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

Monday, June 28, 2010

Salem in 1971

World events
  • The Vietnam war extends into Laos; 7000 arrested for D.C. protest activities.
  • Roe vs. Wade legalizes abortion.
  • Cigarette ads are outlawed on TV.
  • Billie Jean King is the first female athlete to earn $100,000 in one year.
  • Amtrak begins operating US railroads.
  • Oregon Forestry Practices Act requires the replanting of harvested trees.
In Salem
On November 12, a fire in the historic old Marion Hotel left it in ruins. Another photograph, taken from the air during the fire, shows smoke rising from the gutted building: the sign for the Velvet Horse Lounge is still in place above the ruins. In 1870, when the doors of the Chemeketa House opened it brought Salem a new age of genteel luxury and elegance. On December 26, 1970, the Chemeketa Hotel, since renamed the Marion hotel, celebrated its centennial. The secrets of a century of back-stage politics and local social events were hidden inside the old building at Commercial and Ferry Streets SE. Traditional hotel hospitality was there in the old portion of the building: 50 of those high-ceiling rooms were furnished in antiques dating back over the 100-year history of the hotel.

When you visit
A typical, mid-century motel and restaurant was built on that site, but closed before 1999. After several years of municipal discussion, the present Conference Center, facing Commercial Street, and Grand Hotel on Liberty Street were completed in 2005. Since then, the city has added graphic historical information for the residents and visitors: on the Ferry and Commercial Street stair landing, there is an interpretive panel showing the importance of this intersection in the earliest years of statehood. It outlines the social and political importance of the hotel building that once stood here until the fire of 1971.

Other Events
  • The urban renewal of the Hollywood district in North Salem begins. In June, the Hollywood Theater, which gave this suburban business neighborhood its name, was demolished. The Highland neighborhood has produced an excellent online history of Hollywood's transformation. The Hazel Avenue neighborhood was still farmland when, as an orphan, future president Herbert Hoover lived here as a boy. His uncle, Henry Minthorn, developed the Highland area and sponsored the building of the Friends Church that still stands (but with a different religious affiliation). The Miles Linen Mill, located at the intersection of Fairgrounds Road and Sunnyview Avenue, was later occupied by the Oregon Military Department. By 1971, this early Salem suburban work and commercial center, with its outdated intersection of Fairgrounds, Capitol, Myrtle and Tile streets, no longer served the transportation needs of the growing city. The Hollywood Theater, which gave the area its popular name, and Mootry's Pharmacy, are now only fond memories of senior citizens. This was the city's first Urban Renewal project.
  • The Gideon Stoltz Company, the pioneer of our canning industry, a malt beverage distributor, moves to a modern building at 2445 North Liberty Street.

  • The 1870 William Lincoln Wade house, one of our oldest residences still in use, is moved from its original location on the 800 block of Liberty Street (in the same block as Boon's Store) to 1305 John Street in South Salem. His son, Murray Wade, was a well-known newspaper cartoonist and publisher of the Oregon Magazine for 45 years. Soon after this year's move by its new owners, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Newman, it was photographed in its new location.
  • The city purchases the 1894 Deepwood property. The five-acre estate was originally part of the circa 1889, 220-acre Yew Park subdivision; the Queen Anne styled house designed by William C. Knighton and built by Dr. Luke Port. He sold the home to George and Willie Bingham in 1895. They made Deepwood their home for 28 years developing the natural gardens with roses, an orchard, grape arbor and vegetable gardens. Alice Bingham, their daughter, sold the house to Clifford and Alice Brown in 1924. After his death, Alice lived in the home as a widow, commissioning landscape architects Elizabeth Lord and Edith Schryver to design the gardens. By 1930, Alice was calling the house and gardens “Deepwood” after the children’s book “The Hollow Tree and Deepwoods” Book by Albert Bigelow Paine, a favorite of her sons. In 1935, when the gardens were nearly complete, she had the name Deepwood formally registered as a legal farm name. The longest resident of Deepwood, Alice Brown married Keith Powell, widower of Alice Bingham, remaining in the house until their health required relocation in 1968. The city of Salem acquires the home in December of this year.
  • An aerial view of the state fairgrounds this year shows the horse racing track, exhibition halls and carnival midway. The giant parking lots are surrounded by suburban residential neighborhoods. Buildings destroyed by the fire three years before have been replaced. Senator George McGovern of South Dakota visited our Oregon State Fair and shared opening day activities with Governor and Mrs. McCall. In the next year, he would lose the presidential election to Richard Nixon. The Watergate controversy began during this campaign and would lead to the resignation of President Nixon before his term ended.

  • Construction for the Civic Center south of Pringle Creek between Commercial and Liberty Streets begins. This photograph shows the placing of the triangular concrete pieces that will surround the fountain in the plaza between the new library and city offices. In the distance, the old City Hall still stands.
  • By June, the new Fire Station #1, adjacent to the Civic Center is complete and in use. In 2011, this central fire station was renovated.
  • Roger Tofte, artist and draftsman with the state highway division, took his hobby and turned it into a career as the created the Enchanted Forest Amusement Park south of the city. In the next year, he quit his job and devoted his talents to creating family-friendly attractions and rides.

Photograph taken in 2007
  • The Bush-Brey building is remodeled to include a bridge to an addition in the back and a garden courtyard for the Busick Court Restaurant on Court Street. The woodwork on the second floor is restored, the design of windows changed and the northern skylight that had served the former Cronise Photography Studio site for sixty years was removed.
  • Cherry picking is still an important source of income for many Salem families and for migrants who come for seasonal work. Young people of all social classes make spending money in this summer activity.

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