SHINE on Salem 150, celebrating the sesquicentennial of our city's 1860 charter, continues (and concludes) with the 2012 entry.

Friday, November 2, 2012

SHINE on Salem

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The 1913 railroad bridge across the Willamette River was restored for pedestrian use in 2009.

Salem's history began with an 1840 Methodist missionary settlement on Mill Creek. An interpretive plaque on Broadway Street, north of the creek, tells the story. Two years later, a school was built nearby: it became Willamette University. But it was a few blocks to the west, on the shores of the Willamette River, that the village grew. A ferry crossing was at the street that still bears the name. That intersection at Commercial Street was the location of the Territorial and then the 1859 State of Oregon government offices before the town of 1129 residents gained a charter as a city in 1860.

This website outlines the story of the city of Salem from that date until 2012 when the series ended.

To read about any event or year, use the white box in the upper left corner of this page to search. Write in the name and click the spyglass symbol to the right. This is an index, so you may see several references before you scroll down to the information you want. Like searching in an encyclopedia, you may be distracted by the variety of information! If you want to browse, the most recent past year is below, the earlier years following in sequence.

At the end of each article, there is an opportunity to comment. We welcome suggestions and corrections. Anonymous entries will not be published as we can not reply to that viewer.

Thank you for reading SHINE in the Statesman Journal. We were indebted to the managing editor, Bill Church, and his staff, especially Michelle Maxwell, for introducing SHINE to so many viewers. The online issue you read here offers additional photographs and references to other articles on the Salemhistory website.

While you are here, take any of our six historic walking tours listed on the right column of this page. Also created in 2008, we try to update them as historic structures and the cityscape change.

We hope you enjoy our "armchair" journeys through these years of Salem history.

Friday, December 30, 2011

2012 Courthouse Exhibit Features Salem's Neighbors


 Community Hall of the Marion County Courthouse


         In April, a colorful Oregon heritage exhibit was mounted in the Marion County Courthouse Community Hall.  Each of the twenty framed collections of photographs and memorabilia offered what that Marion County city considered significant to tell its story. The exhibits were constructed by local committees or by an individual volunteer. Above each poster is a wood carving representing the shape of Marion County with the locality of the city clearly distinguished. At the opening ceremony, the County Commissioners greeted guests from around the county, especially thanking the creators of these handsome displays.  Each city had a representative there to speak about what that city had selected to put in their colorful poster.
         Commissioner Sam Brentano, who was the inspiration for the exhibit, has often encouraged me to "get out of town" and become acquainted with other Marion County cities.  These photographic essays convinced me that he was right. My son Tom was my partner in the project we named "Marion County 20". On our day-trip adventures, he discovered many scenic back roads and took photographs in each city while I asked questions and constructed a new series of Statesman Journal articles that will begin on January 6, 2013. Each one reviews the community history, offer a brief profile of the city today and includes our discoveries there as visitors.

         View the collection of Marion County Courthouse exhibits online at http://marioncounty20.blogspot.com/. On the Community Hall home page, click on album, then on an individual image to enlarge.

        By the way, what do you know about these cities?

        Which Marion County city

                 Was founded by a woman?

                 Was named for a soft drink popular in Idaho?

                  Still uses a 1892 tabernacle for religious conventions?

                  Has a reconstructed covered bridge?

                  Moved to a new location?

                   Is a misspelling of a founder's name?

                   Was named for a son-in-law of a founder?

                   Was named for a railroad engineer?

                   Was established after a US Supreme Court decision resolved land ownership?

                    Has its post office in another county?

                    Became almost deserted during the Civil War?

                    Was named, despite objection, for a woman?

                    Had a popular mineral springs resort?

                    Has a museum in a former church?

                    Was founded as a religious colony?

                    Celebrates being the "Mint Capital" of Oregon?

                    Was the boyhood home of a US president?

                     Provided clean water for pioneer Salem?

                     Is named for a voter at Champoeg in 1843?

                     Has the grave site of Oregon's only authenticated Revolutionary War veteran?

