Peace Candle of the World
|Peace Candle of the World|
|Established||May 9, 1971|
The Peace Candle of the World, also known as the Scappoose Peace Candle, is a tower-like structure designed to resemble a candle in Scappoose, Oregon. It is approximately 50-foot (15 m) tall, 18-foot (5.5 m) structure. The candle was built in 1971 outside of what was then the Brock Candles Inc. factory, which burned down in 1990. The land used to be a dairy farm, and factory owner Darrel Brock created the candle by covering a silo with red wax to advertise the factory.
The candle was originally built with an actual wick. On May 9, 1971, the town's mayor and Oregon Governor Tom McCall lit the candle using a custom-made 60-foot-long match. President Richard Nixon was asked to light the candle, but he declined. Due to difficulties keeping the candle lit during rainfall, the wick was replaced with a natural gas line was run up the center of the candle to create a real flame at the top. However, due to environmental concerns and extremely high gas bills, the flame was eventually replaced with an electric neon light flame structure.
The Peace Candle of the World at one time held the Guinness World Record for world's largest candle, but the record was eventually given to the 127-foot (39 m) wax candle that was featured at the General Art and Industrial Exhibition of Stockholm in 1897. The Scappoose Peace Candle sits on the north side of U.S. Route 30 and is visible from the highway. Each season, the candle was re-coated with different colors to match the time of year, with red for Christmas and multiple colors being used in the fall. The wax around the candle was eventually replaced with more durable wax-like substances.
The candle is meant to serve as a symbol for the desire for world peace. During the Christmas season, the Scappoose Peace Candle is strewn with strands of Christmas lights. The Scappoose region around the Peace Candle of the World has become more and more developed in recent years, leading to fears from local residents that the candle could eventually become torn down in favor of a development.
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