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

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)

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