Date of visit: October 15, 2011
Population: 6,592 (2010 Census)
Scappoose has a giant 50-foot-tall candle in the middle of town. You can’t miss it as you’re driving through on Highway 30. This “Peace Candle of the World” was built in 1971 to advertise the Brock Candles factory (which burned down in 1990; how ironic is that?). They covered an old silo with 45,000 pounds of wax and put a large wick on top. The mayor and Governor Tom McCall attended the dedication ceremony, and the wick was lit using a custom-made 60-foot-long match.
The Oregon rain made a real wick impractical in the long-run, so a gas line was installed. But that proved to be too expensive, so the candle now has an electric neon light. It was briefly listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as World’s Largest Candle, but a candle in Europe now has that title. The Scappoose candle is increasingly being hemmed in by development, so who knows how much longer it will stand.