We went to see the newly refurbished Territorial Sundial in front of the Washington State Library, the Joel M. Pritchard Building, on the Capitol Grounds in Olympia. It was just reinstalled in early January and rededicated on January 30, 2018.
The sundial was originally dedicated in January 1959. Sculptor and metal artist John W. Elliott (1883-1971) created the sundial with bas-relief panels depicting Washington’s history. (Elliott also redesigned the Washington State Seal that appears on the state flag.) Originally installed in the 1950s, the sundial was in need of a number of updates. University of Washington emeritus professor and sundial expert Woodruff “Woody” Sullivan was a consultant on the project.
A sundial is made up of a flat plate and a gnomon (pronounced something like “nomen”). The gnomon is the part of the sundial that casts the shadow.
Want to learn how to read a sundial? There are handy instructions near the Territorial Sundial on the Capitol Grounds. Or check out Just Energy’s page.
Did you know that you can make your own sundial out of paper? Check out http://hilaroad.com/camp/projects/sundial/sundial_calculator/sundial_calculator.htm. You can also buy a pretty cool pocket sundial on Etsy.
You can keep up with everything happening on the Washington Capitol Grounds by following Enterprise Services on Twitter and by following the Washington State Capitol Campus Visitor Services on Facebook. You can also sign up for email updates.
The Washington State Capitol Grounds are beautiful; even in February, several things were in bloom. It’s a fun walk with lots to see and mountain and water views.