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.

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)

West Salem Methodist Church, 1219 3rd. Street NW, (LL)

The congregation was organized in 1910, conducting services in a one room schoolhouse and community center. In 1921 Mrs. Joseph T. Hunt donated two lots that were later sold for the lots where the church is now located. Rev. Alexander Hawthorne was pastor of the church between 1921 and 1923 and headed the drive for building funds. Construction started in the winter of 1921 with a volunteer crew with teams of horses to dig the basement. The first 1925 meeting was held in the basement. The building completed in 1926.
(West Salem)

Stoller, 1162 2nd.Street NW, (LL)

This house, circa 1880, appears to be one of the oldest in the neighborhood with very simple construction including a one-story el on rear of house. An early owner of the property was Gottlieb Stoller was purchased it in 1908 and sold it in 1919 to N. S. and Ella Wood.
(West Salem)

Duff, 1143 2nd. Street NW, (LL)

Early records show the property (and probably the circa. 1890 residence) was owned by Mrs. Agnes Duff, a nurse, around the turn of the century. A later owner was George J. Barnard, listed in Salem City Directories as a laborer. In the early 1930s the property was owned by A. N. and Emma Becker. They sold the property to H. L. Anderson in 1932 and in 1946 it was purchased by the Mennonite Brethren Church.
(West Salem)

Lindbeck, 1417 Orchard Heights Road NW, (D)

Very little past ownership information of this 1870 house is available until further research. The previous owners were the Bouffleur family, prominent growers at this location as long ago as the 1930s. In 1967, John Lindbeck retired from the US Navy and returned to his hometown to purchase this property. With his wife Carolyn, they continued the sale of fruit from this 36 acre orchard. They sold the property in 2007 for a
development of a retirement community. Perhaps the 1870 historic house will be saved, but it is uncertain.
(West Salem)

Wingett, 2322 Kuebler Road SE, (D)

The original owner of this 1924 house probably built it as a farm residence on the dirt road leading down to a sawmill at Croisan Creek Road, just to the west. In 1961 Bill Wingett and his wife Peg bought the house and acreage from Lloyd Clark. The present owners of this house are proprietors of the Mud Pie Gallery located near the house. The attractive appearance of the property displays their appreciation of this beautiful site.

Shipley, 260 Washington Street S, (NR)

The well-known nurseryman Ernie Lufer, designed the gardens of this 1926 English Cottage built for the Shipley family. When the Depression forced the closing of their business, the house was sold to Cora Kay, the widow of Thomas Kay, the mill owner. She lived here until her death in 1944. The landscaped grounds with the original underground watering system and rock gardens were restored in 1984 by Mrs. Kay’s grandson, W. K. Huntington for the present owners.

Thompson, 3575 Liberty Road S, (D)

This former 1905 residence was built by Frederic Thompson for his parents. Later owners included Jacob and Elva Fielder who operated a store on the premises. When Jack and Lillian Beck acquired the house in 1963, they renovated it for a decorating business. It housed Realty World Homeland and Peter’s Little Bavaria before opening as McMenamin’s Thompson Brewery and Public House in 1990.
(South Salem)

Taylor, 3915 Liberty Road S, (D)

This hilltop bungalow was probably in the midst of an orchard of many acres when it was built in 1903. In 1929 the house belonged to R. Chapman and in 1951 was the home of Robert D. Taylor and his wife Hope. He was president of the Salem Brake and Wheel Alignment Company. By 1976, he had retired and this was the last year his name appeared at this address.
(South Salem)

Salem Heights School, 3495 Liberty Road S, (D)

The 1907 Salem Heights School was established on land purchased from Phil Thomas. A photograph shows the location in 1914. In 1930 the original school was torn down and rebuilt. The many activities of the early years are described in the 1997 booklet published by the school on its 90th anniversary. When the new building was erected in 1930, the school bell was moved to the Community Hall. It has now been returned to the school was reinstalled for the school’s 100th anniversary celebration in the spring of 2007.
(South Salem)

Salem Heights Hall, 3505 Liberty Rd. S, South Salem (D)

In the 1920s this building was part of a self-contained rural neighborhood centered by a school and grocery store. The Hall was used for community suppers, school assemblies and movies. Fires resulted in closure and repairs during the 1960s and it was moved slightly when Madrona Avenue was widened. A sign was placed on the building in 1963. This land, donated by Fred Thompson, must always be used as a community hall or the property will revert to his heirs.
(South Salem)

Pioneer Cemetery, Hoyt & Commercial Street SE, (LL)

Originally the 1841 burial ground for the Rev.David Leslie family, it was enlarged and became known as the Odd Fellows Community Cemetery. The cemetery has a wealth of unusual and impressive gravestones, many recently replaced in their original positions. The City of Salem became owner of the cemetery in 1985 and the volunteer Friends group has been instrumental in the restoration of the cemetery, continuing their work to the present time. Many historical photographs of tombs and persons buried here are found on Oregon Historical Photograph Collections.
(South Salem)

