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, June 27, 2009

St. Paul's Rectory, 1510 Davidson Street SE, (GH/BPP)

A 1953 photograph of Fr. George H. Swift and his wife Alice shows them standing in front of this St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Rectory, possibly built in 1923. It was located adjacent to the new church at 540 Chemeketa St. NE. The church has moved and so has the rectory, now a private residence in the Gaiety Hill/Bush's Pasture Park Historic Residential District. None of the exterior features seem to have changed and the bright blue paint gives the bungalow a cheerful, contemporary appearance without forgetting its important place in our community’s past.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Jarman, 567 High Street SE, (NR)

This unique 1929 Spanish Colonial home, also photographed circa 1960, was designed by Glen C. McAllister of Santa Monica. The gardens were designed by Lord and Schryver. Daniel P. Jarman, the original owner, was a J.C. Penney executive. The second owner, Louis Lachmund, was a prominent businessman and former mayor. (His previous Piety Hill home had been purchased and removed from its Court Street site by the state for the construction of the North Capitol Mall in 1938.) This residence is on the National Register of Historic Places.
An interesting historical note: this building replaced the home of John Hughes, well-known merchant whose daughter Lulu married A.N. Bush, the son of Asahel Bush. The Asahel Bush family lived lived just south of this location at their residence, now Bush House Museum.

Harding, 1043 High Street SE, (NR)

This Italianate residence was built in 1884 for lawyer, state legislator, and U.S. Senator Benjamin F. Harding (1823-1899) in what was then a suburb of Salem. The architect is speculated to be W. F. Boothby, also known for his designs of several of Salem's fine older downtown buildings. Jacob and Lou Amsler owned this house beginning in 1903. Jacob was an important employee of the Bush family, later acting as chauffeur and assistant for Miss Sally. His family owned several properties in early Salem. This house was also photographed by Bob Koval in 1978. It was accepted into the National Register on December 21, 1981 and is in the Gaiety Hill/Bush's Pasture Park Historic District.

South First National Bank, 241-247 Commercial Street NE (NR)

South First National Bank Block of 1887 is shown here at right with awnings. Originally two buildings, changes in 1923 incorporated a central stairway for access to offices on the second floor. It is the only remaining building designed by Holly Cornell (1859-1911), a local architect who also designed the residences of Governor Zenas Moody and Werner Breyman ~ both now demolished. For many years, Benjamin Forstner and his family operated a store in the south section of the building. A photograph was taken in 1992. This building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is in the Salem Downtown Historic District.

Starkey-McCully Building, 223-233 Commercial Street NE, (NR)

Only 70 feet of this 1867 Italianate Starkey-McCully Building building remain, the northern, two-story section of a five-story business block. The cast iron decoration is believed to be the oldest of its kind in Oregon. It was built by Asa McCully and John L. Starkey who had formed a partnership and moved to Oregon after their success in the California Gold Rush. Another photograph shows the appearance of the building circa 1950. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Odd Fellows Hall and Annex, 181-195 High Street NE, (NR)

The original Richardson Romanesque design of this 1900 building included a central bell tower, now gone, but the integrity of the building remains. As the “Mother Lodge” in the Northwest of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, this site provided member benefits and community services. The theater closed in 1950, however renovation in the 1990s (see photograph before renovation) brought new life to this historic downtown intersection. We thank the owner, Carole Smith, for the photograph above.
The 1921 Central Stage Terminal and Hotel is Mediterranean style building, constructed by the Odd Fellows Fraternal Order. It had a restaurant entrance on the south, a hotel bus depot in the center and a store entrance to the north. The second floor contained offices and hotel accommodations. The Chemeketa Lodge utilized the hotel to finance their charitable activities. The buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Reed Opera House and McCornack Building 177-189 Liberty Street NE, (NR)

The Reed Opera House, built in 1869-70, originally housed the Oregon Supreme Court and State Library on the third floor, a 1,500 seat auditorium on the second, and seven stores at street level. A photograph shows it in 1888. It closed in 1900 after the opening of the Grand Theater. The interior was redesigned in 1936 for Joseph Meyers and Sons (and later Miller’s) Department Store. It was renovated in 1976.
The McCornack Building was constructed in 1902 on the south wall of the Reed Opera House by the owner, E. P. McCornack, an addition intended as a furniture store. After twenty years, the stock was replaced and it became “Worth’s Department Store”. In the 1930s it was regarded as one of the best retail stores in Salem.
They are listed together on the National Register of Historic Places.

