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

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Salem in 1967

World Events
  • 25th Amendment provides for transfer of power if president incapacitated.
  • In the Six-Day war with the Arab nations, Israel gains land and unifies Jerusalem.
  • Major American combat in Vietnam; Apollo tragedy takes three astronaut lives.
  • Race riots in Detroit; Academy Award goes to "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner"


In Salem
By 1967 our McNary Airfield had a new building, housing an attractive restaurant seen above.
The struggle to maintain a local airport was already forty years old. On May 1, 1929, the City had issued a bond for property acquisition and construction, acquiring 91 acres: the airport was dedicated that year. A complete history of our airport can be found on the City of Salem website.
Important developments included airmail service in 1941, US Air Force taking over in 1942 and United Airlines Freight Services starting in 1946. In July of 1949, the lease was signed giving the Navy the use of the hangar and other facilities on the east of the field. A $40,000 Airport Administration Building was dedicated on Sunday, August 7, 1950. Our first control tower was closed in 1953 due to budget cuts and dismantled in 1956 due to vandalism.
But conditions were improving by 1966 when the Salem Fire Department completed construction on the airport fire station and the restaurant was a pleasant place to dine while watching the flights.

When you visit
The current Airport Control Tower was built in 1973. United Airlines has operated out of the Airport Administration Building along with the U.S. Weather Service, a car rental service and a limousine service that provided bus rides to and from Portland Airport in 1977. Unfortunately, Horizon Airlines discontinued service in April 1993.
Our airport is still operated by the City of Salem and offers on-demand air taxi service, cargo shipping, the restaurant, rental cars and shuttle services. It is used by a number of area businesses, their suppliers, and parent companies as an alternative to driving. The airport is frequented by numerous companies, located in the area surrounding the city, when they conduct business in Salem. State legislators also fly into the airport during the legislative session. The ODOT-Aeronautics Section's primary office, as well the State's fleet of aircraft is located at the airport.
In addition to business flights, there are a significant number of less obvious activities that take place at the airport that contribute to the well being of the region. The airport provides FBO services, training flights, aircraft restoration, aerial photography, forest fire fighting, traffic and news reporting, shipping of "just in time" goods, law enforcement and prisoner transport, aerial advertising, real estate tours and search and rescue activities. The Army National Guard is also based at the airport. There is an on-airport industrial park that is home to several businesses that contribute to the aviation industry. We had a commercial service contract for a few months in 2008 and another in 2011, but neither was successful enough for the companies. In 2012, the federal administrators questioned whether our tower was viable.
The Airport Advisory Commission began the year of 1967. Information and application forms for any resident who wishes to be a member are on the City website.

Other events
  • Less than a month before the fair was due to open, a major fire hit the Fairgrounds. Two buildings were total losses: the 63,000-square-foot Commercial Building and the 47,188-square-foot Natural Resources Building that had been built in 1891. Forty percent of the commercial exhibit space was lost.
Salemtowne as it appeared at 1967 opening.

Former Wallace home at Salemtowne
  • Salemtowne opens in West Salem on the grounds of the former Wallace family summer home. The retirement community administration has retained the major part of the home for use of the residents. Informal, period decor gives a hint of what it looked like for the family when they spent summers there in the midst of their farmland.

Stone plaque at Walton Hall identifies site of the Oregon Institute
  • Willamette University adds the Collins Law Center and Walton Hall. A plaque in front of Walton Hall identifies the site where the Oregon Institute, the academic foundation of Willamette University, stood from 1844 to 1872 when it was destroyed by fire. Its construction at this site by the Methodist missionaries truly determined where the city would be located after their mission ended.
  • A new wing of Salem Hospital, built along Oak Street, dwarfs the old facility. Formerly a residential area known as the University Annex, because of its proximity to Willamette University, Oak Street had many homes of prominent early families. Two of these are the 1890 West-Klein house, home of the parents of Governor West, now relocated to 2983 D Street, and the home of Dr. Carleton Smith, physician and state legislator, relocated to 1335 Cannon Street. Dr. Smith's former home has been designated as a Local landmark.
  • The Willow Lake Sewage Treatment Plant opens, contributing to the health of Salem citizens.
  • Ben Maxwell, faithful photographic chronicler of Salem, dies. Many of his photographs were left to the Salem Public Library and have been cataloged for online use through the Oregon Historic Photograph Collections. His biography is found on the Salemhistory website and in Ben Maxwell's Salem, Oregon: Nuggets of History from the Salem Capital Journal by Scott McArthur.

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