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.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Salem in 1902

World Events
  • British Royal Navy Capt. Robert Scott (with a marine and scientific team) will spend the year on the Discovery Expedition exploring the Antarctic.
  •  General Leonard Wood, the U. S. military governor, calls for a Cuban constitutional convention by which it gains its independence this year.
  • Mt. Pelee on the north end of Martinique erupted in worst volcanic disaster of the 20th century, killing about 30,000 people.
  • The British build a Nile Dam (now the Lower Dam) to control flooding.
  • The Gramophone Company in Milan sells a million Eric Caruso records.
  • The first Rose Bowl football game (Michigan vs Stanford) is played in Pasadena, California.
  • The first Trustee meeting of the proposed Carnegie Institute is held in office of the U.S. Secretary of State in Washington, D.C. This is one of over 20 institutions Andrew Carnegie founded around the world to promote art, science research, education, and international peace.
  • Notable new books: The Pit by Frank Noris and Hound of the Baskervilles by Conan Doyle. For children: Just-so Stories by Rudyard Kipling and Tales of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter.

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)

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