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

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Salem in 1908

World Events
  • Union of South Africa established.
  • Sentiment against Chinese labor in America grows.
  • Henry Ford introduces the Model T, the first affordable and automobile.
  • Fountain pens become popular.
In Salem
The Oregon Electric Railway runs between Portland and Salem with a terminus at the Hubbard Building on the corner of High and State Streets (as seen above) in the hub of our city. A block to the north is the City Hall. The Grand Hotel, the Grand Theater and the Marion County Courthouse are just steps away. One block to the east is the First Methodist Church and the Post Office. Beyond that are Willson Park, the State House and Willamette University. Truly, this is the center of the city. There are 35 daily trips, each taking an hour and a half and costing twenty-five cents.

When you visit
The building remains, painted a light color. The Grand Hotel Annex and Theater are still there. Gone are the City Hall, the classic Courthouse, the Post Office and the State House of those years. The trains and even the rails are also gone: victims of the Depression years and the growing convenience of the automobile. The trains stopped running in 1935 and the rails were gradually removed. In 1972, the final Trade Street rails were dug out for the new Civic Center and improvements to Willamette University campus.

Other events
  • Local boy, A. C. Gilbert, wins an Olympic Gold medal. He qualified for the 1908 Olympics in London, but his victory there was disappointing. After a controversy with the judges about his use of a pole of his own invention, he used the same pole as his rival, E. T. Cooke - and still won. However, the judges ruled that Cooke had reached the same height in the preliminaries, and that the two should share the medal. Cooke graciously let Gilbert have the medal which was presented to him by Queen Alexandria of England.
The Chinese float in the annual Cherry City Parade
  • The local Chinese community, active in Salem life, enter a float in the annual Cherry Festival Parade.
  • Eaton Hall is built on the Willamette University Campus. This classroom building was built with a $50,000 grant from Mr. A.E. Eaton, the owner of Union Woolen Mills.
 
The Gottlob and Wilhelmina Pade House
  • On 15th Street, the Pade House is built by Gottlob and Wilhelmena Pade, recent immigrants. This was also home for their son, Bernhardt, a partner in Simon and Pade grocery store. He operated Pade’s Market until retirement 1965. After his death in 1975, his widow, Leona, lived here until 1985. She was well known for her garden of rare plants. This Local Landmark is also in the NEN neighborhood.
Walter and Grace Gerth House in West Salem
  • Another 1908 house to become a Local Landmark is the Gerth House. Walter and Grace Gerth operated their Edgewater Street store for 35 years, from 1911 to 1946. During this time he served several terms as mayor of West Salem, built the first two-story commercial building in West Salem, started the first grocery delivery and loaned the city money to pay its bills.
  • An ornamental concrete block house is built at 1724 Chemeketa Street using Sears Modern Home Plan #52. This year the Sears catalog had 8 pages advertising machines that could stamp out blocks that were "cheap, quick and practical" building materials. This house was probably built by C. B. Stone, who had purchased the lot in 1907 and was listed in the City Directory of 1909-10 as a "cement worker" with a next-door address as his residence. See it in the Court-Chemeketa Walking Tour.
  • The Oregon State Institution for the Feeble Minded opens in December. Renamed as Fairview Training Center, it continued as a Salem institution until its closing in 2000. A 1920s photograph shows the LeBreton Cottage (the 1908 administration building), the 1919 Hoff Cottage and the 1910 Chamberlain Cottage. All were, despite their names, sizable buildings resembling hospitals.
From the Capitol Journal:
  • Spectators pronounced the fistfight witnessed on State Street in front of the Spa as "one of the finest". Even the street car stopped to allow combatants, who were slugging it out in the mud along the tracks, to continue their battle.
  • W. B. Gibson, who had operated a barber shop at 147 Commercial Street for the past three years, moved to a larger and more elegant quarters at 364 State Street. His new shop would be one of the largest outside Portland with 11 chairs, two suites of bathrooms and club and card rooms in the basement.
  • This newspaper advertized for a carrier boy on a route that required he own and ride a pony.
(See Ben Maxwell's Salem, Oregon, edited by Scott McArthur, 2006)

Salem in 1907

World Events
  • Hendrick Baekeland produces the first plastic (synthetic polymer) that is produced as Bakelite.
  • Japanese are barred from immigrating to the US.
  • Rasputin gains power in the Russian court.
  • Mother's Day is established.
Mary Bowerman graduation
In Salem
At Willamette University Medical School, Mary Bowerman was the lone female in a class of five and the butt of their “rather vulgar jokes." The dissecting shed, down near the millrace at the rear of the university grounds was on a “short cut” to town and featured many a knothole in its walls. There was often an audience to observe the gloveless, collidion-dosed, black muslin-gowned students, surgical instruments in hand, making tentative incisions on the cadavers. In 1907, as the wife of Ellis Purvine, she began a medical practice in Salem, specializing in obstetrics.
Dr. Mary Bowerman Purvine in 1954

When you visit
There is no memorial in Salem to Oregon's first female physician or to her medical service to our community. In 1954, to commemorate her half-century in the medical profession, the University of Oregon Medical School Alumni Association recognized Mary for her fifty years “of service and sacrifice to the alleviation of human suffering.”
Her family included two daughters and a son who became a doctor himself. Dr. Ralph Purvine lived on Fairmount Avenue in the historic Cross House, for many years the home of Mary Purvine's granddaughter. This is a National Register property in the SCAN neighborhood.

