The Flight of Time

Cover of Flight of Time Booklette

The following is an excerpt from The Flight of Time, a booklette about the Benton County Courthouse's history.

The year was 1887.  Grover Cleveland was President of the United States.  A New York inventor, George Eastman, was getting ready to introduce the first simple box camera, complete with film, which would put photography into the hands of ordinary people.  Fashionable ladies were wearing bustles once again.  And Benton County, Oregon was enjoying a boom of progress and prosperity.  With 8,000 citizens, a rapidly growing county seat --Corvallis-- and civic enthusiasm at a fever pitch, the county's leaders decided the time was right to build a new courthouse:  an impressive edifice that later would be described as "an ornament to the city and a credit to the county."

That same courthouse stands today, the oldest one in Oregon still serving its original purpose.  Here, justice is dispensed, county business is conducted and vital records are filed just as they have been for the past century.  Thanks to sensitive renovation in the late 1970's, the modern-day courthouse looks much as it must have when its doors first opened in 1889.  The Benton County Courthouse is a living record of architecture and history: a tribute to those who conceived and built it, and to those who have preserved its beauty through the decades.  Most of all, it is a tribute to the people of Benton County, then and now, who have made the courthouse the area's most recognized symbol.