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

Friday, November 2, 2012

SHINE on Salem

The 1913 railroad bridge across the Willamette River as it appeared at its reopening for pedestrian use in 2009.

Salem's history began with an 1840 Methodist missionary settlement on Mill Creek. An interpretive plaque on Broadway Street, north of the creek, tells the story. Two years later, the Oregon Institute was built nearby: it became Willamette University. But it was a few blocks to the west, on the shores of the Willamette River, that the village grew. A ferry crossing was at the street that still bears the name. That intersection at Commercial Street was the location of the Territorial and then the 1859 State of Oregon government offices before the town of 1129 residents gained a charter as a city in 1860.

SHINE is an acronym for Salem Heritage Network (SHN), a group of Salem residents involved in promoting our cultural resources and preserving historical properties. They were active in the Salem Vision 20-20 project. They were involved in financing and constructing the Salem Cultural Heritage Guide, published in October 2014.

This website is a result of their efforts to celebrate this city's heritage, outlining the story of the city of Salem from 1860 until 2011 when the series ended. To read about an event or year, use the white box in the upper left corner of this page to search. This is an index, so you may see several references before you scroll down to the information you want. Like searching in an encyclopedia, you may be distracted by the variety of information! If you want to browse, the most recent past year is below, the earlier years following in sequence. Entries are often up-dated with new links or photographs. At the end of each year's profile, there is an opportunity to comment. We welcome suggestions and corrections.

2012 is celebrated with Marion County 20, a series of articles about our 20 incorporated cities.

Historic photographs are used courtesy of the Salem Public Library. Search for additional photos at Oregon Historic Photograph Collections (  Photos from private of state collections are as noted. Contemporary photographs are those of T.N. Green, Jr.

While you are on SHINE, take any of our six historic walking tours listed on the right column of this page. Created in 2008, we update them as historic structures and the cityscape change.

We hope you enjoy our "armchair" journeys through these years of Salem history.