Manning Building 210 State Street, (NR)

This property was originally owned by the pioneer Holman family. It was sold to S. T. Northcutt in 1889 who built a wooden structure for blacksmiths and carriage makers. In 1908 the present Manning Company Building was constructed for Samuel A. Manning’s automotive and farm equipment business. It was purchased by the Derby family for use by the Salem Seed and Implement Company of 1932-53. (See 1990s photograph,) The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Smith and Wade Building, 229 State Street (LL)

The 1870 Smith & Wade Building retains its 1910 appearance with slight modifications of the 1980s.
The earliest building on this site sold “agricultural implements” according to a newspaper account. Reuben Boise bought it in 1890 and sold it to his daughter, Mae Lauterman in 1910. By the mid-1920s, one half of the building was George Water's wholesale cigar store, the other half occupied by the “Gospel Mission”. The Lauterman family retained an interest in this Local Landmark property until 1962.

McGilchrist Building, 102 Liberty Street NE, (SDHD)

This 1916 Revival style building is inscribed with the builders name in bas relief on the upper level. The elder generation of the family operated the “White House Restaurant” on State Street. Son James, also owner, established a furniture, restaurant and real estate business. He became the first Capitol guide, a position he held until 1953. Located on one of Salem's most historic downtown corners, this building is designated as a Local Landmark. (See 1950s photograph.)

Ladd and Bush Bank Building, 302 State Street, (LL)

Salem's first financial institution, the former Ladd and Bush Bank, was founded in 1869 by Asahel Bush, II (1824-1913), a prominent figure in Salem's financial and political history. (See 1880s photograph.) In 1967 the interior was renovated, the building expanded on State Street and additional cast iron decorations from the demolished Ladd and Tilton Bank of Portland were applied on the exterior. This building is designated as a Local Landmark.

United States National Bank/Pioneer Trust 109-117 Commercial Street NE, (LL)

This 1909 Commercial style building was the first steel and concrete, fire-resistant building in Salem and included all the latest banking conveniences when built by J. P. Rogers, owner of the US National Bank of Salem. (See 1930 photograph from State Street.) In 1940 when Ladd and Bush Bank became part of U.S. National Bank, the trust division survived in this building as the Pioneer Trust Bank.

Pomeroy Building, 379-83 State Street, (LL)

The 1925 Pomeroy Building replaced an 1860 rooming house. Charles T. Pomeroy and A. A. Keene purchased the building and remodeled it into two retail stores. A central staircase with skylight divides the two stores. Substantial integrity of design has been maintained with an especially attractive street level facade and entrance. A jewelry store there was managed by Audrey Pomeroy into the 1990s. Her brother had an adjoining optical shop in this Local Landmark. (See 1941 photograph.)

Masonic Building 101 High Street NE, (LL)

This 1912 Mediterranean/Moorish style building was designed by architect Ellis Lawrence, founder and first dean of the Oregon School of Architecture. Terra cotta is liberally used for exterior decoration. (See 1915 photograph.) Now known as The Franklin Building, it has recently been remodeled and contains offices with a ballroom on the sixth floor.

Greenbaum, South Eldridge Block, 240-54 Commercial Street NE, (LL)

This 1889 Italianate building of 23 bays originally extended south from Chemeketa Street to the end of the block at Court Street. Wilbur Boothby developed the property in 1890. (See photograph of 1892 Fourth of July Parade street scene.) The present storefront dates from the 1930s. For more than sixty years, this building was occupied by “Greenbaums”, a popular variety store. The third generation of the family continues to maintain a store at this Local Landmark.

