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

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Salem in 1954

World Events
  • Air Force Academy established in Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Salk polio vaccine given to children.
  • US Supreme Court strikes down "separate but equal" racial segregation in public schools.
  • Western Oregon Indian Termination Act ends recognition of Grand Ronde tribe as a nation.

In Salem
Salem residents were getting used to the fact that their 1872 Victorian courthouse, once described as a "wedding cake", had now turned into a "cake box". The austere lines of the new Marion County Courthouse building, dedicated in June, reflect the mid-twentieth century architecture of Peitro Belluschi found in Salem and echo his design of the 1935 State Capitol. The only thing familiar to residents at the time this photograph was taken is the 1924 "Doughboy" statue, still standing on the lawn. The courthouse grounds are awaiting the landscaping to be supplied by the local firm of Lord-Schrvyer.

When you visit
In 1991 the "Doughboy" World War I memorial was moved to the new Oregon Department of Veteran Affairs Building on Summer Street. It can be seen there at the south end of the Veterans Memorial Park along Mill Creek. At the Courthouse itself, the entrance has been modified and barriers erected. These were put in place after a driver crashed his car up the front steps and into the building in 2006. The public may attend trials in the Courthouse, but should inquire about scheduling and restrictions. The office of the County Clerk has property records and clerks supply help in looking up specific properties of interest. The Marion County Recorder's Office maintains a website to direct viewers to other services.

Other events
  • The Grant School building, at Market and Cottage Streets NE, is being prepared for demolition after serving the community for 64 years. It will be replaced by a more modern structure now in use (2014).
  • While Salem High School, on Marion Street between Center and High Streets, is being torn down, a historic Class of 1906 plaque is found. Several houses of the neighborhood are also demolished as the property is prepared for the new Meier and Frank Department Store.
  • The South Salem High School on Church Street is completed this year. Students whose parents lived south of State Street could attend the new three-year high school that was then adjacent to Leslie Middle School.
  • Dr. Dean Brooks, becomes Superintendent of the Oregon State Hospital. He will temporarily become an actor in 1975 when he plays a small part in the Academy Award movie, "One Flew Over the Cookoo's Nest", filmed in that Salem institution. In 1954, a new geriatrics building opens on the north side of Center Street. Dr. Brooks was born in Everett, Washington in 1916. He attended the University of Kansas Medical School in Kansas City, Kansas and graduated from there on the 1st of June 1942. He was first licensed in Oregon to practice Psychiatry on the 21st of January 1950. He retired from the practice of Psychiatric Medicine on the 31st of December 1999. He never had a single complaint filed against him in his long and distinguished career as a Psychiatrist.
  • St. Paul's Episcopal Church moves its parsonage. Another photograph shows it in its original location. Currently, the former rectory is located on Leffelle Street in the Gaiety Hill/Bush's Pasture Park Historic District, directly south of the park. It is seen on the SHINE Court-Chemeketa Walking Tour.
  • A new YWCA of Pietro Belluschi design is built on State Street.  This former YWCA has had various tenants and is used periodically for CERT training purposes.
The John Carson House on High Street
  • The John Carson house, a landmark of many years at the southwest corner of High and Kearney Streets, is about to be razed for the construction of a church. The original structure may have been constructed about 1860.  By 1889 it was the home of John and Helen F. Carson. They raised a family of two daughters (Ester and Catherine), and three sons (Wallace, John and Allen). Mr. Carson died in 1916, but his widow continued to live there until her death in 1939. The senior Mr. Carson was one of most eminent attorneys in the Northwest and a State Senator. His grandson is Wallace P. Carson, Jr. of Salem who served as Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court for 14 years and was named Citizen of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce in 2010. In 1943, a photograph of the large house with "sleeping porches" was taken from Kearney Street. The family of Evelyn Andrus lived there at that time.
The John Scott House on Court Street
  • The undated photograph represents the beautiful home of Supreme Court Justice John Scott that occupied the northwest corner of Court and 12th Streets. Judge Scott died in 1952, his widow Maud lived there until her death this year. The couple, married 7 years, is enumerated in the 1910 census with her parents, James and Miranda Martin. This Victorian house may have been their home. What year it disappeared, or if it was moved, it not known.
  • The annual Salem Art Association Art Fair that had moved into Bush House the year before, now becomes a "clothes-line" exhibition and sale on the Bush House grounds. The expanded Art Fair is a major tourist attraction in 2012 providing venues for art sales and family entertainment.

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