  
     

Salem in 2011

World Events
  • Osama Bin Laden dies in a raid by Navy Seals on his Pakistani hideout.
  • Japan suffered a 9.0 earthquake that caused a devastating tsunami and nuclear emergency.
  • Use of social media triggered an "Arab Spring" of popular revolution in against dictators Algeria, Egypt, Libya and Syria.
  • Global fiscal crisis hits European union, political stand-offs in US Congress and "Occupy" movements protesting Wall Street practices across America.
  • Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford, meeting with constituents, survives a gunman who kills 6 others, wounds 13.
  • US combat troops leave Iraq after 8 years, but Security Contractors will remain in Baghdad.

In Salem
A 2011 Welcome Information Center at the Liberty and Court Street intersection in our historic downtown.

Our downtown streets are blooming with attractive information signage thanks to a Preserve America grant, a federal initiative that encourages community efforts to preserve and enjoy our priceless cultural heritage. Four Preserve America Presidential Awards are given annually to organizations, businesses, and government entities for exemplary accomplishments in sustainable use and preservation of cultural or natural heritage assets.
It is no surprise that Hazel Patton was the leader in promoting local interest in this program: she is well known for her many successful historic preservation efforts in Salem. The eight Welcome Information Centers you now see in downtown Salem (like one above on Liberty Street) are among the benefits of our participation this program.
Mrs. Patton's original 2007 suggestion resulted in a four-person committee composed of Hazel, Kuri Gill, Julie Osborne and Virginia Green to write an application for Salem's designation as a Preserve America Community. City Council approved the application in December of 2007 with the designation awarded by Laura Bush on June 1, 2008, and accepted by Darlene Hooley on the city's behalf. A grant to the Community Development Department was awarded in the amount $142,731 ($70,000 grant funds, the balance a City match).
The first stakeholder meeting, led by that department's Director, Vicki Hardin Woods, was in held in January 2009 with the following projects completed by the year of 2011:
A Downtown Historic Marker Program to promote preservation and increase citizen awareness of the assets in the downtown historic district; a unique historical downtown logo which appears on the thirty-three historic markers installed on historic buildings in our downtown district; designing a downtown walking tour booklet printed in both English and Spanish (the first Spanish language historically focused walking tour in the state), along with creation of a new website, the "Salem Heritage Portal", that allows residents and tourists to explore downtown Salem online.
Since there were additional funds available, the City of Salem was also able to complete the following projects: (1) Replace a historic marker memorializing Salem's old city hall; (2) Replace two historic markers on the recently renovated Union Street Pedestrian Bridge; (3) Install an interpretive panel in the Salem Convention Center describing the significance of the key intersection of Commercial and Ferry Streets; (4) Translation and printing of our downtown walking tour into Spanish; and the installation of way-finding signs. These signs are of two designs (created by Rick Yurk of BAM): eight Welcome Information Centers (similar to the one pictured above) and 46 colorful directional posts as seen below.

(This photograph used by courtesy of Ron Cooper)

We are indebted to the staffs of the Community Development Department, the Urban Development Department, and the Urban Renewal Agency Board as well as the many other professional and volunteer members of the Task Force who made this concept a beautiful and useful reality.

Our special thanks to Debra Meaghers and Courtney Knox for their help in compiling this entry. Additional photographs of Preserve America projects by Todd Klocke.
When You Visit

The eight Welcome Information Centers are found in the following intersections: Front and Court Streets, Ferry and Liberty Streets, Liberty and Court Streets, Chemeketa and Liberty Streets, Marion and High Streets, State and High Streets, Trade and Church Streets and at Church and Center Streets. Each has a map on one side and information about that location's historic significance on the other.
The 46 Way-Finding Directional Posts are located in a wider area, bounded on the north by the newly revitalized Broadway District at Market Street, to the south to Bush Park,
from the east by the Willamette Heritage Center on 12th Street, and on west to Riverfront Park on Front Street.

