Friday, December 9, 2022


City’s seal is made of sewer trash



seal-case-766By Chuck Woodbury

It’s hard to believe, but true, that the city seal displayed in City Hall in Springfield, Oregon, is made of trash hauled up from the sewer. Every one of its 4,200 pieces were salvaged in 1972 by then-employee Russell Ziolkowski when he helped the city jet clean its sewer system for the very first time.

seal2-766The way I figure it, most of the stuff was flushed down someone’s toilet — on purpose or by accident. 

It’s a little over three feet in diameter and weighs 70 pounds. Look closely to see the salvaged “junk.”

seal-1-766There’s a gold nugget, diamond pin, tiny revolver, padlock, a real tooth (and false teeth, too), hundreds of marbles, a 1942 dog tag, military pins, safety pins, fuses, buttons of all sorts, rings, a spoon, bracelet, fountain pen, coins, tweezers, a rifle bullet casing, wristwatch. . . and the list goes on and on.

It’s not the official seal, but a mosaic replica, but it was the only one I saw when I visited.

City Hall is at 225 Fifth Street, a couple of blocks off of Business Highway 126. The seal is on the second floor, along with most everything else.


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Fae Gisler
6 years ago

Hey Chuck,
We were in the Sisters area this past summer and probably visited some of the same areas you and Gayle toured. Such a great part of the country and my husband fulfilled his dream of trout fishing/catching on the McKenzie River! Yep, all that lava was pretty amazing! We live in CA which isn’t that far but, boy, to be somewhere where there’s plenty of water and GREEN landscaping was a treat! Thanks for sharing!