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)

1 comment:

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