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

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Salem in 1936

World Events
  • King George of Britain dies, succeeded by son (Edward VIII) who abdicates. His brother becomes George VI and his daughter, Elizabeth, next in royal succession to the throne.
  • Rome-Berlin Axis proclaimed and Civil War begins in Spain.
  • U. S. National Recovery Acts create jobs for unemployed skilled workers and artists.
In Salem
Southern Pacific RR Underpass on Portland Rd was built by the federal government during the Depression when as many as a fourth of American families were jobless. The Works Progress Administration sponsored jobs in public construction. This new employment, while not alleviating the critical economic condition of the nation, did give new hope to many families who were in dire need. The Oregon Highway Commission received a bid of $256,502 for the four-lane underpass, then near the city's northern border. It was the state's largest and suggested the ultimate widening of the roadway to four lanes. This Highland neighborhood structure displays the architectural talents of Conde McCullough of Salem. [The Church Street ornamental bridge over Pringle Creek is probably anther one of his designs.] This underpass, enhanced with wrought iron filigree and concrete towers, echoes his bridges along the Columbia River.

When you visit
Any drive north on Portland Road that goes though the former Hollywood District and on to the Kroc Center, or to the intersection with I-5, will carry you under the railroad track and sometimes, under the train itself. The underpass is decorated with filigree and designs in concrete that are rarely seen by the motorist. The North Gateway Redevelopment Advisory Board is currently working with City of Salem Urban Development Department to improve lighting in this RR underpass. The Board meets at 8 a.m. the first Thursday of each month at 350 Commercial Street NE. The public is welcome.

Other events
West Salem City Hall
  • West Salem builds a substantial City Hall that outlives the Polk County city itself: this community became a part of Salem in 1947. Chemeketa College held classes here in the early years of the school. The building is now on the National Register of Historic Places (1989).
 
the Strickfadden House
  • Polly Strickfadden, an interior decorator, designed an unusual French Provincial style house on market Street. Her husband, Charles H. Strickfadden was manager and later president of the Capital Lumber Company, a pioneer in the production of presto logs. The Mill was also located in North Salem, on North Cherry Avenue. After it burned, it was not rebuilt, however the old log pond is visible at Cherry Avenue across from the industrial park. After she was widowed, Mrs. Strickfadden continued to live in the house until her death in 1975. This is a designated Local Landmark in the NEN neighborhood. (Since this picture, the house has been repainted.)
  • White's Restaurant on South Commercial Street opens. Charles and Myrtle White, and their sons Bob and Kenny, created and managed this family-style restaurant. For 50 years it was run by the extended family, then the ownership passed to Don Uselman. Dining here continues to be a traditional experience, reminding diners of the d├ęcor and menus of restaurants enjoyed three generations ago. It is still a lively place to have a good old-time breakfast or lunch in an atmosphere typical of the informal, friendly spirit of 1930s dining. It is in the SCAN neighborhood.
  • The Judson House is built this year on property that had belonged to this pioneer missionary family for 100 years and was their farmland. Lewis Hubbel Judson came to the Salem area as part of the "Great Reinforcement" to the Methodist Mission in 1840. Another noted resident was a grandson, Lewis Edward Judson who lived his entire life in this location. He was a noted local historian who wrote many articles about early life in the Willamette Valley. The property passed from the Judson family in 1980.This is a designated Local Landmark in the SCAN neighborhood.
From the Capitol Journal:
  • R. J. Hendricks, Salem newspaperman for half a century, told the Chamber of Commerce that he made some of his bitterest enemies by advocating an ordinance prohibiting livestock and poultry from running at large in the street and by advocating an inter-county bridge across the Willamette. Several large fortunes, Hendricks recalled, had their foundations in the ferry business at this crossing.
  • State Capitol Construction Commission awarded  $2,006,137 contract for building Oregon's new statehouse to Ross B. Hammond, Inc. of Portland. A marble exterior would follow a design in the prize plan submitted by Trowbridge and Livingstone, associated with Francis Keally, New York architects.
  • The Federal Works progress Administration approved an expenditure of $13, 834 in improvements of Salem's abandoned municipal auto park. Landscaping, rock work and riprapping was to be undertaken to employ 50 men for four months.
  • Nelson Brothers offered a free airplane ride with Lee Eyerly for each paint job of $25 or more during August.
  • Johnny "Scooter" Oravec's famous No. 11 football sweater will be placed among other Willamette University treasures and never worn again by a football player. This year Johnny completed the fourth year of football and was regarded as the university's outstanding man in athletic history.

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