Other Events
  • G. F. Rogers became mayor this year and was "King Bing" of the 1913 Salem Cherry Festival.
  • On April 12, one of Salem's pioneers and most distinguished citizens and jurist, Reuben P. Boise dies. A Pioneer Cemetery record has printed his professional biography. In part, it recalls the young lawyer coming to Salem in 1857 and that "many years his home was there in the winter and on the farm in the summer. He was ever in the market to buy any land that joined his farm so at the time of his death he owned many acres in the Ellendale section.
    In 1851 Judge Boise was united in marriage to Miss Ellen F. Lyon, who died December 6, 1865, leaving three children, "Fisher A., Reuben P., Jr., and Whitney L. The last two named are still living. Mrs. Boise was a daughter of Lemuel Lyon, a Boston merchant, who went to California in the early '50s and came to Oregon about 1854, locating at Independence, where he built the second store building and the first grain warehouse in the town...
    "On December 27, 1866, Judge Boise was married to Emily A. Pratt, who died March 26, 1919. She was a native of Webster, Massachusetts, and a daughter of Ephraim Pratt, a manufacturer of that state. To this union were born two daughters: Sarah Ellen, who died August 5, 1891; and Mrs. Maria Boise Lauterman, now residing in Salem."
  • The Paulus Building on Court Street replaces the Sung Lung Chinese laundry, demolished along with other Chinese businesses. The present building was constructed to provide space for a single retail establishment selling furniture. In 1931 Paulus separated the space: Doughton's Hardware occupied the west end of the building for almost sixty years (1934-1991). The Christopher Paulus family home, built in 1892, recently restored, is on Church Street in the Grant neighborhood.
  • The Local Landmark known as the Christensen House is built on property owned by Curtis Chatfield, a fruit grower. It is best known as the home of Harold and Cora Christensen in the 1920s and 30s; Mr. Christensen was a driver for the Oregon Bakery Company. It is a Local Landmark in the present Highland neighborhood.
Daue House as it appears today
  • On Saginaw Street, a large two and one-half story Craftsman bungalow was designed and built in 1907-8 by Alexander Daue. The house retains much of its original organization and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. It was purchased by the Assistance League of Salem in 1987 and now contains a shop and offices of other league charitable programs. See 1992 photograph of the house. Alexander, his brother Louis and son Elmer owned a successful merchandise store on Commercial Street.
  • Salem Heights Elementary School is built south of Salem. It was established on land purchased from Phil Thomas. A photograph shows the location in 1914. In 1930 the original school was torn down and rebuilt. The many activities of the early years are described in the 1997 booklet published by the school on its 90th anniversary. When the new building was erected in 1930, the school bell was moved to the Community Hall. It was been returned to the school and reinstalled for the school’s 100th anniversary celebration in the spring of 2007. The school is in the South Salem neighborhood.
  • The residence known as the Justice Rossman House is built on Capitol Street. This Colonial style residence still has many original features including the hardwood floors, two fireplaces and 9 1/2 foot ceilings. This handsome home was purchased by George Rossman in 1928, a year after he was appointed to the Oregon Supreme Court. He served as Chief Justice (1947-9) and retired in 1965. It has been refurbished for use as offices and is designated as a Local Landmark in the Grant neighborhood.
  • Built this year at the northwest corner of High and Oak streets, is the Italianate residence of Emma Hughes, the widow of John Hughes, a prominent local merchant. Emma was the daughter of Virgil Pringle and his wife, Pherne Brown, and the granddaughter of Rev. Clark Brown and his wife Tabitha Moffatt. Virgil Pringle was an 1848 pioneer in Salem who took a land claim surrounding the Creek that was named for him. It is possible that Virgil Pringle's home was near the one built this year by his daughter and her husband. No evidence remains of that early residence and Emma's home was demolished after her death for the 1929 construction of the Spanish Colonial residence of Daniel B. Jarman. The original land grant of Virgil Pringle may only be surmised: it might have included the land between Trade and Mission streets where he is now remembered with Pringle Creek and Pringle Plaza. By this year when Emma's house was built, the 1859 Rural Gothic residence of Showalter Smith, across High Street, once the center of Salem social and political events, had been purchased by Daniel Fry. Neighborhood children knew this area as Rattlesnake Hill.
  • Edmond S Meany wrote that in July of this year, when he was visiting the reservations of Siouan tribes with Edward S. Curtis, Mrs. Clark, wife of the Episcopalian missionary at Rosebud, announced that there was a very old lady in the village who would like to meet the historian from the Oregon country. They started for the home of Dr. E. J. De Bell, who for twenty- three years has been a physician and trader at Rosebud. In this time his aged aunt, Sarah DeBell Frost Beggs was spending the last years of her long and eventful life. She was perhaps the last survivor of the Willamette Mission community.
  • Downtown Salem streets are beginning to be paved.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Salem in 1906

World Events
  • San Francisco earthquake and fire.
  • US Marines occupy Cuba after revolt against the government.
  • "Allergy" is introduced as medical term.
In Salem
Prune orchards brought prosperity to the south Liberty Street, Sunnyside and Rosedale areas. After being gathered, fruit was taken to dryers to be washed and stacked in trays. The prune drier closest to downtown Salem was located in the Candalaria area, where the Falk family had a prune orchard. Another orchard and drier was near the Hilfiker's orchard. Between 1905 and 1930, nearly seventy driers could be found within a radius of about 2 1/2 miles from Liberty and Reese Hill Road. The driers (see above) were barn structures with furnaces. Many of the driers were near springs; otherwise a well had to be dug for water and power used to pump it.
This was the area of the Smith Donation Land Claim, purchased by Ferdinand Ewall and developed as Ewall Fruit Farms, located at the south end of the Commercial Street Car line. Fred Thompson purchased the northern section of the Smith land for his Salem Heights development. Because the buildings south of Salem Heights were so few, it was called "String Town."

When you visit
By 1982, housing developments had taken over most of the land formerly used for prune orchards. This is now an established residential area of Salem with businesses along Commercial Street. However, as late as 1935, when the State House burned, Candalaria was still such a rural area that there was consideration of reconstructing the Capitol building there on the heights.
There are at least four historical residential properties still in their original location in this South Salem neighborhood, all but one are still private homes. The 1878 Falk House is probably one of the oldest and, in spite of many exterior alterations, has been designated as a Local Landmark. In 1909, the Boot family purchased a home on Birdshill Drive. The original 1901 farmhouse has also been remodeled and the property divided so it now contains a fraction of its acres as a prune orchard. In 1905, Fred Thompson built a residence for his parents on Liberty Street. The structure has had many uses since that time, including as The House of Design and is now a popular business location as McMenamin's Thompson Brewery and Public House. On Mountain View Road, another home that once within an orchard is the one associated with the Calaba family.

