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Oregon State Capitol All to Ourselves

One of the reasons that Oregon was on my itinerary (other than the fact that it was conveniently located north of my starting point) was the State Capitol building in Salem, Oregon. My Great Uncle Francis Keally was the architect of the Capitol and neither my father nor I had ever seen it in person.

Within the Keally family there was a debate of sorts on whether or not there was a plaque located within the Capitol that gave honorable mention to Francis Keally. Our mission was to see for ourselves if in fact this plaque existed.

When we arrived at the Capitol this past Sunday, August 23rd we were a bit dissapointed to discover that Sunday tours had been cancelled. Luckily a number was posted on the door which my dad called to try and get more info. The best part comes next...My dad spoke to an operator who connected him with an Oregon State Trooper that was responsible for handling any issues at the Capitol that day. After my father told the trooper the story about us traveling all the way from San Francisco to tour the Capitol only to find it closed...and what relation my father had to the architect of the building, the trooper agreed to come to the Capitol to open the doors and let us in!

Sure enough, the trooper greeted us at the back entrance, unlocking the doors to the Capitol to let us in. With the lights completely turned off and a flashlight, We started our search in the basement since a relative had mentioned the plaque was locted there. No luck. We searched everywhere. At first we couldn't even find mention of Francis Keally anywhere.

As we were about to head out, we noticed some older photos posted in the lobby and we did start to see articles and mention of Francis Keally. There was also a photograph of the plaque with Francis Keally's name engraved onto it - so at least we knew it existed. The trooper advised us to exit the building and search the perimeter to see if we could find the plaque on the exterior of the building.

Just as we were about to start our search the Trooper came around the corner and said that he had found it! He took us back in and sure enough to the left of the information desk on the main level - there it was in all it's splendor - alone on a marble wall. I took a bunch of photos and look forward to sharing with the Keally family. Hats off to my dad who was able to get an Oregon State Trooper to open the Capitol building for us. And another hats off to the State Trooper who was incredibly accommodating.

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Reader Comments (4)

I think I see a statue on top of the building that resembles Francis Keally ! Can we get a close up shot of the man on the top?

August 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSiz

I think you should sent a special note to the state trooper. He did not have to go out of his way to help and make your experience so much more powerful. What a nice guy!

August 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

We are definitely going to reach out to find out who the trooper was - he was sooper dooper

August 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRaul

what a great story to share with toby when you get back!

August 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTrina

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