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

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Salem in 1897

World Events
  • William McKinley is inaugurated as President
  • "Katzenjammer Kids" is the first American comic
  • Tate gallery opens in London.
In Salem
This photo is of the pickle and cider factory established in 1897 by Gideon Stolz on Summer Street between Mill & Bellevue. He had started Salem's first cider and vinegar works in 1879, then entered into partnership with two Portland businessmen. They incorporated as the Pacific Cider, Vinegar, and Fruit Preserving Company that relocated to Portland. Stolz later sold his interest in it and returned to Salem to begin this company. He operated under the G.S. label. In addition to his former products, plus mincemeat, catsup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, and sauerkraut, he had a bottling line for soda beverages. He operated as Gideon Stolz Company under the "G.S." label. In the 1930's & 40's many of the products were discontinued as more emphasis was placed on beer and wine.

When you visit
The factory site was purchased by Willamette University in 1965 and is now occupied by campus housing and tennis courts. Looking north as you travel on Bellevue, you can see the former industrial site where these facilities are now. The last owner of the factory was Willard Marshall, mayor in that year, who was married to the granddaughter of Gideon Stolz.

Other events
  • J. A. Richardson is elected mayor.
  • The construction of the Minto Island water filtration system is started by Salem Water Company, forcing river water in a suction pipe to pass through subsurface sand and rocks.
  • The Kay Woolen Mill has manufactured the first bolt of worsted goods manufactured west of the Mississippi. The Kay mill would be a leading employer of Salem workers for the next three generations. The site is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and comprises the complex of buildings now known as the Willamette Heritage Center.
  • On November 29, F. R. Anson, agent for the Salem Electric Railway notified the public that the streetcars (above) would have the following routes: leave Willamette Hotel (later the Marion) for the Southern Pacific depot via the State House; for the Insane Asylum with a transfer to Garden Road available; and to South Salem. In addition, street cars left the Methodist Church on State Street going south to Morningside or north to the Fairgrounds. The Capital City line used one carriage as a hearse. The casket was placed crosswise on a seat and pallbearers accompanied the casket to Rural Cemetery. From the car they carried the casket uphill to the gravesite.
  • The Civil War soldier memorial statue is erected in City View Cemetery.
  • Edward M. ("Pap") Waite, a beloved citizen, died on July 13 while participating in a celebration for a baseball game between two local teams. The Waite Fountain would be erected in his memory by his widow, Louisa, the sister of Eugene and Werner Breyman. The couple lived in a fine, Italianate residence on the southwest corner of State and Winter streets, the later site of our Carnegie Library. At her death in 1907, the newspaper reported, " Her husband, E M Waite, went some years ago, almost without warning. They were for years probably the most joyful old couple in Salem. They were the life of any company. They were always young in spirit, although well along in years."


  • The Salem Sentinel newspaper reports on December 11, "Several States are already making efforts to prevent the murderous institution of football. Modern football is too brutal for civilized Oregon." Willamette University records show that it had ventured into the rough sport officially in 1894 with no recognized coach or schedule. It played Pacific College (Newberg, which became George Fox University in 1949), winning 18-4 on Nov. 17, 1894, and met the Salem YMCA five times, losing four of them. Then, with a little more prestige, WU was able to play in 1895 against the University of Oregon, Oregon Normal (now Western Oregon State University), and Oregon State. The Salem high school had no team until 1904.
  • From a Capitol Journal reporter quoting a Salem alderman: "I am willing the dog tax be collected but I'll see to it my dog is exempt if I have to kill him."To another reporter: "You can tell people who live out in South Salem by their gait. They nearly all step high like a blind horse, having become so used to the walks out there."
    To a reporter from a Newport resident: The city council there is considering an ordinance forbidding Col. Compton and Col. Eddy to lead any more ladies into the surf dressed in India silk bathing suits.
    (See Ben Maxwell's Salem, Oregon, edited by Scott McArthur, 2006.)

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