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city, seat (1851) of Benton county, western Oregon, U.S. It lies at the head of navigation of the Willamette River at its confluence with the Mary's River, 224 feet (68 metres) above sea level and 85 miles (137 km) south of Portland. Laid out in 1851 as Marysville, it was renamed Corvallis (Latin: "Heart of the Valley") in 1853. For a short period in 1855 the state legislature met there. Oregon State University (founded as Corvallis College in 1858) is the city's major economic asset; other employers include engineering consultants and computer and computer equipment manufacturers. The city centre contains several buildings that are listed on the National Historic Register. A surrounding greenbelt region includes more than 75 municipal parks. Agriculture, sawmilling, and truck farming are regional activities, and there is a growing wine-making industry. Corvallis is headquarters for Siuslaw National Forest. Inc. 1857. Pop. (1990) 44,757; (2000) 49,322.