Other Events

  • A photograph taken this year from the State House roof shows Willson Park and downtown looking toward the Willamette River. This was a popular site for early photographers seeking an aerial view, especially of the residential neighborhood to the north and looking west toward downtown from tower of this prominent capitol structure. Foreground, old Bandstand. The Post Office is the nearest building in the center with Marion County Courthouse just beyond. The Odd Fellows building is to the right. Methodist Church to left.
  • The Vaudette Theater in the Wagner Building on Court Street brought the earliest movies to Salem.
  • Two prominent constructions in downtown are the Ada and Mark Skiff Block with its Queen Anne feature and /Meyers D'Arcy buildings.
  • On Court Street the Constable House is completed. It replaced an earlier 1870s structure, probably built by James Joseph, and may incorporate elements of the original dwelling. In 1902, it was sold to Charles O. and Sarah E. Constable for the amount of $1,650. The residence is now in the Court-Chemeketa Historic Residential District in the NEN neighborhood and is featured in the SHINE slide show walking tour of that district.
  • East of town, in the present SESNA neighborhood, Mr. Potter, a carpenter, constructs a fine, two-story residence. Divided into apartments many years ago, it has recently been renovated to its former dignity.
Photo of early pioneer graves used by courtesy of Elisabeth Walton Potter
  • Jason Lee's body is interred in Salem's Lee Mission Cemetery with the same gravestone as the original burial site in Canada. The cemetery was established in 1854 on the land grant to Methodist missionary wife, Elizabeth Winn Parrish. The first burial while it was family property (1842) was of Jason Lee's second wife, Lucy Thompson Lee, who died in childbirth in Salem's first residential structure of Salem (now the Jason Lee House, relocated to Willamette Heritage Center). At about the same time, the remains of Anna Maria Pittman Lee, his first wife and their child who died at birth were re-interred here. Their 1838 burial had been at Mission Bottom, the first settlement location approximately ten miles upstream along the Willamette River, but due to flooding the site had been abandoned in favor of Chemeketa (Salem).
From the Capitol Journal:
  • Claude Barker, a young religious enthusiast in North Salem who went for 34 days without food and only occasionally sipping hot water, broke his fast by eating popcorn and canned tomatoes. During his fast, his weight dropped from 180 to 130 pounds.
  • This newspaper defined the Fourth of July as "patriotism expressed in noise". It also stated "With vaudeville and the city council, Salem people will not lack for amusement this summer."
  • The Board of Trustees of Willamette University ruled that hereafter no faculty member would be allowed to become unduly active in local politics. Removal of W/ P. Drew, professor of Latin and Greek, had settled the issue. Professor Drew had been active in agitation to close Salem saloons.
  • The Capitol Journal listed these Salem owners of automobiles: Charley Stege, H. B. Thielsen, H. S. Gile, John Maurer, T. A. Livesley, Dr. O. B. Miles, Joseph Albert, George Graves, Jack Peterson, C. I. Kurtz and George Pearce.
  • Wong Him, prosperous merchant in Salem's Chinatown, was much troubled. His beautiful wife of Oriental origin had fallen victim to the seductive wiles of Lee Foo, Chinese fan tan gambler. Lee Foo, described as a "dandy", had departed to points unknown with Mr. Him.
(See Ben Maxwell's Salem, Oregon, edited by Scott McArthur, 2006)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Salem in 1905

World Events
  • Einstein publishes his "Special Theory of Relativity".
  • Tsar Nicholas II faces rebellion in Russia.
  • Rayon yard is manufactured.
In Salem
The school board authorizes Salem's first high school, built on the block bounded by Marion & Center Streets and High & Church Streets. Central School, originally at that location, was moved for the new construction. The modern, rectangular stone building had a system that circulated air in the classrooms every 6 minutes. It had 16 large classrooms, a library, and laboratories. In the basement were restrooms, a furnace room and a bicycle room. This year the third floor held an unfinished gym, assembly hall and stage. These rooms were eventually finished, with the gym and assembly hall completed in Italian style d├ęcor. Salem High School was dedicated in ceremonies held on the evening of January 1, 1906.

When you visit
The school was razed in 1954 to make way for Meier and Frank Department Store (now Macy's) in our urban center.

Other events
  • Mrs. John Albert (Mary) dies after injuries in one of Salem's first automobile accidents according to Pioneer Cemetery records of her death and funeral.  She was the daughter of pioneers, Joseph and Almira Phelps Holman, and mother of noted photographer, Myra Albert Wiggins. "The machine which was responsible for the accident was that of J. H. Albert, and, as Mr. Albert explains, the disaster was due to toe water, and, consequently, steam, having become exhausted while the car was climbing the steep incline leading to the old Rynearson rock quarry. When the car stopped and began to run back, Mr. Albert saw what was about to happen, and he applied the emergency brake, which refused to work, and he then steered the machine upon the uphill side of the road which it mounted and rolled over upon its side, precipitating the occupants... into the rocky road." Although the injuries did not seem life-threatening, she died four days later.
  • The Calaba farm home is built on Mountain View Drive in the present South Salem neighborhood. Twenty years later, in 1926, this property was still outside the city and was listed as the home of Anna and Frank Calaba. Jerry Calaba, their son, grew up on this farm and later showed neighbors the location of the former old barn and well. He lived here until 1974. His brother Rudy was a prominent Salem realtor with Ohmart and Calaba. In 1977, City View Cemetery purchased the property and has since rented it. It is in the South Salem neighborhood.
  • Grace Breckenridge, the original owner of a 1905 Elm Street bungalow in West Salem, worked for nearly 40 years as a bookkeeper for the State Board of Control, retiring in 1956. When she died in January 1965, her will revealed that all but $2,000 of her $23,000 estate was bequeathed to the State of Oregon. The balance was to be used to buy an organ for the House of Representatives. The new organ was ordered and received in August 1965. This organ is still in place today and is played at the governor's inaugural ceremonies. The property is a designated Local Landmark.
  • John Reynolds and his wife Mary build a home on the southeast corner of North Liberty and Hickory Streets. Reynolds was Dean of the Willamette University Law School 1902-7. Later owners were Harriet Chenoweth and her husband, farmers; John Stapleton, co-owner of Stapleton and Cummings Grocery; L. R. Peebles, a carpenter, who owned it between 1911-19. He may have built the building in the rear that appears to have been used to develop photographic film. This Local Landmark is in the Highland neighborhood.
Collins-Byrd House