Gray Building 105-35 Liberty Street NE, (LL)

The Gray name and date of construction are written in recessed letters on the upper facade of this 1891 building. The three Gray brothers had early Salem hardware and construction businesses, but left Salem about 1907. By 1900 they sold the building to Russell Catlin and James R. Lynn, hop growers and merchants. The present owners of this Local Landmark are descendants of Russell Catlin.

Gill Building, 356 State Street, (NR)

Constructed by the prominent Northwest book dealer, J.K. Gill in 1868, this is one of the oldest buildings in the historic district. In 1869, the First Presbyterian Church of Salem was organized on the upper floor. In 1888, Christopher Paulus purchased the property and opened a saloon, beginning a series of establishments serving alcohol at this location. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (See 1992 photograph.)

Farrar Family Building, 352 State Street, (NR)

The one-story Farrar Building (to the left above) was built c 1917 and altered in the 1930s. The Midget Market was one of many shops occupying space here. From 1930 through 1981, the store to the east was the Smoke Shop, not only selling cigars, but serving food and drinks at a counter. Billiard and cards were played in the back. It became a community institution, serving farm and transient laborers in the Salem area. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (See 1992 photograph.)

Elsinore Theater, 170 High Street SE, (NR)

The Elsinore Theater was built by George Guthrie at a cost of $250,000 and opened on May 28, 1926 (see photograph) with the silent film, “The Volga Boatman” by Cecil B. DeMille. The Elsinore was designed by architect Ellis Lawrence for both stage and film, and movies were often combined with vaudeville. The theater was damaged by the Columbus Day storm of 1962. Community donations funded a renovation in 2004 that restored its Tudor Gothic ornamentation. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Dearborn Building, 110 Commercial Street NE, (LL)

The Watkins-Dearborn Building at 110 Commercial Street retained its 1870s Italianate style on the second level through the renovations of 1920 and the 1940s. Originally a harness-making shop, it became Holland Bakery in 1910. When Samuel Adolph and his brother-in-law Edward Rostein opened their Real Estate and General Insurance business in 1931, their office was in this building and remained here until 1963. Tucked between newer buildings, this Local Landmark is hardly noticed among today's businesses.

Catlin Building, 246 State Street, (LL)

The 1900 Catlin & Linn Building at 246 State Street was constructed on the site of the Tiger Engine Fire House, No. 2, organized in 1869, continuing as a volunteer organization until 1893 when the city created a paid fire department. A garage with concrete floor was a feature of this building through the 1920s, testifying to its early use for auto storage and repairs.

Livesley Building, 388 State Street, (NR)

The 1926 First National Bank, Capitol Tower is Salem's only skyscraper at 11 stories tall. This building was financed by Thomas A. Livesley, a leading hop grower as well as a Salem politician and entrepreneur. Elaborate ornamentation decorates the exterior of the eleventh floor upward to the parapet: a standing human figure with stylized wings; bearded human faces in relief; statuary of griffins. It stands at one of Salem's most historic commercial corners at State and Liberty Street. (See 1935 photograph taken at Ferry and Liberty.) The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Boise Building, 217 State Street, (NR)

The 1913 Boise Building reflects the original design of architect Fred Legg who also designed structures at the State Fairgrounds. The original owner, R. B. Boise, Jr., was a well-known northwest journalist and owner of the Oregon Statesman. It previously served as a farm machinery store, a garage and automotive center and as a steel warehouse. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (See 1992 photograph.)

Bush-Breyman Block, 135-146 Commercial Street NE, (NR)

This 1889 Queen Anne style block (to the right) was designed by Walter D. Pugh and built by Asahel Bush and Werner Breyman. It housed retail stores on the ground floor with professional offices on the second floor. The original building was twice the size: the Bush portion north portion was damaged by fire in 1960 and subsequently demolished, leaving only a solitary column. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (See 1949 photograph.)
To the left in this photograph is the 1880 Capital National Bank Building. This bank was remodeled in 1892 to the Richardsonian Romanesque style. The keystone in the arch has a facsimile of the Oregon beaver dollar of 1849. The building was remodeled again in 1950 by James L. Payne, Salem architect. Placing the modern front onto the building required lifting up the 100 ton stone fa├žade during construction.

Adolph Block, 360-372 State Street, (NR)

The brick 1880 Adolph Block (the Italianate facades to the left) was constructed by Samuel Adolph after fire destroyed the wooden buildings here. It offered space for three businesses: Smith and Millican, butchers, and Adolph’s saloon were the first two. The third store included jewelers and The White House Restaurant. The Cooke/Henery family has operated a stationery store in the western two stores since 1935. (See 1992 photograph.) The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Gill Building and the former Ladd and Bush Bank complete the photograph.

Bayne Building 335-349 State Street, (LL)

The 1902 Bayne Building was constructed by two brothers, John and George Bayne, who selected a prominent Salem architect, William Knighton, to design their building. Alterations in recent years have restored much of the original integrity. It housed a bakery and the Little King Restaurant in the east side. For over a hundred years a barber shop (now the OK Barber Shop) has occupied the western half. It is designated a Local Landmark.

Bush-Brey Building, 179 Commercial St. NE, (NR)

The Bush and Brey Block and Annex was built in 1889, altered c. 1918 and again in the 1970s. It displays the Italianate style of architect Walter D. Pugh, retaining its original ornamentation with few changes. Clothing stores were traditionally located here along with Busick and Sons, Grocers(1924-1970) on the corner. Busick Court Restaurant continues the family business around the corner on Court Street. Professional offices and civic institutions were established upstairs when downtown was the center of Salem civic activities. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Buttercup Hill, 4515 Sunnyside Road, (D)

A viewer wonders whether anyone knows who built this house at 4515 Sunnyside Road, now the Buttercup Hill preschool. The Kennel family owned the property in 1876. Obidiah Kennel sold the property to Robert L. and Laura (Robert's aunt) Chambers in 1887. Chambers sold the property to William and Anna Garnjobst in 1900. The Garnjobsts sold the property to William Grabenhorst and Co. in 1934.
(South Salem)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Gerth, 296 Gerth Street., (LL)

The Gerth house was built for Walter and Grace Gerth in 1908. They operated their Edgewater Street store for 35 years, from 1911 to 1946 during which time he served several terms as mayor of West Salem. One of West Salem's most enthusiastic citizens; he built the first two-story commercial building in West Salem, started the first grocery delivery in the town, and loaned the city money to pay its bills.
(West Salem)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Armpriest, 332 24th Street NE, (D)

This handsome house in the NEN neighborhood was built in 1916, on the corner of 24th and Walker Streets, next door to the Walker House. Its imposing appearance and prominent location, led us to believe it was the home of the second generation of the Walker family. However, the earliest record of ownership found so far indicates Carl Armpriest and his wife Constance purchased the property in 1919 from Portland Mortgage Co. for $10 "and other good and valuable considerations". The Armpriest family lived there until at least 1941. More information is welcome.

This 1975 photograph is reproduced by courtesy Salem Public Library Koval Collection

Walker, 308 24th Street NE, (D)

In December of 1901, E.M. Croisan and his wife Ella deeded to Sarah Walker for twelve hundred dollars land beginning at the east end of the A. F. Waller Donation Land Claim and extending to the southeast corner of the Croisan property. It is possible this home was built even before that date: a 1934 obituary states that W.W. Walker, Sarah's husband, lived here "in the same house for 44 years" . Sarah died in 1940 at the age of 89. This NEN neighborhood property may have passed out of the family at that time. Further information is invited.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Phillips/Barker, 6565 Spring Valley Road NW, (NR)

Above: the Phillips/Barker House from a 1950s photograph. The damaged tree endangered the house after the 1963 wind storm and was cut down. The rings revealed its age as over 300 years.

The West Salem residence has been unoccupied since the property sale in 2002. This historic 1853 vernacular Greek Revival house was built for pioneer John Phillips, who came to Oregon via the Oregon Trail in 1845. He finished his journey to Oregon on the Meek Cutoff as part of Stephen Meek's "lost wagon train".
Born in 1814, Phillips was a native of Wiltshire England who came to the U.S. in 1834 and married Elizabeth Hibbard in 1839. He came to Oregon and bought the Turner donation land claim in Polk County for $100. The locale was once known as Spring Valley Ranch. John Phillips' daughter Hannah married Samuel Barker. The grandson, Samuel E. Barker and his wife Velma were the last occupants. Their niece remembers stories that the local Native Americans would come in the back door to warm themselves by the pot-bellied stove.
In 1976 the house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2009 it is the oldest residence in Polk County and was owned for 156 years by the same family.
(West Salem)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Spring Valley School, 8295 Spring Valley Road, (D)

The former 1907 Spring Valley School, now a Community Center, celebrated its 100 year history in July 2007 with a program recalling the past and a feast of home-grown berries over ice cream. Seniors had special parking privileges and many in attendance told stories of their youthful adventures at this elementary school.
See 1954 photograph.
(West Salem)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Josh Purvine, 7555 Spring Valley Road, (D)

As seen from the exterior the Joshua Purvine House is "picture-book" perfect in retaining its original appearance. Built in 1887 and occupied by three generations of this Purvine family, this Italianate styled, Victorian home one of several properties in the Spring Valley neighborhood that once belonged to this pioneer family. Changes that are not apparent include back rooms added at two levels and a ladder entrance from the tool room to an upstairs apartment. See 1965 photograph.
(West Salem)

Calaba, 2475 Mountain View Drive, (D)

In 1926, when this property was outside the city, it was listed as the home of Anna and Frank Calaba. Jerry Calaba, their son, grew up on this farm and later told neighbors the location of the barn and well. He lived here until 1974. His brother Rudy was a prominent Salem realtor with Ohmart and Calaba.
In 1977, City View Cemetery purchased the property and has rented it.
(South Salem)

Boot, 2545 Birdshill Drive, (D)

The earliest known owners of the 1901 house are William H Boot and wife Bertha. In 1911, two year after they moved here from Portland, their 21 year old daughter Margaret Lynn Boot married Asahel Bush, IV. The young Bush couple made their home on Bellevue Street and traveled extensively. She died in 1934, her husband a year later.
The original farmhouse has been remodeled several times. The first entrance was from the north (now City View Cemetery) leading to a carriage house, now a residence. The property has been divided and now comtains only a fraction of its acres as a prune orchard. There is a panoramic view to the west over the Willamette River and the to the coastal mountains beyond.
The owner from from 1952 to 1977 was Dilbert Milne. Hans and Helen Linde purchased the property and lived there 30 years.
(South Salem)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A. J. Purvine, 6990 Spring Valley Road NW, (D)

Andrew Jackson Purvine lived in another house to the east and set back from the present road, possibly along the wagon trail from the river. After the death of his wife, he remarried and had a second family. In 1890, at 65, he built this large residence that contrasts with his brother Joshua's home by being in a Craftsman style of architecture, perhaps Victorian originally. The stained glass in the front stairway, was brought "around the Horn”. The floor plan retains the original character of this home.
(West Salem)

Francis Smith, 578 Cascade Drive NW, (D)

This is the only West Salem house designed by noted local architect Clarence L. Smith. The original owners of the home, Francis and Bernice Smith, had the cedar shingled, English cottage constructed in 1937 to provide a view of Salem and the Cascades. The house's placement on the lot was completed before the landscape designers, Elizabeth Lord and Edith Schryver, began their work. An interesting detail is the iron railing along the driveway. When it was removed from the Pioneer Cemetery, it was transferred to this property.
(West Salem)