Other Local Events
  • The Salem-Keizer School Board names the new West Salem middle school for former Gov. Bob Straub and the adjoining elementary school (both on former Straub family property) for the Kalapuya tribes. This is the first school named in honor of a native culture.
  • February 11th Wallace P. Carson, the third generation of his family in Salem, is honored as the 61st Citizen of the Year. Judge Carson was Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court for 14 years.
  • Truitt Brothers announces that the long-established cannery will lay off about 100 employees in their front Street packing plant this year.
  • In April, the City Council approved a deal with SeaPort airlines to provide commuter air service to Portland, Seattle and Newport. (The service was ended after only 2 months.)
  • Yoshikai Elementary School librarian Kristen Truman is named Oregon School Librarian of the Year. (Along with other local school librarians, she lost her position in September.)
  • The City Council voted to pay the owner of the Willamette Queen sternwheeler $250,000 up give up use of the Willamette Slough. This August agreement will enable the city to construct a footbridge over the slough connecting Riverfront Park to Minto Brown Park.
  • In October the Occupy Salem movement, part of the national protest that claims our political process favors the wealthy over the average American, camps in Willson Park for two nights until forced to leave.
  • The names of four contenders to make Courthouse Square repairs are made public by Marion County commissioners.
  • The renovation of the Boise Cascade property has proceeded to a point where Pringle Creek, flowing into the Willamette River, is almost completely "daylighted". Plans for a trail from the Civic Center, under the Commercial Street bridge to Riverfront Park are being formulated.
  • Rich Harcourt, President of Oregon Artists Series Foundation, leads in creating Sculpture Now, a program of Oregon Artist's Series 5th Annual Exhibit. Opening in the Salem Conference Center Plaza in September, it features five city-owned sculptures, plus seven others by artists throughout the Northwest.
  • The City Council accepts the recommendation of the Historic Landmarks Commission to designate the Stirniman house on Myers Street South as a Local Landmark.
Local Events photographs taken in December by Thomas N. Green, Jr.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Salem in 2010

World Events
  • Natural disasters: Earthquake in Haiti, floods in Pakistan, Chilean miners rescued after 69 days trapped in tunnel collapse, December snow storms disrupt holiday air travel.
  • Deepwater Horizon oil rig explodes causing massive environmental and economic losses in Gulf of Mexico and adjoining southern states.
  • Health Care reform passes in Congress.
  • November Congressional elections give Republicans majority in House of representatives, Lame Duck session boosts President Obama's agenda with compromise tax-cut extensions, repeal of DADT in military, arms control treaty with Russia, medical care for 9/11 rescue workers and a food safety bill.
  • Technology: iPad introduced, popular Facebook inspires a movie, Twitter and YouTube redefine social communication and influence US elections.
In Salem

Courthouse Square, occupying an entire block of downtown Salem for the last ten years, has been the subject of both pride and debate: it provided a convenient hub for Sale-Keizer bus users and an office building for Marion County (across High Street from the courthouse itself). But leaking windows and uneven floors inside, along with paving irregularities in bus lanes caused increasing concern. In July, employees heard an internal explosion that engineers determined was probably the rupture of a steel cable within a concrete slab. Further investigations led to the entire area being evaluated as too dangerous for occupancy and so was evacuated. The $34 million facility is empty, enclosed by a chain-link fence. The construction responsibility and future for the property was debated until a solution was negotiated in 2012: the structure will be repaired with the bus parking and garage first on the list.  A nearby, temporary transit hub is being used and county offices have been relocated.

When You Visit

Residents acquainted with the history of downtown remember this as the site of the Senator Hotel, conveniently located across High Street from the former city hall. The photograph above is taken here. A closer view shows the early excavations in the bus lanes.
At the time of the closure, a walk following the fence around the property might begin south of this location on High Street where the you see the five-story office building behind the clock. Cross the street to see public art work has been placed in front of this Marion County Business Services Building. Turning onto Court Street, you pass the Chinese restaurant that was forced to close. Next you see the doors of the Marion County/Transit District office entrance. Looking back to the west, you see the historic Grand Theater. Turning north at Church Street you will see the office building on the left and pass the central structure that continues through the parking bays from the clock tower on High Street. As you completed the walk on Chemeketa Street, signs were posted to prohibit crossing the fence.
The loss of the property for public and county use has had a negative effect on more than the one business that was on the site itself. However, the reclamation of Courthouse Square, if indeed possible, seems to be uncertain ~ and certainly in an unknown future. With the plans to repair both the underground and surface bus areas, and the possible repair of the office building itself. The future looks promising.

Other Local Events
  • Anna Peterson was chosen as next mayor after a congenial and dignified campaign was conducted by her and rival candidate Chuck Bennett. Bennett will remain on City Council.
  • National television zoomed in on our Oregon School for the Deaf as "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" rebuilt a boys' dormitory and the boosted school revenue with a new facility for their Haunted House site for Halloween events
  • Yes, Trader Joe is coming to Salem ~ a building formerly occupied by Albertson Grocery on South Commercial is being refitted for a summer 2011 opening.
  • Local supporters of the Oregon Ducks celebrated a winning season and a possible college football championship.
  • Marion County Courthouse was the scene of two trials for murder after a failed bombing of a Woodburn bank caused the death of two police officers. The jury voted death as penalties for Bruce and Joshua Turnidge.
  • The economic downturn effects downtown housing: many new condos remain vacant. Plans for development of Boise property also stalls.
  • After tenure of 12 years, Willamette University President Lee Pelton accepts an offer at Boston's Emerson College. A native of Kansas, he held leadership roles at Colgate University and Dartmouth College before becoming the first African-American president of an independent college when he became Willamette president in 1998.
  • Salem Art Association charges admission for the July Art Fair at Bush's Pasture Park, a city-owned property, citing increased expenses in producing the well-recognized event that is a prominent part of the cultural life of the city. It is also considered an economic boon to Salem as a tourist attraction.
  • Former Governor Kitzhaber is re-elected. He previously served two terms from 1995 to 2003. First elected to the Oregon House of Representatives, Kitzhaber served in the Oregon State Senate for twelve years, eight of them as Senate President. In 1994, Kitzhaber ran for Governor, winning comfortably. He was re-elected in 1998 by a wide margin. After completing his second term, Kitzhaber returned to medicine and campaigned for better public access to health care. This year he defeated the Republican nominee, former NBA player Chris Dudley.
  • Mexico extradites Salem fugitive accused in the 2009 murder of 21-year old Montez Bailey in Northgate Park.
  • The year ends with a 9 p.m. celebration and lighted "ball drop" for hundreds of visitors to the A. C. Gilbert Discovery Village.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Salem in 2009

World events
  • Hamas rocket attacks on Southern Israel answered with air strikes in 22 days of war.
  • North Korea conducts a second successful nuclear test; war in Gaza.
  • US Jobless rate hits 10.2 % despite stimulus measures.
  • Congress wrestles with health-care reform.
  • Sonia Sotomayer becomes first Hispanic justice on Supreme Court.
In Salem
After an intensive local campaign, 20 months and three competitive phases, the Salvation Army was awarded a portion of the Ray and Joan Kroc fortune to build and operate a Kroc Center in Salem. The Kroc grant provided nearly $35 million for construction and the same amount for an operating endowment, but the Salvation Army asked Salem residents to kick in $8 million, a royal sum in the city of about 154,500, without many deep pockets. They charged into fund raising. More than 1,700 donors pitched in, from kids who held penny drives, to foundations and individuals such as Gerry Frank who gave $1 million to help pay for the center's aquatics center. In all, residents raised more than $10 million. The center is faith-based and no tax dollars were used.

When you visit
The Kroc Center is within the circle of Bill Frey Drive and can be reached by car from Portland Road or Industrial Drive. There are bus lines that accommodate the site. The doors are open to visitors seven days a week and receptionists will supply information about recreational programs, classes and other services.
Salem sold the Salvation Army this 11-acre parcel in the Northgate neighborhood, which borders Keizer and is defined by industrial properties, a city natural park area, housing and vacant lots. Designers, craftsmen and construction workers built an angular, L-shaped structure, filled with materials and decorative themes that evokes Oregon: boulders from the Columbia River Gorge, sturdy wood beams, and massive glass walls that let in ample light even under slate-gray Northwest skies.

