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

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Salem in 1878

World Events
  • In London, Scotland Yard is established; Gilbert and Sullivan musicals are great successes.
  • Chinese migration, in response to the demand for cheap labor, reaches 120,000.
  • An epidemic of Yellow Fever takes 14,000 lives in the Mississippi Valley and Gulf Coast.
  • Albert Pope transforms a sewing machine company into one that makes the new "bicycles".
In Salem
The structure of the United Methodist Church in Salem represents the original motivation of settlement not only in Oregon and the Willamette Valley, but also in Salem itself. Under the guidance of Jason Lee, missionaries first arrived in the northwest in 1834. By 1840, the mission site (near the present Wheatland Ferry) had proved unsuitable and the mission began its move 10 miles upriver to the Salem site. In 1841 the Methodist missionaries moved their worship services to the Oregon Institute (now the site of Willamette University). By 1852, on the State Street site where the church is today, they were able to build a small wooden church that was dedicated by Alvin Waller. (This building later had other uses and was moved to another location. It was photographed in 1909 when it was on Liberty Street.) In 1871, the congregation had outgrown their church and they began a Gothic brick sanctuary at the same State Street location.
Even with a national depression, the Salem Methodists were successful in their monumental building effort. Local architect Wilbur F. Boothby, who also assisted in the design of the Oregon State Hospital, Bush House, the Marion County Courthouse and other downtown buildings, supervised the construction that cautiously featured a sanctuary on the second floor because of past floods. The church is completed in this year.

When you visit
The United Methodist Church has had alterations and improvements. The sanctuary was remodeled in 1953 to add a chancel rose window, new altar, pulpit, pews, and an Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ.
185-foot wooden spire, which makes the church the tallest building in Salem, was replaced in 1984. In 2000, the organ acquired its full rank of pipes.
The church is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and
is featured on the route of our self-guided "Salem in Oregon History" walking tour on this web/blog. An extensive archive is maintained on site and in the Micah Building to the east. Tours are available by appointment. For more information, call 503-364-6709.

Micah Building was originally the Elks Club, built in 1925 and occupied by that fraternal organization until 1993 when the church purchased it. Before the Elks Club was built, this property had been the home site of the Werner Breyman residence built before 1871. When the site was purchased for the Elks, the residence was moved around the corner onto Cottage Street, remodeled into apartments and since demolished.
Standing at that corner today, looking north across Cottage Street, one can see the 1904 Breyman Brothers Spanish American War Memorial. Both brothers could gaze on the memorial from their front porches: Eugene Breyman's home was one block north, across the Post Office lawn (now the area to the east of the State Executive Building), at Court and Cottage Streets.

Other Events
  • In this year, T. M. Gatch's unexpired term is completed by G. W. Gray
  • Abigail Scott Duniway, women's rights advocate, is presiding over a Women's Suffrage Convention at the Reed Opera House where the ladies are planning to take their demands to the state legislature.
  • Asahel Bush has bought out his business partner, William Ladd, to become sole owner and president of Ladd and Bush Bank. Hoping to be selected by the legislature to represent Oregon in the US Senate, he travels to Washington, representing the Democrats, to testify in the two-year contested election between Samuel Tilden and Rutherford Hayes. The Republican, Hayes, wins the presidency and James Slater of Corvallis becomes senator.
  • The State of Oregon appropriates funds for a library in Salem. The books were collected in a series of locations, including the State House, until the present structure was built in 1939.
  • Oregon State fairgoers this summer were invited to see two of the latest inventions, Thomas Edison's gramophone and Alexander Graham Bell's telephone.  However, it not be until 1884 that a limited telephone service was introduced to Salem when the phone was first used by the Capital Journal newspaper about the business of collecting news. 
  • The Adolph house on State Street (above) is completed with Sam and Lottie Adolph as the first owners. Mr. Adolph was secretary-treasurer of Rostein and Adolph, Inc., a property and casualty insurance company formed in 1931 by Mr. Adolph and his brother-in-law, Mr. Rostein. Lottie Adolph resided here on the 5-acre estate as a widow and was followed by her son-in-law, Isadore Greenbaum. In the early 1950s the house passed into their son David's ownership. It is now a professional office building and is listed on the National Register of Historic Properties.

No comments: