DISCOVER displays photos and descriptions of more than 250 individual historic properties. Local Landmarks (LL), Federal National Register of Historic Places (NR) and potential candidates (D) are designated. Use Search to locate a property by name, street or neighborhood.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Charles Vick 2090 Ferry Street S (D) SESNA

This 1910 residence was built for Charles Vick, a prominent Salem businessman. He also constructed the historic Vick Building downtown on Trade Street. He is noted for donating $500 to the American Red Cross and for being the first motorist to cross the Center Street bridge in 1918, driving a Fordson tractor, to the applause of hundreds of bystanders.
A Koval photograph taken in 1978 shows the appearance of this residence has changed little in the more than one hundred years since it was built. Since his time, many other prominent Salem families have owned the home including a member of the City Council, Willamette professors, and a Master Gardener. The house and grounds have been well maintained on this handsome corner lot.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Douglas McKay 395 Jerris Street (D) SCAN

In 1929, Douglas McKay, his wife Mabel and daughters Shirley and Marylou, moved to this house on Jerris Street. Mr. McKay, a veteran of World War I, had moved to Salem in 1926 and founded a Chevrolet auto dealership. In 1941, Mabel McKay and the landscape gardening firm of Lord and Schryver created a garden there. It would be the family’s only home in Salem.
 A natural-born politician, McKay was Salem mayor 1933 to 1934,  elected as state Senator 1935 to 1949 and became governor in 1950. President Eisenhower appointed McKay as Secretary of the Interior in 1952. After returning from Washington, D.C. in 1956, this continued to be the McKay home until his death in 1959 and Mabel's death in 1969. A biography of Douglas McKay was published in the Salemhistory website.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Edwin Viesko 2060 High Street (LL) SCAN

On February 8, 1923, Edwin R. and Marie Viesko purchased property from E.A. and Elsie Rhoten for $450. By 1924, Ed and Marie Viesko were living at this address in Salem's Nob Hill subdivision.
During the 1920s, Ed Viesko worked with his father in construction and started building homes, but selling the houses was challenging because of the Depression. He switched to commercial construction and partnered with Jim Hannaman, a local architect, forming "Viesko and Hannaman". They built several commercial structures. After Hannaman's death, Viesko partnered with Claude Post and established "Viesko and Post". They were responsible for Salem buildings such as the Marion County Courthouse, the Salem Armory, the Statesman Journal Building and Meier and Frank retail store as well as three schools.
This was the home of Edwin and Marie Viesko until their deaths in 1969 and 1970. It was passed down to their daughters and since then to a number of owners.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

George Eyre 2098 Mill St NE (LL) SESNA

This Vernacular Queen Anne house is sited on part of the Alvin F. and Elepha Waller Donation Land Claim. The lot was acquired by Mrs. Martha J. Atwood and the house was built for her in 1893. Mrs. Atwood's daughter, Linnie, married A. A. Lee in the new house in 1894. Mrs. Atwood sold the property to J. D. Trammel in August of 1903; Mr. Trammel sold it to George and Ida Eyre in 1904. It remained in the Eyre family until sold by the daughter, Mary Eyre, in 1996.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Port-Manning House, Halls Ferry Rd. (NR)

This National Register property was moved to Halls Ferry Road in the 1960s.

In its original location on Winter Street, it was built in 1884 for Dr. Luke Port and his wife Lizzie and was the home for their family of two children, Alpha and Omega. The son, Omega, was a young man, working in his father's downtown drug store, when he boarded a ship for Germany for further study. The ship disappeared at sea. This occurred when the family was planning to move to a new property, now known as Historic Deepwood Estate. The family lived in the new home only a few months in 1894-5, Lizzie leaving first, taking her daughter with her to San Diego, California. The house was sold to the Manning family.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Nielson House,1677 High Steet SE, LL, SCAN

Originally constructed by Karl J. Peters, this modest bungalow has served continuously as a residence since 1925.The Peters owned the house until 1937. It changed hands five times through the 1940s until it was purchased by Ole P. and Dorothy Nielson in 1950. They owned the house for the longest period of time, 45 years. The house is a typical example of the modest housing that was constructed in the mid-1920s in this neighborhood for blue-collar tradespeople.
Even though this block was excluded from the Gaiety Hill/Bush Pasture Park National Register Historic District, just to the north, it represents a period development in South Salem which defines the character of the neighborhood. It was placed on the city's list of Local Landmarks in 2012.

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Hughes House, 480 Vista Avenue, D, Morningside

This Tudor style residence was built for J. Frank Hughes in 1933 on this several acre view lot in South Salem. After his death in 1944, the house was owned and occupied by the the son, John Hughes and his family. Upon the death of John in 1956, the house was owned by Robert and Fay Nelson and a nursery was located there in the grounds that had formerly been an extensive garden.
The builder's 1944 obituary recalls much about him and his prominent Salem family:
"Long interested in wildlife projects, Mr. Hughes was, in 1912, appointed to the first game commission by Governor Oswald West. He was for many years a member of the First Methodist Church choir. He attended Salem schools and Willamette University.
“Mr. Hughes father [John] was an early merchant of the city and one of the first painters of the vicinity, the son being associated with him in a store which stood on the present site of the Sears and Roebuck Store. His father-in-law, Virgil K. Pringle, was a pioneer shoemaker, later settling on a donation claim in the vicinity of the present Pringle School. Considerable downtown property was acquired by the elder Hughes during his business career, including holdings on South High Street and in the area where the old Chinatown was once located. Extensive tracks of farmland were also held on the South River Road, one track being the site of the present Salem Golf Club."
The interior of the house, except for a family room addition on the rear, still retains the original hardware and wood trim at doors and french windows. It is not hard to image the gracious entertaining that two generations of the Hughes family hosted here.