  • A Queen Anne/Eastlake style house, built by George Collins in 1887, is moved this year. Its second owner, Dr. William H. Byrd, has it transported on rollers from its original location at corner of Court and Church Streets to its present location on the corner of Chemeketa and 14th Streets. Dr. Byrd gave the house to his son Clarence in 1921 as a wedding present. Clarence Byrd's daughter, Winifred Byrd, who lived there as a child, left Salem to become an internationally acclaimed musician. She received high praise as a concert pianist from Walter Damrosch, conductor of the New York Symphony, who called her "the feature of the concert and one that will not easily be forgotten. She seemed a fairy figure, clothed in a unique shade of blue, with an air and profile delightfully childlike, but an intensity and remarkable fire and passion in her playing." Winifred's niece, Martha Byrd Blau lived in the house for many years. The property contributes to the Court-Chemeketa Historic Residential District in NEN neighborhood and is featured on that slide show walking tour on this website.
From the Capitol Journal:
  • Salem police again raided bawdyhouse row on peppermint Flat. (So-called because this section of downtown Ferry Street was along Pringle Creek where peppermint flourished.) E. E. N. was again arrested for frequenting a house of ill fame. Professor H. H. D. who beat out the melody on the piano in one of the houses, was taken into custody after argument and festive Fanny D. was arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct.
  • Small boys and those old enough to know better are hanging around the S. P. depot to spend their time catching rides on freight trains.  Every day at noon and after school large numbers of boys between 10 and 18 years of age can be seen loitering around the tracks.
  • Dr. W. L. Mercer bought the Knerr property on Summer Street a few months ago and is now putting up a modern residence. The doctor is living on the property in a tent but is wide-awake and has a telephone number on the canvas.
(See Ben Maxwell's Salem, Oregon, edited by Scott McArthur, 2006)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Salem in 1904

World Events
  • Russian fleet destroyed in war with Japan.
  • Louisiana Purchase Exhibition World Fair is open all year in St. Louis, Missouri.
  • US Army engineers continue work begun by France on the Panama Canal.
In Salem
The Breyman Brothers Fountain is erected on Cottage Street at the western edge of Willson Park. The cast-iron statue and fountain were designed as a memorial to the soldiers of Spanish-American War. Because of its practical function in its early years, it became widely known as the "Breyman Horse Trough" (there is also a lower basin for dogs on the opposite side). From the Breyman brothers' residences, both near Cottage on State and Court Streets, they could see the fountain from their front porches. Their sister Louisa Waite, from her residence at the Winter and State Street corner, could admire it as well.

When you visit


The State House of this photograph burned in 1935 and was replaced with the present Capitol, facing north and in a different architectural style. At the fountain, you will notice the statue and lamps, originally bolted to the top, have been lost: a descendant of the family thinks this section fell off and then was melted down for the World War II scrap metal effort. The Breyman Brothers Fountain was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989. Werner Breyman's residence was to the south, at the corner of Cottage and State Streets ~ the Micah Building is there now. Eugene Breyman's residence was to the north at the corner of Court and State Street ~ that, too, is gone. The area between their homes was at the rear of the old Post Office and they could see each other's house across the expanse of lawn.

Other events
  • Frank W. Waters becomes mayor. In November of this year, the mayor persuaded the Salem City Council to grant the Salem Woman's Club the use of the east end of the city council chamber for a library, "provided it should not cost the council anything."
  • Chinatown, on the east side of Liberty between Court and State Street, is razed after having been condemned by the city because of concerns for health and safety. The community continues for another twenty years along the west side of High Street between State and Ferry Streets.
  • A house is built on Chemeketa Street family property for Elizabeth Watt, daughter of Joseph. After her death in 1925, the house was involved in the lawsuit to restore it to her heirs. This NEN neighborhood property still contains Garland Hollowell's greenhouse, built for his beautiful garden of 31 years (1936-67).
  • On Garden Road (now Market Street), the Harris family builds a residence using the plan of a house the family had in Idaho. The home site had been a part of the John Baker Donation Land Claim and a later purchase by the Harrises increased their farm to 20 acres extending to the fairgrounds. Mr. Harris was one of the first farmers to raise Angora goats in Salem. After the deaths of Mr. and Mrs. Harris, the house became the home of their daughter, Minnie, and her husband Emil Graber. Mrs. Graber continued to live in the house into the 1950s. This NEN neighborhood house is now a Local Landmark.
Alford-Bartleson House
  • A turn-of-the-century farmhouse, now almost downtown, is the Alford/Bertleson house on Leffelle Street in the SCAN neighborhood. This rural frame residence was built by Michael Alford, and then became the home of John Bertleson and Jessie from 1922 to 1934. He was a well-known local printer. Of note are the stone chimney, veranda porch and multilevel, steeply pitched gable roofs. It is a Local Landmark.
  • Across from the Eyre residence, a home now only known as "Grandmother's House" is built on 21st. Street. Many of the most prominent Salem families lived in this area of Salem at this time, but the owners during the first thirty years in the life of this house are unknown. By 1958 Fannie G. Diamit was living here. Her granddaughter remembers the house well. In 1991 a family with three daughters moved here, also enjoying happy memories of this home. Additions have been made to the rear of the house, but the front has remained essentially the same architecturally. Of special interest is the decorative metal frieze lining the roofline of this porch. It is in the SESNA neighborhood.
From the Capitol Journal:
  • "Hundreds of Salemites go to the 4:20 Sunday afternoon train to see a friend off. That is Salem's Sunday theater."
  • Labor Commissioner O. P. Hoff compiled a list of occupations in Marion County. There were 53 attorneys, one architect, 202 carpenters, 43 doctors, 2,607 farmers and farmhands, 230 merchants, 5 photographers, 55 stage employees, 57 saloon keepers, 6 electricians and 1 peanut roaster.
  • A local ad for Made in Salem stated that La Corona cigars were like Republican election returns ~ they leave a good taste and pleasant memories.
  • Joseph Meyer & Son, proprietors of the White Corner and "home of good goods" introduced flashing red, white and blue electric lights as a December holiday attraction. This feature had not been seen in Salem.
  • George pierce, Salem hardware merchant, was seriously injured at McMinnville by an explosion of gasoline beneath his automobile. A quantity of gasoline was spilled beneath his Stanley Steamer, but appeared to have evaporated. When Pearce lit the automobile's burner, the explosion occurred. [Mr. Pearce survived the accident, dying suddenly in his store in 1912: the victim of a heart attack.]
(See Ben Maxwell's Salem, Oregon, edited by Scott McArthur, 2006)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Salem in 1903