Other events
  • Linda Norris, the City Manager, conducts community meetings before the first Budget Committee meetings in April to explain the shortfall in the city budget and cuts that would have to be made. The Library is reduced from a Department to a division of Administration and the Director position eliminated. Other department responsibilities and personnel are shifted in order to cut the budget by $5 million.
  • In May, the transformation of the Union Street Railroad Bridge and Trestle is complete and opens to the public with an official ceremony and parade. Three interpretive panels had been produced by Ed Austin, local designer and author of books about regional railroads, and were places at either end of the bridge and trestle. The bridge was an immediate success and was filled with local families, bicyclists, individuals with their dog companions, and visitors to the city. The walk north from Riverfront Park and the A. C. Gilbert Discovery Village connects with Water Street at the Union Street entrance and parking is available. The lofty walk over the Willamette River gives views at one of the widest parts of the river to the north and toward the city and Willamette Slough to the south. The Trestle continues over Wallace Marine Park and at the end, paths lead down into the park or straight on the Wallace Road in West Salem. (The pedestrian/biker path closed in November in order to encapsulate the lead paint, but opened again in May of 2010.) This City of Salem project has already gained recognition, winning an Engineering Excellence Award, the Oregon Heritage Award and the national Transportation Planning Award.
  • Sanyo Solar of Oregon LLC opens a $40 million plant in Salem. In the 80-acre Renewable Energy and Technology Park, Sanyo's 130,000-square-foot factory houses the first two steps of solar manufacturing: growing crystals and slicing them into wafers.
  • Oregon State Hospital continues to be the target of complaints about patient care while the demolition of the historical buildings continue on that site. Taking measures to save the original front aspect of the "J" building has been a local concern: the tower has been removed for repair. Creating a museum to honor the former patients and the staff is still being planned within the renovated building.
  • Broadway Town Square, a TELOS mixed-use project on the site of the former Eagles Building at the intersection of Market and Broadway is completed with a ribbon cutting as the Salem Cinema moves into the new 3-theater facility. Town homes, apartments and retail spaces are also available.
  • The modern, copper-clad Ford Hall rises next door to the historic Gatke building on the Willamette University campus.
  • Several other construction projects are put on hold during the economic crisis. Downtown they include demolition of the First National/Wells Fargo Bank on Liberty Street for a mixed-use project including the parking lot where the old City Hall stood and prospective building on the McMahon Furniture Store site. The Meridian and Rivers condominiums projects are completed.
  • In legal and criminal news: Sunwest Management Inc. and founder Jon Harder of Salem are sued by the Federal Securities and Exchange Commission; parents are arrested after three children report abuse since their arrival from the Ukraine in 2003; Marion County Sheriff Russ Isham resigns after accusations of personal misconduct.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Salem in 2008


World events
  • Barack Obama wins the US presidency with 53% of popular vote.
  • In the national economic collapse, the Federal Reserve props up banks, automakers & mortgage agencies.
  • China hosts Summer Olympics.
In Salem
Portland Road was once just that: the highway to the city north of Salem. With the construction of I-5 in the 1960s, that changed: without the commercial stimulus of heavy traffic, Portland Road's economy faltered. Beginning in 1972, urban renewal attempted to make the area more productive and more livable. One of the most recent and most attractive projects is the area formerly the Goodwill site. The triangular property, owned by the Salem Urban Renewal Agency, is bounded by Portland Road, Brooks Street, Pine Street and the new senior facility, Center 50+. It was sold to Hollywood Renewal LLC, comprised of Mountain West Investment Company. (No commitment of public resources, in the form of a loan or grant, was required of the agency to support this project.) By 2008, unfortunately the year of the great "Recession", the new residences of Hollywood Station (above) are completed and ready for occupancy. The project includes 24 town homes and a 2-story, 23,ooo square feet office/retail building. This is one more civic project in North Salem where the business community and the city staff work together to make living in Salem more attractive for both the long-time residents who have shared its history and the newcomers who will make it their new home.

