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Corvallis High Tech Culture in a Bucolic Setting

Corvallis is a 5 star community … it has the highest education level per capita in the country and is often listed in magazines and books as one of best places to live. It’s easy to see why … Corvallis is a country place with a collegiate feel that’s also a high-tech center. The eclectic character of this small megalopolis of 50,000 becomes apparent during the drive to Corvallis. After passing miles of pastoral family farms with names like Pleasure Acres and Blueberry Meadows, a sprawling division of the electronics industry giant Hewlett Packard emerges just outside of the city (Intel also has a facility in Corvallis).

Imagine our surprise when we spotted this "fly" on a downtown alley wall.

Once in town, the park like campus of Oregon State University looms large and is obviously the hub of activity. Bordering the University are historic neighborhoods shaded by huge trees planted by the early pioneers and a downtown area that looks like time stopped sometime in the 1950’s. Here there are no parking meters and very few national chains. Instead funky shops, ethnic restaurants, bakeries, bookshops, and music stores flourish amid a collection of historic buildings.

From downtown it’s hard not to miss the 1888 Benton County Courthouse with its large white clock tower. This is the oldest functioning courthouse in the lower Willamette Valley. The restored interior is filled with ornate details such as embossed brass plates, carved stairways, and an old safe.

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