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Oregon's Centennial Candle.

Oregon's Centennial Candle

Field review by the editors.

Damascus, Oregon

In 1959 someone in Oregon came up with the idea of creating a giant candle -- one that would burn for 100 days -- to celebrate the state's centennial. The project floundered until it was taken up by George Livingston of Damascus, who melted four tons of wax over empty 55-gallon oil drums and stacked them into a 21-foot-high candle, then topped it with a propane tank flame.

Damascus, "The Smallest Town With The Biggest Ideas," was so proud of George's 100-day accomplishment that in 1962 -- during the World's Fair in Seattle -- it erected a permanent steel-reinforced concrete replica of the candle to stand along the main highway through town. Calling it "The Candle of Peace," it was supposed to burn perpetually -- but was extinguished less than a year later when the expected crowds of candle fans failed to materialize.

The candle slowly deteriorated into a gray, vine-covered pillar. Then in 2009, Oregon's sesquicentennial, Damascus rediscovered its Candle Pride and repainted the pillar red with white wax drips and topped it with a steel flame.

Oregon's Centennial Candle

20100 SE Hwy 212, Damascus, OR
On the south side of OR-212, across from the Safeway, in front of the fire station.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Carver Cafe from TwilightCarver Cafe from Twilight, Damascus, OR - 2 mi.
Town of BoringTown of Boring, Boring, OR - 4 mi.
Todd Kirnan, Coffee ManTodd Kirnan, Coffee Man, Gresham, OR - 6 mi.
In the region:
Giant Roof Carrot, Portland, OR - 14 mi.

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