasury Randall Edwards, and Park Superintendent Chuck Lundy at a lake overlook.

  • Oregon Commemorative Quarter

    Oregon Commemorative Quarter.

    Oregon Commemorative Quarter Courtesy U.S. Mint

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Further Reading

"Oregon State Quarter - 2005." U.S. Department of the Treasury, U.S. Mint. www.usmint.gov/historianscorner/?flash=ye&action=coinDetail&id=29113.