When you visit
Perhaps you have also driven east on Pine Street, or along Portland Road, during the last few years, wondering what the new highway configurations, landscaping and construction would produce. We may expect that even more improvements are on the way for the old Hollywood business district. The senior center relocation (Center 50+), the new businesses (we wish them well!), the KROC Center and this Hollywood Station have all brought welcome new enterprise to the area of North Gateway, truly the historic entrance to our city. The North Gateway Redevelopment Advisory Board is an avenue by which residents can provide input to present and future projects in this part of our city.

Other events
  • As new structures rise in Salem this year, old ones are threatened. In January, the Oregon State Hospital had been issued a report from the US Department of Justice siting violations of patient safety, supervision and treatment failures. The hospital sponsors tours through the unused, historic buildings as plans for a $458 million renovation and reconstruction are being formulated. Local historic preservationists, lead by Hazel Patton, submit a successful, whole-campus nomination for National Register to protect the most valuable parts of the institution, particularly the "J" Building (above). The Historic Landmarks Commission hears evidence that many buildings most be demolished. Note: The OSH facade had been dramatically remodeled with only a repainted, front portion of this Kirkbride Building remaining. A new main entrance has been constructed (to the right of this photograph) and the original entrance will lead into a museum. Mrs. Patton is collecting artifacts and documents for display at the October 2012 opening.
  • The Carnegie Library on State Street, for 60 years our Salem Public Library, is rededicated as the Oregon Civil Justice Center of Willamette University. The ceremony includes a ribbon cutting by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the US Supreme Court.
  • With the retirement of Bob Wells, Linda Norris becomes Interim City Manager: she is officially appointed City Manager in June. Sean O'Day became Interim Deputy City Manager in February and was officially appointed to that position in October.
  • John Ritter, a local historian and former professor, serves this year as a historian for the Oregon Corrections Enterprises. He produces an Exhibit Guide outlining the 150 years of inmate work programs as displayed in the interpretive museum at 3691 State Street. Exhibit artifacts and background photographs on the wall outline the various programs that have been active in this time span. As the brochure explains: the exhibit begins when the State Penitentiary had its start as the Territorial Prison in Oregon City as a small brick structure and moved to Portland in 1854 where inmates were used to grade streets, crush rock and log trees. In 1866 the Oregon State Prison was moved to Salem and remains here. Over 24 artifacts, actual products made at the Salem institution, are displayed in the exhibit, including the infamous Oregon Boot, a devise worn by inmates when outside to keep them from "wandering away". Other exhibits illustrate today's work programs. For times when the exhibit is open to visitors, call 503 378 2449 or 503 378 2677.
  • The new YWCA facility is opened in the Broadway Plaza, a TELOS construction on the northwest corner of the Market and Broadway streets intersection.
  • Delta ends flights from McNary Field after less then a year of service. However, Sale is moving forward with plans to expand the terminal and lengthen the runway. Lottery dollars will help pay the $4.75 million improvements.
  • Barack Obama has a town hall meeting at the Armory during his campaign for president: Bill Clinton speaks at Chemeketa Community College less than a week later, and returned twice more, on behalf of his wife's campaign. Hillary Clinton answers the phone in her Reed Opera House campaign headquarters: Senator Obama visits the Iris Fair in Keizer.
  • The red-light camera system goes into effect at two of the city's most dangerous intersections: Mission at 25th street and Commercial at Marion Street. If a car passes over the sensor after the light has turned red, a video is taken to record the vehicle's license-plate number. That information is forwarded to the police.
  • Fire guts the governor's ceremonial office in the Capitol and damages the building. This brought back memories of the two previous fires that destroyed our Capitols in 1857 and 1935.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Salem in 2007

