Tangent: Heart of a rich grass seed industry


Tangent has a proud history as a farming community in one of the richest agricultural areas in Oregon and has a number of points of historical significance.

It is believed that the first people to inhabit the Tangent area were the mound builders of the Kalapuya (Calapooia) tribes, whose earthen mounds line the Calapooia River from Albany to Brownsville. They thrived on the natural abundance of the area, rich in fish and game. It was that same lush farmland that attracted the first settlers to this area.

The town of Tangent was established in 1871 when the railroad was built through the valley. The name “Tangent” refers to the twenty miles of straight track north and south of the town. The town was a gathering place for local farmers and a train stop. The first Grange in Oregon was completed in Tangent in July 1983. In 1886, Tangent acquired a Post Office and that building still stands today in the center of town.

Today, on many mailboxes along the quiet rural roads, you’ll still find many of the names of Tangent’s original farming families—families that have been here since the late 1800’s.In the center of the fertile Willamette Valley, Tangent has been
known for its agricultural activities, of which grass seed is the most notable. By 1891, William Felzer of Tangent acquired a small amount of grass seed. This may well have been the actual beginning of the present day rye grass industry
that gave Tangent (and now Linn County) the name “Grass Seed Capital of the World.”

This peaceful community and back roads also make Tangent a popular cycling route while the grassy lowlands, riparian creeks, and agricultural fields will provide bird watchers a wide array of viewing opportunities.