World Events
  • The Wright Brothers fly at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
  • Henry Ford introduces his new Motor Company and the Wright Brothers fly in Kitty Hawk
  • Panama becomes independent and the United States is given authority over the Panama Canal.
  • Jack London publishes "Call of the Wild".
In Salem
The city welcomes President Roosevelt who speaks to our Legislature in the State House. In this photograph he is leaving as a group of top-hatted gentlemen walk along, Governor Chamberlain to his right. The local star of the day was our own soprano, Hallie Parrish Hinges, who sang the National Anthem for the thousands who were present to hear his speech. Her clear soprano, it was reported, could be heard as far away as the top of High Street hill eleven blocks away. President Roosevelt said to Governor Chamberlain, "She has one of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard. Have her sing again." Hallie responded by singing a favorite of the time, "The Flag Without a Stain," and soon the president wiped his eyes, asked for her name and said, "Truly, she is the Oregon Nightingale." This was the second time Hallie had sung for a president: she performed for Benjamin Harrison in 1891. In 1911, she gave her third presidential performance. Standing beside William Howard Taft in an open, touring car (surrounded by secret service men), she led a group of school children in serenading the top-hatted president on Court Street.
Mrs. Hinges was the granddaughter of Josiah Parrish, a Methodist missionary pioneer of the "Lausanne" party of reinforcements in 1840. He was noted for his work among the Indians to whom he was known as "the man of peace". He was awarded the one-mile square donation land grant that was the northeast section of the four-mile Salem distribution. The Lee Memorial Cemetery, where many pioneers are buried, was begun by his family on their land. His 1860s Capitol Street home (across from the school that honors his memory) was relocated to the A. C. Gilbert Discovery Village on Water Street in 1990 due to the construction of the Oregon State Archives. Hallie's parents were Norman O. Parrish and his wife Henrietta. She married Dr. Charles H. Hinges and had two children, Karl and George.

When you visit
If the popular "Teddy" left any other memento of his visit except this photograph, none is known. The State House burned in 1935 and has been replaced by a modern structure, unlike this classic building.
Governor Chamberlain, whose wife did not wish to leave her home in Portland, rented a room in the Cooke-Patton mansion across the street, now the site of the Oregon State Library. He resigned in 1909 when elected to the US Senate.
Long a favorite performer at Oregon vocal events, Hallie Hinges died in 1950 at the age of 82. A home associated with her family (and later Samuel Kimball) was at the SW corner of Chemeketa and Summer Streets. In 1938 it was removed due to construction for the State Library. It has since moved twice due to the expansion of the North Capitol Mall and is now at 1075 Capital Street, NE.

Other events
  • The city grows for the first time since its incorporation: annexations include all of the present Grant neighborhood, the south half of Highland, almost all of NEN, SESNA to about the present Airport Road to the east and SCAN to Rural Street on the south. The 5th, 6th and 7th wards are added, bringing the number of Aldermen to 14, two for each ward.
  • The first Cherry City parade is organized, sponsored by the Elks Club. Its lodge hall was the State Street structure that is now the Micah Building of the United Methodist Church. Agnes Gilbert was named Cherry Festival Queen. Fifty-three years later, as Mrs. B. O. Schucking, she became Salem's First Citizen.
  • A public library committee is formed with the first collection of books in a room of the City Hall.
  • The Queen Anne-styled Ada and Mark Skiff Block, just east of Liberty on Court Street, is completed. It will be used as commercial shops and offices, but not for the Skiff family. Dr. Lansing F. Skiff was one of the first dentists in the Far West, a so-called "circuit rider" of dentistry. He was also one of the first dentists in the United States to use a water motor in the in cleaning teeth. He founded the Oregon State Dental Society. His son, Mark, followed in this profession and reportedly set the first gold crown in Salem. Neither dentist practiced in the building. It is included in the SHINE Downtown walking tour.
Cole-Jewett House

  • At 1020 16th Street, a Queen Anne residence is built, probably by Vincent Cole. In 1911, the large, many gabled residence was purchased by George and Hattie Jewett who lived there for forty years with several other adults of their family. After the mid-forties, the property was subsequently sold to a succession of owners: Thomas and Frances Moisan, Mrs. Stella Ashton and Arnold and Mary Unger. Well maintained with its original architectural integrity, it stands in a mature landscape with other houses of similar age. It is an outstanding local Landmark in the NEN neighborhood.
Mystery House moved from Ferry Street to 17th in 1903
  • Another residence is moved in that neighborhood: from Ferry Street (directly behind the Methodist Church) to 17th Street. north of Mill Creek. A few years ago, a lady came to the house and said she (or perhaps her relatives) had lived in the house after its relocation here in 1903 when the owners placed it here and sub-divided the several acres around it ~ constructing the street that runs along the north side of the creek and selling lots for other houses.
    We hope the owner will continue research so we may learn the names of earlier owners of this house and its history.
    This may be the oldest residence in Salem.
  • South of the city, in the Ewald Fruit Farms (now 3915 Liberty Street South), a hilltop farmhouse is built among the orchards. It may have been on the Chapman land in the 1920s, but 1951 was the home of Robert D. Taylor and his wife Hope. He was president of the Salem Brake and Wheel Alignment Company. By 1976, he had retired and this was the last year his name appeared at this address. No other research has been done on this house that is now a rental.
  • The first automobile, an Oldsmobile, is brought to Salem by Otto J. Wilson.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Salem in 1902

World Events
  • The first Rose Bowl Game is played in Pasadena.
  • Scott is exploring toward the South Pole.
  • The Carnegie Institute is founded.

