Sewer Art at the Oregon State Capitol

By Jan Jackson

Here is a a sample itinerary for a stress-free trip to the Oregon State Capitol (good for just about any Monday through Friday).

11:00 am Arrive with your camera either by city bus or car. Parking meters on both sides of the building are good up to 10-hours; city bus service gets you darn close.

Stop at the visitor desk so you can see what is available and if there are any special exhibits going.

11:30 am Take the elevator or the stairs to the lower floor for lunch in the coffee shop. During lunch, study the tour materials you got from the information desk.

12:30 pm Begin the building and the grounds and don’t over look the wonderfully funky Oregon State Sewer Seal – yes, that’s what I said – Oregon State Sewer Seal. The story goes like this:

In 1972, Russell Ziolkowski, a Springfield Oregon city worker, created a masterpiece made entirely from items that he pulled (and boiled) from Springfield’s sewer sludge. Items include bullets, marbles, coins, hypodermic needles, arrowheads and false teeth. It is hygienically sealed inside clear plastic and surprisingly colorful and attractive (see photo). Who knows – you might even spot something you lost.

End your visit in the gift shop and shop for gifts that come from Salem, Oregon.

Enjoy your stress free state capitol experience – and remember – it can happen in other state capitols as well .

Keep those travels happy – smile./jj

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