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.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Salem in 1924

World Events
  • Fascist Benito Mussolini, using secret police to crush unions and enforce extreme nationalism, is elected Prime Minister and then Il Duce (the leader) in Italy.
  • At the death of Lenin, Joseph Stalin purges his rivals to become ruler in the USSR.
  • Congress passes the Immigration Act, excluding Asians. The Indian Citizenship Act grants U.S. citizenship to Native Americans born within territorial limits. With the close of the Apache Wars, all conflict with Native Americans ends after 302 years.
  • The British Empire Exhibition opens in London with representations from its 58 nations. The International Olympic Committee is formed with the first modern games in Paris. (see movie "Chariots of Fire")
  • J. Edger Hoover is named head of the U.S. FBI. Nellie Ross of Wyoming is named first woman governor.
  • A tabulating company is renamed International Business Machines (IBM). A media company, MGM is founded in Los Angeles. Mercedes-Benz is organized in Stuttgart, Germany. Caesar Salad is invented in Tijuana, Mexico.
  • Comedian Will Rogers is at the height of his career. The Pulitzer Prize goes to Edna Ferber for So Big.
In Salem
In Salem’s Crystal Garden Ballroom residents danced on Wednesday and Saturday nights to some of the best-known bands in the nation. Modern dancing was on the main floor and old time polkas, schottisches and two-steps upstairs. The building was constructed for Otto Klett who died in 1947. The next owner extensively remodeled the building for meetings, banquets and conventions in addition to the dancing. Ballroom dancing declined in popularity and the last “old time dance” was held in 1964. A 1961 photograph of the Crystal Garden Ballroom shows how little the exterior of the building has changed from its original appearance.

When you visit
According to an article written by Wilma Bonsanti for the Oregon Statesman in December of 1971, the crystal chandelier was stored in the home of Mr. Gwynn, a former owner. Of Czechoslovakian prisms, it was the twin to one hanging in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C. The building retains its original appearance and has housed several businesses and a successful restaurant. Until recently, the lobby contained a framed newspaper clipping recalling this building's important place in a past Salem social life that included the whole family.

Other events
  • The Willamette freezes, wrecking sternwheeler vessels. The freighter Relief, operating between Portland and Salem, was crushed by an ice jam at the Salem waterfront moorage, then listed further to its side and sank.
The Doughboy Memorial at Oregon Veterans Building
  • To commemorate the service and sacrifice of Marion County members of the American Expeditionary Force in France during the recently past World War, a statue of the "Doughboy" is erected on the Courthouse lawn. The Courthouse was demolished in 1954, but the statue remained in place until 1991. When the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs building was constructed, it was moved to that military memorial park where it stands in a beautiful landscape near Mill Creek.
  • The Circuit Rider, a memorial statue created by A. Phimister, was placed on the Capitol grounds. Robert Booth of Eugene, whose father was a Methodist Episcopal circuit rider, donated it to the State of Oregon.
  • Busick and Sons Grocery is established in the Bush-Brey Building on Commercial Street and will be a feature of Salem household shopping until 1970.
  • Parrish Middle School is built facing Capital at D Street on land that was originally a part of the Josiah Parrish Donation Land Claim. The Chamber of Commerce had fully supported the school bond of $225,000 to build this first Salem junior high school and Dr. H. H. Olinger, head of the school board, urged the construction. The school opened September 29 with HF Durham as Principal. In 1948 the first remodeling took place when an auditorium, gymnasium, and three new classrooms were added. In 1974 Parrish had its Golden Anniversary; 200 former students and teachers attended. In 1994 students and staff moved out for one year while Parrish was updated. In 1999, during the 75th celebration, a time capsule was buried.
Nelson Home
  • On E Street, an English Cottage is designed by Jamison Parker for Carl Nelson, a securities broker who went into wool and hops businesses after the crash of 1929. After the death of Mrs. Nelson in 1944, the house was sold. In the 1990s it became the Cottonwood Cottage Bread and Breakfast business establishment. It is a National Register property (1997) in the Grant Neighborhood.
  • In the Fairmount Hills south of Salem, three prominent families have lived in a Spanish Colonial Revival home built for Curtis Cross at the top of fashionable Fairmount Hill. The second owner was Asel C. Eoff, the owner of Eoff Electric Company. The third owner was Dr. Ralph Purvine. Dr. Purvine was significant in both the medical and education fields in Salem, having been a physician at Willamette University and a founder of the Salem Clinic. Dr. Purvine’s daughter lived there for many years. It became a National Register property in 1982.

Mahonia Hall
  • A neighbor of the Cross House is the former Thomas Livesley family home on Lincoln Street, a Tudor-style mansion designed by Ellis Lawrence and occupied by the Livesley family for 34 years. It was sold in 1958 and had four more owners before being purchased by the State of Oregon as the official governor's mansion. It is now known as "Mahonia Hall" after the state flower, the "Oregon grape".
From the Capitol Journal:
  • Some substance, which many car owners believed to be little flakes of sulfur cast off from the paper mill, was wreaking havoc with the finish of automobiles parked along Salem streets. The small flakes ate their way through and right down to bare metal surface.
  • Rev. H. D. Chambers, rector of St. Paul's Church, in a sermon condemned the movement among local churches to bring Billy Sunday to Salem. Said Rev. Chambers, " When the pulpit has to degenerate into a place of sensationalism and emotionalism in order to compete with worldly agencies, it is time to admit failure."

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