Set in a deep valley flanked by high ridges, Oroville takes its name from the Spanish word for gold, and with good reason. A strike found near the mouth of the Similkameen River in 1861 resulted in the establishment of the boom town. The arrival of the railroad in 1914 and the construction of irrigation works eventually turned the town's economic focus to commercial orchards, the first of which was planted in 1858.
Most of the town's "gold" is now found in the form of locally grown apples.
The city is in Okanogan County and is located on Highway 97, just four miles south of the Canadian border.
There is also an Oroville, California.