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.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Salem in 1916

World Events
  • More than a million soldiers die in the battle of the Somme, July~November; there are 60,000 British casualties the first day.
  • British military campaigns fail against Ottoman Empire in the Mid-East: troops are evacuated from Gallipoli after trying to capture Istanbul and are defeated in Mesopotamia ~ now Iraq.
  • Pancho Villa leads raiders into Columbus, New Mexico, killing 12 US soldiers before the Mexicans are driven away by the 13th Cavalry.
  • President Wilson narrowly defeats Republican Charles E. Hughes in election.
  • Wilson signs legislation creating the National Park Service.
  • In Seattle, William Boeing incorporates Pacific Aero Products (later renamed Boeing).
  • Jazz is a rage with American dancers.
  • New American Books: Chicago Poems, Carl Sandburg; The Genius, Theodore Dreiser (suppressed by New York authorities until 1923), and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce. This book and Dubliners (1914) secured the author's foremost place in modern literature.
    In Salem
    This 1916 house was built for Minnie Downing, secretary to Attorney General George Brown and to Oregon political leader, I. H. Van Winkle. It was also home to her stepfather and mother, Colonel John H. and Florence Cradlebaugh. Miss Downing and her mother lived in the house into the mid 1930s. Lowell and Jean Kern purchased the house in 1937 and asked Salem architect Clarence Smith to add a new small entry porch. Later residents of the house were Willamette University president Bruce Baxter and Willard and Margaret Marshall; Mr. Marshall was mayor of Salem 1963-5.

    When you visit
    This is a private residence in the Fairmount Hill area of the SCAN neighborhood. It is pleasant to walk in this residential area west of Commercial Street, between Leffelle and Rural Streets. The area was recently considered for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places, but the project has been set aside for the present by the wish of the residents. The Downing house has been designated as a Local Landmark. Mr. Marshall resigned his position as mayor due to ill health. In recognition of the many contributions to Salem by Mr. Marshall, there is an annual award given in his name to an outstanding citizen volunteer.

    Other events
    • Oregon military troops leave the 12th Street SP railway station again: this time for duty in Mexico. The 16 month campaign against Pancho Villa was unsuccessful: General Pershing returned the US to lead the AEF to France and Villa retired to his hacienda where he died in 1920.

    1930s: McGilchrist Building (left) and Bligh Building (demolished by fire in the 1940s).
    • At the northeast corner of Liberty and State Streets, the McGilchrist name is inscribed in bas-relief on the upper level on their building constructed this year. The son James established a furniture, restaurant and real estate business. He became the first Capitol guide, a position he held until 1953. There is also a 1950s photograph of the McGilchrist Building.
    • Near the same corner, where Cooke's Stationary is now located, the George family owned the White House Restaurant from 1902 to 1931 (with McGilchrist ownership 1907-11). An interior photograph features the center counter for dining: tables were at the right side. In an exterior photo, the men in suits are Levi (Lee) George next to twin brother William P. (Will) George. Sr. In the center is Martin Nelson, head waiter, and on the far right Jesse George, brother of Lee and Will.
    • Established just two years before, the YWCA moves to quarters on the second floor above Woolworth’s. The first younger girl’s work starts there in April of that year and such projects as housing, clubs, employment and classes are started.
    • Only remnants of the original Hughes/Durbin building at 160 Liberty Street remain. In the 1920s it became the home of Salem’s J.C. Penny store and remained so for the next several decades. It is more recently remembered as the Metropolitan, a variety retail store. After a recent renovation (2008), it now houses condos on the top floors.
    • The Wallace and Mabel Moore building at 409 Court Street is identified today by a permanent green awning of the florist that occupies the building. Mr. Moore owned a furniture store and other properties. The family suffered a tragedy when one of their two daughters, Dorothy Moore Long, died with her husband in a 1937 auto accident. Mr. Moore died four months later. In 1947, Mrs. Moore sold this property to her daughter, Mabel Lucille Knapp who retained ownership into the 1980s. These are all featured on the SHINE Historic Downtown Walking Tour slide show.
    • The Deaconess Hospital, Salem’s second hospital, is founded by members of the Mennonite church. The hospital began with 12 beds housed in the old Salem Hotel on Winter Street. The wooden building had a tower and wing attached to the rear. This structure was absorbed by the growth of Salem Hospital that now occupies Winter Street between Mission and Bellevue Streets.
    • Beyond city limits, in the present NESCA neighborhood, the handsome Colonial Revival Vinyard House was built this year on farmland that extended from the present Center Street north to "D" Street. The original owner of the property may not have been Dr. Vinyard. He is the first recorded at this address and his widow lived there until 1956 when Nina Bilyeu's husband purchased the house. She remembered when the acres across Center Street were open fields with grouse and pheasant.
    • Also in North Salem, an 1890 farmhouse on Summer Street is remodeled in 1916 for Francis N. Woodry and his wife Medora who lived there until 1947. Edward A Randle, president of the Randle Oil Company, owned the home for the next 34 years. After many years of neglect, this handsome house has recently (2008) been restored by new owners.
    • The Business Men's League of the Salem Commercial Club went on record in favor of the city vacating streets along the Willamette riverfront, necessary to bring a $500,000 paper mill to Salem. This industry, owned by Charles K. Spaulding, brought employment to the city for many years after this date. It also brought significant pollution, something no one considered in the era, and contributed to the disappearance of an ancient Indian cemetery on the site.

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