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

Friday, April 23, 2010

Salem in 1925

World Events
  • In the Scopes Trial of Dayton, Tennessee, evolution and creation are debated.
  • Nellie Ross of Wyoming becomes the first woman governor.
  • Picasso exhibits in Paris.
  • New Madison Square Garden is opened in NY.
In Salem
Cornelia Marvin celebrates her 20th anniversary as Oregon State Librarian. Through her career she had traveled by team and wagon to speak to farm groups, teachers and clubs, encouraging support for the development of free public libraries. The Legislature had appropriated funds for the purchase of trunks, each including 50 books, to begin traveling library service. Three years later, Cornelia Marvin married Governor Walter M. Pierce. She came under heavy criticism, as women were not expected to have careers of their own, much less be influencing state legislation. Numerous newspaper articles of that time debate about whether Mrs. Pierce was stepping out of her place by continuing to work in state government. She retired the next year. It is appropriate to remember Cornelia Marvin Pierce's determination to make libraries "the hub of the wheel of knowledge" for everyone.

When you visit
Cornelia Pierce lived to see the creation of the Oregon State Library building in 1939. It was the first of the state buildings to be erected on the North Capitol Mall and occupies a prominent position just across Court Street from the Capitol itself. Governor and Mrs. Pierce lived only a few blocks away, adjacent to the Methodist Church. He declined a second term as governor, but was elected to the US House of Representatives, serving from 1932 to 1943. They retired to a Rt. 4. home in the Eola community. He died in 1954 and Cornelia three years later. There is a photograph of the exterior her home and one of her living room, both taken in 1957.

Other Events
  • Salem Cherry Growers Association is established.
  • During the first part of the 20th century, Salem's canning industry grew from one plant to over ten and canned cherries were an important part of this Salem produce. With improved refrigeration, rail shipments of fresh cherries increased. One of the largest shippers was Salem Cherries Growers Association formed this year. Their fresh packing operation was set up the Max Gehlhar dryer in West Salem.
  • Curly's Diary was originally built in 1925, in the old part of Salem on Hood Street. There, Mr. Hans (Curly) Hofstetter converted an old garage into a milk processing plant. The business successfully served the community and became a well-known institution. Unfortunately, economic conditions in 2006 forced it to close.
The "Little Gem" on Water Street near Riverfront Park
  • The Little Gem Grocery Store was probably started this year. Originally located at 17th and Chemeketa Street on the corner of a 1906 residential property, it served as a small neighborhood grocery for many years and finally became an artist's studio. In 1998, when the property owner wished to extend his front porch, the neighbors were allowed to move it temporarily to another property where it was repainted and restored so it could be moved to its present location. It is now owned by the city and is a part of the Gilbert House Children's Museum.
  • Dr. Carl and Cleo Cashatt built a bungalow on High Street across from Bush's Pasture. They lived there until 1942. Subsequent owners have preserved its exterior integrity and the original interior features. It can be seen in the SHINE Gaiety Hill/Bush's Pasture Park Walking Tour.
  • A residence was built this year by Margorie Kay Huntington and her husband, Hollis. The house was originally just to the north of her parents' property on Court Street. Through the expanion of state property for the North Capitol Mall, the house has been moved several times. It is now a part of the Heritage Park on D Street.
  • Ben Maxwell's Salem, Oregon (edited by Scott McArthur, 2006) recalled two Capitol Journal articles this year about the value of a public school education for young boys. One asked if a parent had the right of educate his own child, or is the child in Oregon a ward of the state? The question was raised by by T. S. Watts, farmer in the Salem Heights district who did not send his ten-year-old son to public schools. His contention was that the boy was receiving as good instruction, or even better, than in the public school. The boy read Emerson with understanding, wrote a good essay and was well mannered. In the second, Kenneth Cole, aged 6 1/2, never went to school a day in his life but knew the alphabet and figures. He set all the headlines for the Falls City Enterprise without help. Only one correction was required.
  • On Fairmount Hill, Clarence Smith, a noted architect, designed an English cottage for Burt Ford and his wife Margaret at 490  Leffelle Street in the SCAN neighborhood. Mr. Ford was a partner in the law firm of Ross and Ford. Mrs. Ford continued to live here well into the 1940s. The house is now designated a Local Landmark.
  • Local businessmen started Salem's first Golf Club venture this year by donating $250 each to purchase the John Hughes Land Grant to develop a first class golf course. One man, Ercel Kay, the grandson of the founder of Thomas Kay Woolen Mills of Salem, brought it all together. When the golf course first opened to the public, the green fees were 25 cents for the nine holes and 40 cents for the full 18 holes. In 1965, son of Ercel, and great-grandson of the Mission Mill owner, Thomas Kay, bought the course from his father.

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