World events
  • Housing boom unravels with mortgage banking crisis; gas prices rise.
  • Virginia Tech shooter kills 33 persons on campus.
  • Last Harry Potter book is published; iPhone is introduced.
In Salem
Toe Salem developers, Larry Tokarski and Dan Berrey, purchase the industrial site occupied for 46 years by Boise Cascade's paper-converting plant. Bisected by Pringle Creek, with Commercial Street to the east and the Willamette River to the west, adjacent to Riverfront Park, this is prime land for the redevelopment encouraged by the ULI representatives last year. The prospects for this $7.25 million investment depend on the outcome of environmental studies (considering the past contamination of the land and water) and rezoning the property for mixed-use development.
To the left in the wintertime photograph above, the 1926 Fry Warehouse looks like a fortress, rising behind Eco-Earth. The main body of the plant is in the center of the picture and above Pringle Creek, which emerges into the slough of the Willamette River at this sand bar location. The section of the plant to the right, in the distance behind the orange towers, is another structure on the site of the old mill building. Unseen is the railroad track running along the structures in this side.

When you visit
By 2012, there were substantial changes. The Fry Warehouse is gone, the first structure to be demolished, with Mayor Taylor punching out the first block of concrete with a wrecking crane. Also in 2009, the main structure fell until only the substantial building south of the creek remained. The northern section will have new buildings for retail business and offices, restaurants, condos and other purposes. The site south of the creek will possibly be retained as a parking garage due the strength of the construction. Of great interest are two public-use features of the future: one is "daylighting" the creek by removing all but the railroad crossing so a pedestrian path can lead from the Civic Center Park, under the Commercial Street Bridge and to the slough; the other is a bridge from near the Eco-Earth to Minto Brown Island. Due to economic conditions, no new business or housing construction has been accomplished, but Pringle Creek, running between the cement walls of the old industrial plant, is now visible from west of the Commercial Street bridge to the Willamette River with only the railroad track suspended above. The muchanticipated walkway from the southeast corner of Trade and Commercial to Riverfront Park, passing under the bridge, will be the next project. Bridge reconstruction and alteration began in the summer of 2012.

Other events
  • Bill Wingett, a resident of the Sunnyslope neighborhood, returns to the European battle sites in May of this year as a guide for a historical project. A veteran of World War II, he is a former member of the celebrated Band of Brothers, the 101th Airborne Division of the US Army, recently honored in a TV mini-series based on the book by Steven Ambrose.
  • Air service returns to McNary Field with Delta offering twice-daily flights between Salem and Salt Lake City.
  • Marion County lost its first deputy in the line of duty when Kelly James Fredinburg, 33, headed to Gervais to assist police, siren and lights running, is struck by a car that unexpectedly pulled into his lane on Highway 99E. He died at the scene of the crash as well as a passenger in the other car. The other driver survived, critically injured. More than 1000 people filled the Salem Armory for his memorial service.
  • The Vision 2020 Action Plan, originated by City staff and 3500 involved residents, aims to revitalize downtown into a vibrant community gathering place and a magnet for visitors. Committees organized this year will work to realize the concepts of the program and will make quarterly progress reports.
  • The land-use conflicts continued with Measure 49 that left owners confused about which set of rules apply to projects they filed under the 2004 property-compensation law, Measure 37. The new measure limits the number of houses built on prime farm and forest land, but projects underway may have "vested rights" to proceed.
  • Salem's oldest resident, Luella Patton Charlton, died on December 23, just a 7 weeks before her 110th birthday. Luella was born in 1898 in her family's Cooke-Patton mansion on Court Street (demolished in 1938 for the construction of the State Library). Her great-grandfather (who built the house) was an early Salem steamboat owner and merchant, her grandfather was a US consul in Japan and her father and uncle, Cooke and Hal Patton, were prominent in Salem political and business life. After her marriage in 1925, she and her husband built a home on 23rd Street where she lived the rest of her life. The couple had one son; Luella became a widow in 1959. She read widely, kept up with the news on TV, generously entertained friends, enjoyed humor in conversation and was a beloved neighbor. Luella was possessed of a sharp intellect and invested wisely in the stock market: she owned original issues of Coca-Cola stock and remarked with a smile that they had "split many times". Luella was a treasury of historical year-old facts about Salem families, businesses and state institutions (Gov. Chamberlain rented a room in her family's home in 1903 while serving in Salem). She is the last of the Pattons to be buried in the family mausoleum in Pioneer Cemetery.