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

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Salem in 1995

World Events
  • UN tribunal charges Serbian commanders with genocide in Balkans.
  • Oklahoma City federal building bombed.
  • Actor Christopher Reeve ("Superman" in the movie) paralyzed after fall from horse.
 In Salem

Former students honor their historic local school on its anniversary. Almost 100 years of student activities are recalled in a booklet entitled “Swegle Elementary Memories Past Roots Present Traditions” compiled this year. Swegle School at 4485 Market Street was built until around 1900 when George Swegle sold one acre of land on Garden Road (Market Street) to the District for $80. His fathers had settled in Marion County on property that came to be known as the Swegle Garden District. The first section of the school as we know it today (the original school was removed from the property) was built in 1923-4. The new one-room school had a potbelly stove for warmth, an outside well and pump, outhouses, and a swing made of a wooden plank that could seat six to eight students at one time. Children often crossed the dirt road to eat their lunches in the meadow. A photograph of 1925-6 shows nineteen students, only five are girls. By 1938 the school had four classrooms, a gym used as a multi-purpose room. Three teachers were assisted by a full time custodian. There were enough students to field a sports program, but no money for uniforms. One year there were not enough boys for a full baseball team so two girls played (in their school dresses) as Swegle competed with other county schools.

When you visit ELNA
Swegle School has added classrooms and modern facilities, but retains the same high standards of education established by the founder and enjoys strong family support. It is in the East Lancaster Neighborhood Association neighborhood.
Another school was established in ELNA in 1995. Blanchet Catholic School was established in this year, carrying on the traditions established by Sacred Heart Academy and Serra Catholic high schools. In 2011, the school celebrated its 16th year with an Open House where student art work and Senior school memories and goals for the future were displayed. More information can be found at the school's website.
This area was annexed to the city in small sections, beginning in 1979 and continuing through the 1980s. Lancaster Drive, Sunnyview Avenue, Cordon Roar and Center Street are its approximate boundaries. Formerly a rural area, it is now a residential neighborhood with little trace of the original farms. One structure that remains from early Salem history is a farmhouse (above) on Swegle Road. Built possibly in 1904, certainly by 1917, it was part of the Zachariah Pollard Land Donation. The earliest known resident was Kenneth Hinkle who lived here between 1948 and 1980.

Other events


  • ODOT purchases the Salem Train Station. Since this year, the property has been successfully nominated as a National Register Historic District. Several attempts have been made to complete the original Salem freight building, adjacent to the station, that dates back to the earliest days of Salem train service. A proposal to move the structure to Willamette Heritage Center, directly to the north, was not successful. (In 2014, due to a generous private donation,  it was announced that it will be transformed into a Greyhound bus facility.)
  • Orville Roth donated land immediately behind and adjacent to the West Salem Roth’s IGA grocery store upon which to build a new library. With large donations from West Salem residents, a federal grant through the Oregon State Library, and City of Salem general fund money, the new 6,000 square foot building was built. On September 25 the new branch library celebrated its grand opening ceremony and doors opened the next day for business.
  • The main library facility on Liberty Street had historical photography exhibits including local Cemeteries (January-March), Diaries (April-May) and Railroads (June-August).
  • Traces of an ancient Wooly Mammoth are discovered on the Turner farm of Tip and Mary Ann Hennessey. Surprised workmen, digging a trench for a gas company pipeline, found the remains of two tusks and a jawbone. Later, a paleontologist identified the samples. Buried about eight feet deep the prehistoric tusks were estimated to be about ten to fifteen thousand years old. There were indications that a lake existed in the area at that time. Perhaps the animal was drinking from this lake at the time of its death. It probably died of natural causes.
  • Six local citizens were interviewed for the CCTV program, Legacy: Pioneers in Black Salem. The panel included Kathy Bailey, David Burgess, Willie Richardson, A J Talley, Claudia Thompson, and Jackie Winters. They expressed a variety of feelings about their experiences in Salem, ranging from pride that African-Americans are now spread throughout all areas of town and all different professions, to frustration that, as Dave Burgess put it, “Salem has not accepted minority populations, period.” He pointed out that blacks and Latinos face the same problem of gaining recognition and respect in a city that is still about 80 percent white.
  • In Northgate neighborhood, Adam Stephens Middle School replaces one built by Adam Stephens in 1882. He had donated the land and the lumber so the original school could be built and was the first clerk. He also wrote and taught music. Stephens was so widely respected that the Hayesville community was very nearly named Stephensville.
  • Mayor Gertenrich actively participates in the formation of the North Santiam Watershed Council. Salem became a member after much controversy that the "big city" would dominate the Council. The Pringle Creek Watershed Council is also created the year.
  • Bob Packwood, a respected Oregon US senator since 1965, resigns due to the Senate Ethics Committee unanimous recommendation that he be expelled for ethical misconduct.  Democratic Congressman Ron Wyden won the seat in a special election.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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