Eola School, Highway 22 NW, (D)

Old Eola School, built in 1858, at the present 2nd & Mill Streets in West Salem, was a community center for over a hundred years. A photograph in the Salem Public Library Historical Collection shows a student and two teachers/advisors posing on the occasion of the May 28,1958 graduation of the 100th graduating class. The country school was enlarged as the years passed and enrollment increased, but closed when city schools began serving this area. The building, now adjacent to a busy highway, has been adapted to other occasional uses.
(West Salem)

West Salem City Hall, 1320 Edgewater Street NW, (NR)

West Salem was incorporated in 1914, but this community building was not constructed until 1936. It served the municipality until 1949 when the city was incorporated into Salem itself. Chemeketa College held its first classes here.
(West Salem)

Wallace, 2900 Oakcrest Drive NW, (D)

In 1885 Robert Wallace took the advice of his doctor to give up his stressful life as a commodity broker in Chicago and moved to Salem. In 1889, he built this home for his family at the orchard in Polk Country which is still an integral part of the Salemtowne buildings. Today it is known as the "Farmhouse". He died in 1891 at the age of 41.
(West Salem)

Schindler, 1936 Orchard Heights Road NW, (D)

This attractive and spacious 1926 home, has had several former owners including the Olds, Speckerman and Schindler families. The present owners have made some landscape changes, but the house retains its original appearance and its site is relatively undisturbed although housing developments have grown up to the left (east) side of the property.
(West Salem)

Harritt, 2280 Wallace Road NW, (NR)

This oldest house in West Salem has been extensively remodeled. Originally an 1858 log cabin, it was built by Jessie and Julia Harritt. Jessie so profited by his California gold mining, that he was able to build his wife this Colonial style house reminiscent of the plantation homes in her native Kentucky. The original kitchen has been added to the house for a recent business, Julia’s Tea Parlor. It is on the National Register of Historic Properties.
(West Salem)

Quarry, 1340 Wallace Road NW, (LL)

At the present time, there is no known information about the original owners of this property, built circa 1910, or this vernacular residence.
(West Salem)

Fennell, NW 576 McNary Street NW, (LL)

Thomas and Mary Fennell were West Salem farmers who owned the property in 1905 and probably built the south addition with a kitchen and bathroom in 1910. They sold the house and some land to Ellsworth Pickel in 1913, but bought the property back six months later. When Mary Fennell died in 1922, Thomas sold the house to Ellen Kessell, a teacher at the West Salem Grade School, for $1.00. In 1926 Thomas Fennell again held the title to the property and in 1935 sold it to Glen and Vivian Tupper.
(West Salem)

Tandy, 528 Gerth Street NW, (LL)

This lot was sold in 1920 for $300.00 and again in 1922 to G. E. and Lura Tandy who lived there for the next 25 years. More information about this c.1915 house or owners and residents has not been researched.
(West Salem)

Breckenridge, 1515 Elm St. NW, (LL)

The original owner of this 1905 bungalow, Grace Breckenridge, worked for nearly 40 years as a bookkeeper for the State Board of Control retiring in 1956. When she died in January 1965, her will revealed that all but $2,000 of her $23,000 estate was bequeathed to the State of Oregon. The balance was to be used to buy an organ for the House of Representatives. The new organ was ordered and received in August 1965. This organ is still in place today, and is played at the governor's inaugural ceremonies.
(West Salem)

Piasecki, 591 Cascade Drive NW, (LL)

Edward and Kathryn Piasecki were the original owners of this period style English Cottage, one of the first houses built in the Kingwood Heights area of West Salem. The Piaseckis moved to West Salem in 1920 when the house was built. A boating tragedy on the Oregon coast near Newport claimed the life of Edward and another Salem attorney in August of 1952 when he was 72 years old. Kathryn Piasecki continued to live in the house until 1965 when it was sold to the present owners.
(West Salem)