In Salem
Here are our mail carriers posing on the delivery side of the new Federal Post Office, located between Church and Cottages Streets, just behind the Marion County Courthouse. The lawn in this photograph is along Cottage Street. The City Hall may be seen to the right, on the south west corner of High and Chemeketa Streets.
Thirty years later, the Post Office was entirely covered in ivy. In 1938, when a new post office was planned, this structure was sold to Willamette University. The stone building, minus the ivy, was put on rollers and moved east on State Street to the campus where it was deposited on a corner near 12th Street. The move took six months.


In its new location, this beautiful Post Office building became Gatke Hall, named for a distinguished professor, Robert Moulton Gatke, author of "Chronicles of Willamette, the Pioneer University of the West." You see the front of the building here or as you pass it on the SHINE "Salem in Oregon History" Walking Tour.

Other Events
  • Salem's hop industry is booming: American Hop and Barley Co of London has an office in the Bayne Building. George Bayne had commissioned architect, William Christmas Knighton to design this building that has housed numerous retail stores and food-related business such a bakery and the Little King Restaurant. One of the most enduring is the OK Barber Shop in the western half of the ground floor: it preserves the history of the building with an appropriate atmosphere. This building is designated a Local landmark and is featured in the SHINE Downtown Walking Tour.
  • Thomas Cronise, one of Salem's most gifted photographers, opens a studio in the Bush-Breyman Building on Commercial Street. In 1882 he had arrived in Salem and opened his own print shop, however, an allergy to printer's ink eventually forced Cronise to quit the printing business. In 1892, Anna Louise, Cronise's sister, moved to Salem and introduced him to photography. By 1893, Anna had bought a photo studio at the corner of State and High Streets. Anna and Thomas Cronise hired a young photographer named Howard Trover, who married Anna. The Cronise upstairs studio had a back room where the usual array of photographic equipment, backdrops and props were located. But the room had a skylight that allowed diffused north light to provide the soft, natural illumination so essential to fine portraiture. Cronise died in 1927, and his wife Nellie operated the business until her passing in 1930. His son, Harry, operated the business until 1972.
  • The Fawk House is built on at 310 Lincoln Street on a prominent corner overlooking Lincoln and Fir Streets. It has a Dutch Colonial gambrel roof and a unique stone chimney that serves three rooms inside. Henry Fawk was a well-known contractor and livestock broker. Eventually, this was the boyhood home of Ross McIntyre, Surgeon General of the United States and physician to President Franklin Roosevelt. This SCAN neighborhood residence is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Ira and Hattie Erb House
  • Ira Erb came to Salem in 1890 from Ohio. He was a Civil War veteran and made his living as a carpenter. He met his wife, Hattie, after he arrived in Salem and they are recorded as living in their Queen Anne cottage on 19th Street home this year. He worked many years for various contractors, including Front Street businesses. He became a partner with Clarence Van Patton in a contracting business not far from home at 21st and Mill Streets. After she became a widow, Hattie Erb continued to live here alone until her own death in 1941. After forty years, this house was sold. It is now a Local Landmark in NEN neighborhood.
From the Capitol Journal:
  • A state law provided that unclaimed bodies from the asylum, penitentiary and poor farm be apportioned among the medical schools. Salem's medical school at Willamette University received about 25 cadavers a year. Dissecting rooms were located near the millrace. Bodies injected with arsenicals lasted from three to six weeks.
  • An editorial stated: "No matter which faction controls the state convention or the legislature, the state has got to be cleaned up from the top to bottom."
  • Councilman Russell Catlin, lately returned from Kansas, reported that seven cars of immigrants headed for Oregon were attached to the train that carried him homeward.
  • Use of Salem's fire bell for alarms was dispensed with.Alarms would be sounded by the newly installed fire whistle. Toots from the whistle indicating the ward in which the fire was located.
  • A new city charter proposal would limit the number of saloons, forbid the use of barbed wire for fencing. penalize the dumping of rubbish in Salem's streets and stop chickens from running at large in streets and alleys.
  • In December, Charles Allen, Salem mail carrier, lost his horse and narrowly escaped drowning when he attempted at dusk to ford swollen and treacherous Mill Creek near Winter Street.
  • (See Ben Maxwell's Salem, Oregon, edited by Scott McArthur, 2006)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Salem in 1901

World Events
  • First radio signal spans the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Queen Victoria dies
  • William McKinley is assassinated at Buffalo, N.Y. Pan-American Exposition: Theodore Roosevelt becomes U.S. president.
  • A volcano destroys St. Pierre on Martinique.
photo used courtesy of Carole Smith

In Salem
This undated photograph of Court Street shows the commercial architecture of this period. To the left, the 1877 Italianate England Block where "Wades," sells agricultural and household equipment, later pioneering the use of sprinkler irrigation equipment known as "Wade Rain." W.S. Fitts acquired this building in the mid-1920s. In 1901 he opened Fitts Fish Market in the 400 block of Court Street, between Liberty and High Streets. On the opposite side of the street (to the right in photograph) is the "White Corner" mercantile store of the Breyman Block. Further down Court Street is the Reed Opera House and Odd Fellows Hall.

When you visit
Both corner buildings were extensively renovated after World War II, removing all decorative elements to achieve a more modern style. "Fitts" is still in business after over a hundred years, but is now in a different location. This downtown corner is featured in the SHINE Historic Downtown Walking Tour slide show.

