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

Friday, May 28, 2010

Salem in 1950

1950
World Events

  • US military under General MacArthur land at Inchon to aid South Korea after North Korean forces invade; but retreat after defeat by Chinese at Yalu River.
  • Senator McCarthy accuses State Department employees of being Communists.
  • Nat King Cole is popular vocalist, "Peanuts" comics is introduced, "All About Eve" is hit movie.
In Salem
In the late 1940s, Salem's downtown had spaces on the street for automobiles to park in front of stores, but did not have parking lots to accommodate the increase in personal cars since the end of the war. One innovative proposal was to demolish the Holman Building (top photograph above) and make room for parking above a new auto maintenance and repair shop. Those residents who were concerned by the loss of Salem's heritage which this building represented, formed the Marion County Historical Society with the mission of preserving it and, more widely, interpreting the city and county's cultural resources. Its first president, David Duniway, led the fight to preserve the historic Holman Building, reminding the public that for the first years of Oregon statehood (1859-1876), the legislature meet here and most of our basic laws were debated on this site. But he was not successful, the building was demolished and the Marion Car Rental and Park (lower photograph) was built this year.

When you visit
The Marion Car Rental and Park is located on the northwest corner of Ferry and Commercial Streets, a busy intersection for traffic entering Front Street going west from Ferry, or continuing south on Commercial. It is diagonally across the street from the Conference Center. To learn more about the Holman Building and the other historic buildings that were once on this important corner of the new city, read the interpretive panel on the stair landing inside the Conference Center.
This structure is located at the southern extent of the Downtown Historic District and is considered to be a property that contributes to the history of the district. It is now recognized for the integrity of the mid-20th century design and its importance in offering convenience to downtown shoppers 60 years ago when suburban developments were making many downtown business centers obsolete. In 2014 the facility is empty.

Other Events
  • The city's population has reached 43,140.
  • Our second Municipal Judge, Peery T. Buren, is elected.
  • Salem replaces San Jose, California as the largest canning area in the world.
  • The ground floor facade of the Capitol National Bank is renovated: two columns of polished Scotch granite are replaced when James Payne, the architect, attempts to retain the "dignity and architectural beauty of the original design while at the same time achieving adequate and efficient quarters for the work of the association on the ground floor." Placing the modern front onto the building required holding up the stone top stories, consisting of over 100 tons of stone, with steel beams to allow the introduction of a large picture window and double doors to provide more light. See this unique building on the SHINE Historic Downtown Walking Tour.
  • The Cherry Festival is recorded for the last time.
  • A building that houses the Rainbow Inn Cafe at 163 S. Commercial Street collapses, revealing a staircase not in use, according to A. N. Bush, since the 1860s.
  • The pre-1871 Werner Breyman house had been moved from State Street (present site of the Micah Building) around the corner on Cottage Street in 1924. By 1950 it had a third floor added and been renovated into an apartment house of 20 units, the building much different in appearance from the original Victorian residence. It will later be demolished for a Willamette University building.
  • The Deaconess Hospital became Salem Memorial Hospital in 1947. An early 1950s photograph shows this Winter Street four story, white building which was torn down in the 1960s. The Salem hospital (Salem Health) continues to grow and is now the second largest employer in town ~ next to the state establishment. A fine, 58 foot mural illustrates the hospital's history: look for it inside the Winter Street entrance of the B Building.
  • One of Salem's most popular vocalists, Hallie Parrish Hinges, known as the "The Oregon Nightingdale", died this year at the age of 82. Granddaughter of Josiah Parrish, a Salem Methodist missionary pioneer, she sang for three visiting presidents as well as numerous local celebrations. Her childhood home has survived two moves that were due to a series of North Capitol Mall constructions. It is now it 1075 Capitol Street, NE.
  • Willamette University builds McCullough Stadium on Bush's Pasture property purchased from the Bush family in 1946.  The facility replaces Sweetland Field. This acreage, the lowland south of Mission and east of the hill on which Bush House stands, was purchased by the university when the city balked at the price of the entire Bush estate. It is a convenient venue for the university and fits in well with the sports fields, Soup Box Derby lanes and the woodlands to the east at Pringle Creek.
  • South of city, the Independence Bridge is built spanning the Willamette. Governor Douglas McKay dedicates this bridge on December 18. During the dedication ceremonies Verd Hill, age 74, dies suddenly of heart failure.
  • From the Capitol Journal: The Rev. Wesley Turner, pastor of Leslie Methodist Church (since demolished) summoned members of civic and reform organizations to discuss possible action against presentation of the movie "Stromboli" at local theaters. The film was the result of a famous letter from Ingrid Bergman to Roberto Rossellini, in which she wrote she admired his work, and she wanted to make a movie with him. However, the film is best remembered for the affair between Rossellini and Bergman that occurred during this time, as well as the resultant child out of wedlock.  (See Ben Maxwell's Salem, Oregon, edited by Scott McArthur, 2006)

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