SHINE is a look backward from the present to Salem's 1860 charter. In each year we have four sections: glimpses of what was happening around the world, a special event in Salem, what you see when you visit that site today, and other Salem events of interest that year.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Imagine the wonderful Willamette view we will have as we walk across this historic Union Street Railroad Bridge when the walking/biking restoration is complete!
The weather has delayed some of the construction activities the last few weeks, but we are anticipating an Opening Ceremony in late February. Friends of Two Bridges (this includes the projected Minto-Brown Bridge) is a committee dedicated to the completion and maintenance of these projects. For more information or to make a donation, contact Hazel Patton at 503-581-4939 or email her at

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The barn of the Leslie family was the oldest structure on the Bush property before it burned in the 1960s. Rebuilt and used by Salem Art Association for offices, art gallery and gift shop, it is a valuable part of our Salem heritage. Here it is, open for business, through our recent Christmas holiday.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Becoming Historic

Here is Ron Cooper's beautiful portrait of Deepwood Estate as it looks in weather like we are having now. It is one of our most popular historic properties for both visitors and residents.

Our December SHN newsletter, posted today, describes how local properties may qualify for historic designation and explains the necessary Design Review by our Historic Landmarks Commission before external alterations are made to these properties.

Tell us about your Salem historic property or your experience in local historic preservation.

Friday, December 12, 2008

SHINE on Salem

In early 2010 the city of Salem will be 150 years old. Instead of celebrating the day a charter was signed, let’s recognize events and people that have shaped our civic life as Salem developed during this whole century and a half.
Selecting a 150 day period during our beautiful months of April through October, let’s bring attention to one (or more) historical occasions of each calendar day in either business, civic institution, church, school or family life. This special recognition could be part of a routine public occasion: a sign in the business window downtown, an open house at a historic property, a mention during a elementary school activity or high school music performance, a recollection during a church service, an artist’s exhibit, visiting a neighborhood different from one’s own or taking an interpreted walk through one of our parks.
The list of activities would be published in the Statesman Journal, TravelSalem and Chamber of Commerce newsletters, on city and historical, cultural or educational institution websites. It could develop into a Scavenger Hunt for clues all over town. It might result in a historical document. (There is no written history of this remarkable city ~ isn’t that amazing?)
Employing low-cost, citywide and all-inclusive activities in a format similar to this, there are endless opportunities in 2010 to honor Salem’s past, celebrate life here today and anticipate future opportunities. And we have a whole year to plan it. What do you think? Please comment.

Christmas Open House Tour

This Sunday about 18 houses in the Court Chemeketa Residential Historic District will be open from 1-5 for Christmas touring and cheer. Here's what our house on Court Street looked like in 1985, and the snow gets us in the mood for the big storm heading for us this weekend!!

Touring starts at St. John's Lutheran Church at 1350 Court Street (built 1949-53) where you can get the list of open houses and, if you are so inclined, make a donation of either food or cash to the Marion/Polk Food Bank. The tour is free, but there are a lot of hungry mouths to feed in our community this Christmas.

Many home owners will be displaying their own artwork so come tour and see quilts, chair caning, botanical drawings, paintings, and much much more!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Carol Smith shared this historic State Street post card with us. It was taken before two prominent buildings were lost to fire ~ the Oregon Capitol in 1935 (in the left distance) and the Guardian Building in 1947 (to the right forefront).

Monday, December 8, 2008

Historical photos

Do you have a favorite historical photograph? Share it here! Please post some old photographs, perhaps of your family, and share with SHN blog readers.

If you don't have a scanner, bring your photos to Virginia or Stephanie, and we will scan them for you.

At left is a photo of my Great Grandmother (in white), along with 2 of my Great-Great Grandmothers, and also my Great-Great-Great Grandmother!

Friday, December 5, 2008

A new office building is almost complete at the corner of 12th and Court Streets. John Griffith, who has lived in that neighborhood for all his 80 years remembered another structure there many years ago. Here it is: the home of Judge John Scott. Does anyone know more about this house or the family?

Monday, November 10, 2008

View East on Court Street, ca. 1912

Here's a view from the top of the former State Capitol building. The street on the left is Court Street and on the right is State Street. The Supreme Court building is under construction in the lower right and you can see the outline of a house that was moved still in the ground on the lower left. That house was moved to our neighborhood and still stands on 17th Street.

The old capitol building stood on Waverly Street and provided a great place to go to photograph the neighborhood. Most of that neighborhood is now included in the Court Chemeketa Residential Historic District (CCRHD to the locals).