Other events
  • The ninth grade is added in East School.
  • Rural mail routes are established outside city limits and federal funds were allocated for a Salem post office building and construction began on a site near the Marion County Courthouse for Salem's first federal post office. The two-story steel and brick edifice would feature Oregon products; granite and sandstone from Ashland, brick and interior woodwork of Salem manufacturer. The relocated building is now the Gatke Building at Willamette University.
  • A train wreck occurs near the Salem rail station. An engineer and fireman are killed.
  • According to the Capitol Journal: While F.R. Funk, who supported his family by hauling wood, was driving across the track of the Salem Light & Traction Company's State Street car line, was involved in an accident that caused the death of one of his mules. The trolley wire on the State Street line was broken and lying in the street, and the animal, stepping on the deadly wire, received the full force of the current and dropped dead in its tracks. Mr. Funk has called on the management of the company for a settlement, but refuses $90, asserting that he could have $100 for the mule.
  • The Oregon Statesman reports that "The Capital City has an excellent sewerage system and has one of the best and most complete water works systems on the coast. Salem also has a well-equipped and popularly conducted fifteen miles of road-bed, an electric light and power company, a gas light company and a paid fire department."

  • McEvoy's is a shop in the Bush-Breyman Building. A photograph of this year is in several local collections. It seems to record a celebration, or sale, at the shop with a crowd of young boys clustered at the doorway and on the sidewalk, many holding sheets of paper. Several are turned toward the camera in an upper floor across the street. Notice the unpaved streets and the seemingly unoccupied city lots looking toward the river. Riverfront property would would be used for industry for the next century ~ until the development of our Riverfront Park.
  • The Brown House, now a Local Landmark, is built on 21st Street in the present SESNA neighborhood. Rebecca N. Shenafield purchased the lot in 1901 and she is recorded living in this house with her carpenter husband, Isaiah Shenafield, the next year. In 1910 Charles E. and Margaret Brown bought the property; Mr. Brown was listed as a farmer and later was employed as an electrician for Pacific Telephone and Telegraph. Charles Brown died 1915, but Margaret Brown continued to live here until 1937.
  • On a large farm several miles south of the city (on the present Boone Road) the Dent farmhouse is built. The farm property stretched north from this homestead to the present Hrubetz Road and east to Commercial Street. In addition to the responsibilities of his property, Mr. Dent worked at the State Hospital. After his retirement, he moved to another nearby residence, selling the farm to his niece and her husband, Marie and Richard Chesley. The farm home property became the Boone Road Nursery, later known as Chesley Flowers. The general profile of the house retains the original character of the more than 100 year-old home. It is in the Faye Wright neighborhood of South Salem.
  • The Oregon Historical Society is organized with a first duty to recognize the Champoeg territorial meeting of 1843 by erecting a memorial at the site of this town, drowned in the 1861 flood.
  • In January, 1896, the First Church of Christ Scientist, Salem, Oregon, was officially organized with the congregation meeting in a rented room at the corner of Court and Liberty streets. The Second Church of Christ Scientist, Salem, Oregon, was organized in 1900, and in 1901, purchased a lot on the south side of Chemeketa St. between High and Liberty streets. Here, the first Christian Science Church to be built in the state of Oregon was constructed. It was dedicated on Easter Sunday April 12, 1903. This handsome building was demolished in 1963.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Salem in 1900

World Events
  • Freud interprets dreams.
  • Quantum theory proposed.
  • Boer conflict continues in South Africa and Boxer Rebellion in China begins.
  • In Germany, the inaugural flight of a Zeppelin, later to be the first commercial airliners.
  • The Davis Cup tennis tournament is created; the American League in baseball is organized in Philadelphia.
photo used courtesy of Carole Smith
In Salem
The local enthusiasm was for the elegant new "Odd Fellows" Hall where the Grand Theater opened with John Phillip Sousa's comic "El Capitan". In a building designed in Richardson Romanesque style, this lodge was among the most successful fraternal orders of 19th century America, providing member benefit funding for illness or funerals, administrative training and community services. The Grand Theater provided popular stage, and later, movie entertainment. After the Elsinore opened in 1927, the attraction of this theater declined and it closed in 1950.

When you visit
After a period of temporary occupation by renters, the current owners, Carole Smith and Eric Kittleson, have extensively remodeled the proud old building. On the top floor, the large ballroom is frequently used for meetings and celebrations. The theater has reopened under the management of a Friends Board and is the scene of regular stage and film attractions. The tower, unfortunately lost in a storm many years ago, has not been replaced. The adjoining Central State Terminal and Hotel (now the Hotel Annex) was completed in 1921. It is now occupied by Travel Salem, a tourism marketing organization. Both structures were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.

Other events
Northeast over Capitol Street with 12th Street and East School on right
North between Summer and Capitol Streets.
  • Census shows Salem population has reached 4,258. These two remarkable photographs of this year show how small the city was at that time. The large, white A.N. Bush house figures in both (at left and at right).
  • Due to the opening of the Grand Theater, the Reed Opera House gives a final theatrical performance featuring the Great Barlow Minstrels. It is followed by a farewell speech by the manager, Hal Patton.
  • The Catlin Linn Building is erected at 246 State Street. This is the site of earlier Tiger Engine Fire House, No. 2, organized in 1869 that continued as a volunteer organization until 1893 when the city created a paid fire department. A garage with concrete floor was a feature of this building through the 1920s, testifying to its early use for auto storage and repairs. 
  • Two residences new to city in 1900 are found on the same street, but in two different neighborhoods: the still graceful, Queen Anne styled Perkins House is at 198 21st Street NE in NEN, named for a 1930s owner, Granville Perkins who worked in the local canning industry. It was originally in the Waller Donation Land Claim. The Zielinski House at 212 21st Street SE in SESNA. The first occupants that are recorded here are Burt and Ellen Zielinski who lived there between 1924 and 1932. In almost original condition, it is another example of the fine craftsman workmanship that went into the Queen Anne style homes of the late twentieth century.
  • The Bethel Baptist Church builds a parsonage beyond the city limits on Cottage Street, in the present Grant neighborhood. The words “Baptist Parsonage” have been pressed into the cement of the step leading up to the front door of this historic residence, always owned by the church next door. Pastors who lived there included Gustave W. Rutsch (1932-5), John F. Olthoff (1940-5) and Rudolph Wolke until 1954. By 1957 it had become the Sunday School Annex. The simple vernacular architecture of this building is relieved by lacy scrollwork under the arch of the upper front eave.
  • Our only existing image of the Leslie House is a drawing made this year. One hundred acres of the Leslie property, including the house, were sold to Asahel Buch in 1860. The house was the family home fir 17 years until the present Bush House was built in 1877-8. The house was moved at the time and later demolished.
  • North of the city on Garden Road (now Market Street), the Swegle District established its first school, now in the ELNA neighborhood. The school was built when George Swegle sold one acre of land on Garden Road (Market Street) to the District for $80. The first section of the school as we know it today was built in 1923-4. By the 1938, the school had four classrooms, three teachers and enough students to field a sports program. In one year girls were recruited to fill out the baseball team: the lack of funds for uniforms forced them to play after-school games in their dresses. The school's 100 year history was celebrate with many former students in attendance.
  • Thomas Lister Kay, the founder of the Kay Woolen Mill died this year. He was responsible for much of Salem's early industrial growth and the development of the textile industry in Oregon.  Born in 1837 in England, he had an early background in woolen mill operations. Kay was succeeded in management of the mill by son Thomas Benjamin Kay (four times state treasurer), grandson Ercel Kay, (founder of the Salem Golf course), and great grandson Thomas Kay Jr. (a Salem businessman). The mill closed in 1959 and became the centerpiece of the Mission Mill Museum ( now Willamette Heritage Center), 1313 Mill St SE in Salem. It is an irony that Thomas Lister Kay's daughter, Fannie, who was passed over for management, later founded with her husband Charles Bishop and their sons, the Pendleton Mills.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Salem in 1899

