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.

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.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Stirniman House, 170 Myers Street S, SCAN, LL

Constructed in 1925 by Joseph P. Stirniman, this is a one-story bungalow with basement. The narrow street facade faces north on a typical residential block in the Fairmount neighborhood.
A feature is the eyebrow front porch roof and an exterior red brick fireplace on the west.
The depth of house is 92 feet with two gables on the east side.
Joseph Stirniman was a mechanic, working in, or owning, several garages in Salem. His wife, Hallie, operated a shop downtown on Court Street called the "Gibson Bonnet Shop" with Mrs Laverne Winkler as her partner. Mr. Stirniman continued living here after his wife's death in 1937, selling the property in 1941. The present owners have lived there since 1972 and in their application for designation as a Local Landmark state, they have "enjoyed it every day..."
In addition to living, dining rooms and kitchen, it contains 3 bedrooms, a sewing room, laundry room, partially finished basement and a 2 car garage ~ surely very unusual for a bungalow built in that period of residential construction.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Schmidt House, 1106 Leslie St., Can-Do, D

In 1932, this house stood among 8 others in this block of Leslie Street between 12th and University Streets. By 1966, there were twice as many residences on the 1100 block of Leslie Street listed in the City Directory. Today it is alone, the others having been moved or demolished. The blocks around it on three sides are medical offices and the expanded Salem Hospital. The fourth side is the busy 12th Street with its ramp heading east onto Mission Street.
Our earliest record, for 1932, shows it occupied by Mrs Grace Burns, followed by Arthur Denison two years later, and from 1936 to 1947 by L. C. Ramage and wife Lillian. The family who lived there the longest period of years was that of Richard Schmidt. There were many children in this spacious bungalow and altered bedrooms accommodated the growing family. (Remodeling of the basement revealed that there had been a fire, that this might have been the second structure on this lot.) Research continues in order to learn more about the house in the residential years.
How did it survive?
The latest owner discovered that the local builder used a cement-based stucco that was exceptionally tough and durable, although not suitable for moving. And, as the other residences disappeared, this one found an owner in the 1990s who put it another practical use: storage space for a nearby medical facility.
This house is a reminder that the downtown University neighborhood was once one for families and the small businesses that served them. We are grateful that this former residence can still echo the small-town Salem that no longer exists.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Carr House, 4595 Dallas Hwy, West Salem, D

Now almost hidden beside the busy Highway #22, this 1856 house has been many times altered, including a new covered front entrance and extensions on the rear, but retains its original character, including the high ceiling and fireplace in the living room, while the surrounding township of Eola, once considered for the capital city of the new state, has almost disappeared.
The original builders (perhaps Thomas and Beulah Riggs) are unknown, however records show it had several owners before Reason Brunk acquired it in 1891. That family sold it to Mattie and Henry Carr in 1923. It passed to Vivian Carr (perhaps a daughter) in 1939 and she lived there until 1992.
Behind the residence, possibly of the same age, is the "egg-handling" house, see below:

After attending several Oregon and California universities, Miss Carr graduated from Willamette University and became a teacher in Oregon, Massachusetts and Washington. After her retirement as teacher at North Salem High School in 1977, she was elected president of the Willamette Valley Humane Society. Because of her concern for animals, she is considered one of the inspirations for this local institution. At rear of the property is a third building, a kennel serving both large and small animals, and a fenced area for their exercise. (This modern building construction is seen below.)