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

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Salem in 1934

World Events
  • Hitler becomes National Socialist (NAZI) Fuhrer in Germany, meets with Mussolini, dictator of Italy.
  • Agatha Christie writes popular mysteries.
  • Dionne Quintuplets born in Canada, becoming a worldwide entertainment attraction.
 From the collection of Carole Smith
In Salem
Households during the Depression had to learn to "Make do, make over, or do without". A local effort is glimpsed in this photograph. In the extreme right can be seen the corner of a frame building. It is Marion County Housing Authority Demonstration House. Originally located at Union and Liberty Streets, the modest 1860 William Beckett house was chosen as a demonstration project to promote the new Federal Housing Authority across the nation. Moved to the Marion County Courthouse lawn, and facing Court Street, it was remodeled to demonstrate how older homes could be modernized. Residents were encouraged to come inside and learn from the renovations underway. Architect Clarence Smith redesigned it in the Colonial Revival style; eight unions provided the plumbing, electrical, carpentry and other labor. When completed in 1935, the house sold for $1,295 and was relocated by the owner.

When you visit
The former Demonstration House was placed on the National Register in 1988. Today it can be seen at 140 Wilson Street in the SCAN neighborhood.
The photograph above recalls a two-block section of High Street that once was the center of municipal activity. At the left are the Odd Fellows Lodge, the Grand Theater and Hotel Annex. The theater and hotel buildings are still there and, after a period of declining use, have been refurbished and renovated for new commercial purposes. (Although the central tower is gone, victim of high winds.) The low, white building to the right is the Bligh Building, still Olson's Florist as it was then. The Old City Hall, demolished in 1971, can be seen in the background of the photograph. The Senator Hotel, rising behind the house on the courthouse lawn, has also been demolished and that site now houses the Courthouse Square transit terminal. On the lawn itself is the 1924 Doughboy statue, now located at the memorial park of the Oregon Department of Veteran Affairs on Summer Street. The Victorian Courthouse, out of the photograph to the right, is also gone. It was demolished in 1952 and the modern building currently in use replaced it.

Other Events
  • In 1938, Harry Read and a group of West Salem residents founded Salem Electric. A franchise was eventually obtained from the City of West Salem, Oregon for the distribution of electricity within its boundaries. IN 1934, Harry Read goes into the radio business with local station KSLM.
  • The centennial of Jason Lee's arrival in Salem is celebrated at the state fair with a caravan re-enacting his journey westward. The wagon train left Boston in April and arrived in Salem in time for the fair.
  • On April 15, the newspaper reported that Reuben P. Boise,74 , a native of Salem and prominent journalist and businessman, died as the result of an accidental discharge of a shotgun he was carrying during a hunting expedition in Polk County. He was the son of Judge Reuben Boise (1818-1907) and husband of Minnie Louise Breyman, daughter of local merchant and real estate investor, Eugene Breyman (1834-1903). The newspaper reported, "The tragedy occurred at his ranch, known as Ellendale, west of Dallas. With his son, Breyman, and A. McFettridge, who had recently leased the farm, Mr. Boise was walking along a rough road used years ago as a means of getting out logs. He stumbled into a hole along the road. The shotgun, an automatic without the safety attachment set, went off...A week ago, when the Boises were looking over the place, they saw a red fox. Hoping to get him and some greydiggers, they took their guns on their inspection trip Sunday."(See profiles of the ladies of this family.)
 
Salem's small hospital staff in 1934
  • The staff of the Deaconess Hospital, (now the Salem Hospital) about forty employees, line up for a photograph.
  • Movies are the popular entertainment of the Depression years. With admission only a dime, the State Theater is where you want to go on a Saturday night date.
  • A Colonial Revival style house at 787 Cross Street is built this year for Custer Ross, a prominent attorney. Designed by Clarence L. Smith, the result was collaboration between the architect and the landscape firm of Lord and Schryver, although the gardens contain no elaborate design. It was the home of Wayne and Shirley Hadley from 1950-2000. It a contributing property in the Gaiety Hill/Bush's Pasture Park Historic District and is featured in that SHINE Walking Tour.
Daniel Fry, Jr. residence
  • A home for the second generation of the Daniel Fry family is built at 565 Leffelle Street. This brick Georgian house was built for Daniel Jr. and Rita Fry. He was a pharmacist in Salem, the son of Daniel Fry who established the business. Jamison Parker of Portland designed the house. It is a Local Landmark in the SCAN neighborhood.

2 comments:

Ann Williams said...

If you visit the doughboy statue at the Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs, in the lobby of the building you will find a display and brochures about the doughboy and the other memorials on the ODVA grounds.

There are also several glass display cases featuring historical items. These change from time to time. Currently one display is a moving collection of memorabilia left at the Afghanistan-Iraq memorial, and another features a collection of "ruptured duck" items.

The ODVA memorial park at 700 Summer St. is next to Mill Creek and a lovely place for a stroll. Do be sure to check out this often-overlooked historical gem of Salem.

Virginia Green said...

Thank you for drawing attention to this wonderful resource for Oregon history ~ I have tried in vain to bring attention to this beautiful park and the memorial exhibits inside the building.