1899
World Events
  • Philippine people demand independence from US.
  • Kipling, Tolstoi and Oscar Wilde are popular authors.
  • The first magnetic recording of sound is achieved.

In Salem
This photograph from Ed Austin's collection was displayed as a part of the 1995 Railroads in Salem exhibit in the Heritage Room at the Salem Public Library. It shows a large crowd has gathered at the Salem station on August 10, 1899 to welcome the returning Oregon 2nd Volunteers home from the Spanish American War. The view, taken from the water tower (now Mission Mill Museum property), gives an interesting perspective of the early Salem layout south of this location. Note the street car to the right and the stub switch on the mainline in the foreground. A band was on hand to lead the parade downtown where table were spread for a welcome home luncheon.

When you visit
Unfortunately, we are not able to perch at the top of the water tower (which is still there) and take a comparative photograph in 2010. However, we can pick out some urban developments since that day. The area to the left was later occupied by a hop warehouse, and then the California Packing Company cannery. After the cannery closed, the Tokyo International University campus was built in that area. The station burned and was replaced by 1918 by the third railroad station, the one we use presently. The old freight depot (out of sight beyond the passenger station) survived again and is part of the Salem Railroad Station's listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

Other Events
  • This year Greenbaum's Department Store opened at 240 Commercial Street. Now Greenbaum's Quilted Forest, it celebrated a 100th anniversary in 1999. It is located in the remaining section of the 1889 South Eldridge Block. In 1919 the local merchants partnership of Rostein & Greenbaum bought the building. In the second Greenbaum generation, Adolph continued the enterprise, changing it to "Greenbaum's Fine Fabrics" in the 1940s when the building was sold. When Adolph died in 1960, his sister, Irene Depenbrock, took over the business. She was responsible for purchasing the building in 1966 and so preserving it for the future of the business. Her daughter and son-in-law, Sylvia and Bill Dorney continued this family business into the present commercial life of our historic downtown.
  • Maud Hill, who had walked from Missouri to Oregon as a child, marries John Zackary, the great-grandson of the noted pioneer, Tabitha Brown, often called the "Mother of Oregon." When the marriage ended with the death of her husband in 1917, Maud made a home for her family on Front Street, laboring as a laundress to raise her five children. She died in 1954 and is remembered with honor by her descendants.
  • In 1899 Steusloff Meats has a prominent downtown location at 284 Commercial and an impressive display in the interior. However, just five years later, in 1904, a new concrete building was completed for the business at 399 Court Street. In 1947-8, the exterior of the building was altered and then sold by the Steusloff family. It housed the popular "Sally's", a ladies' clothing store for several years. A Starbuck's coffee shop now occupies this northwest corner of Court and Liberty Streets.
    This change in Salem's downtown architectural style was also reflected modifications of the Pearce and Breyman buildings one block to the west at the Commercial and Court Street intersection. Nearly all modernization efforts involved the removal of decorative detail, resurfacing of the exterior facade, and updating of the ground-level storefronts. These changes reflect the evolving, post-war feeling that becoming "modern" in Salem's commercial district would bring economic prosperity and dynamic growth.
A June ad in the Capitol Journal advised readers to stop smoking. No-To-Bac, it reported, removes the desire for tobacco without nervous distress, expels nicotine, purifies the blood, restores lost manhood, and makes you strong in health, nerve and pocketbook. 

In September, another advertisement extolled the use of Dr. Peau's Yellow Nerve Pills that were guaranteed to cure all nervous diseases, weak memory, headache, wakefulness and (as above) lost manhood. It noted that these pills could be carried in the vest pocket.
In August, the property of the closed Orphans' Home situated "near the state asylum", was being sold to the Salem Hospital. It had closed for want of funds and standing idle. It was planned that the property and buildings be deeded to the hospital with the provision that they should always be used for hospital purposes.
 Local businesses made the news:
Jos. Myers and Sons, Salem's greatest store, advertised blankets for hop-pickers for 29 cents.
Frank Dearborn's bookstore offered juvenile attractions: The Oliver Optic series, Henty books and the Sailor Boy with Dewey series.
Capital Lumber Co. was working a short day ~ a nine hour shift.
On a Sunday, a swarm of wasps and honeybees gained access to the Harritt & Lawrence Grocery Store and carried away 30 pounds of honey. On the next Monday, they made another raid and the store had to be closed while the bees were smoked out with sulfur.
(See Ben Maxwell's Salem, Oregon, edited by Scott McArthur, 2006.)