Nohlgren, 345 Salem Heights Road S, (D)

Previous neighbors remember this as the 1926 Nohlgren farmhouse, surrounded by fruit orchards. On the walls of the old, abandoned barn nearby, high school kids used to paint its walls with “Happy Birthday” messages to their friends. As the neighbor remembers, that was in the innocent years before such displays became the graffiti of today. A 1954 photograph of the restaurant associated with this family is found here.
(South Salem)

Falk, 210 Candalaria Blvd. S, (LL)

The Falk house was reportedly built by a member of the Fabritus Smith family. In 1891 Samuel A. Clarke is noted in the Salem City Directory as residing in this location. Clarke, who left Salem in 1898, is believed to have named his fruit farm "Candalaria". His 1909 obituary outlines his life in Oregon and his outstanding career as a nurseryman, author (Pioneer Days of Oregon History") and journalist. A later resident was Adam Ohmart, son-in-law of Fabritus Smith, who lived there in 1902. Long-time owners Conrad and Nellie Falk lived here in 1909; the Falks had a prune orchard on the property and continued to live there through the late 1940s.
(South Salem)

Pringle School, 4985 Battle Creek Road SE, (D)

In 1856 Clark Pringle, son of Virgil Pringle, donated two acres of his family's Donation Land Grant to create one of Salem's first schools. The early school was photographed in 1891. The present structure was built in 1921. Two rooms were added in 1935 and further expansion was possible in 1946 when the Pleasant View School was divided onto two sections and dragged two miles up Boone Road to be attached to Pringle School. (See school in 1956.) In 1987 the school was moved to its new location and this property was bought for a private school.

Schimmel Hall, 5000 Deer Park Road SE, (D)

In 1894 this new home for The Oregon Institute for Deaf-Mutes was constructed. It was photographed in 1908. However, the school's isolation due to inadequate roads and proximity to the "bad influence" of the reformatory were early problems and the institution moved. The school building became the Oregon State Tuberculosis Sanitarium that opened in 1910. In 1969, after the Salem facility closed, the site with its buildings was purchased by Western Baptist College, now Corban College. As Schimmel Hall, it now serves multiple uses.

Orientator, McNary Airfield, Turner Road, (D)

With funds raised by the American Legion, Lee Eyerly purchased a five acre plot of land on which he established Salem’s airport. By 1929, he founded an aviation school, and later, the first aircraft service station on the west coast. During the Depression of the 1930s, he took his invention, a trainer plane named the Orientator, to several fairs as an amusement ride. It became a success and was re-named the Acroplane. The last remnant of an Acroplane is now located at McNary airport on view from Turner Road.

Pleasant Grove Presbyterian Church, 1313 Mill Street SE, (NR)

In 1984, this 1857 church was moved from its original location near West Stayton, a small community several miles west of Stayton in Marion County, Oregon. Photographs of the church can be found here. Just before it was moved, historian/photographer George Strozut took aerial photographs of the church in its original location. He also crawled beneath the building to photograph the original hand-milled beams which, protected from the elements, retained a fresh-hewn appearance.

Methodist Mission Parsonage, 1313 Mill Street SE, (NR)

The Methodist Mission parsonage of the 1840s was designed to be divided into apartments for missionaries. Originally located where the water tower is now on Mission Mill Museum Property (this may be the parsonage in original location), it was moved to 13th and Ferry Streets. In 1963 it was moved to its present location on the museum property. It is now, like the Jason Lee house renovated and furnished with items similar to those of the pioneer time in Salem. It has been moved to this location. Photographs in its earlier location are found here.(SESNA)

Jason Lee House, 1313 Mill St. SE, SESNA

In 1842, this Federal style house was built by the Methodist Mission, during their move from their first location in the Willamette Valley. The house was moved to the present Willamette Heritage Center on Mill Street from its original location north of Mill Creek at the intersection of Liberty/Broadway Street.
Jason Lee's second wife, the former Lucy Thompson, gave birth to a daughter in this house in that year. Like his first wife, Anna Maria Pittman, the birth cost the mother her life. Shortly afterward, Jason Lee returned to New York to gain support for his contested leadership of the mission. He died before he could return to Oregon.Other early missionary residents of the house were the Parrish family, the Raymonds and the Judsons. After the Methodist church closed the mission, private ownership of this house included that of Judge Reuben Boise.  Many earlier photographs are found here.

John Boon, 1313 Mill St. SE, (NR)

This simple home was built for the Boon family on property next to Boon’s store on Liberty Street. It is furnished largely from the Ruth Powers collection representing the styles of 1845-1900. Earlier Boon House photographs are found here.(SESNA)

Thomas Kay Woolen Mill, 1313 Mill St. SE, (NR)

This four and one-half acre site, once an important industrial area for woolen manufacture in Salem, has been restored for use as a historical museum. Also on the property are several representative buildings of the pioneer settlement that became Salem. They were moved here for preservation and offer valuable interpretations of local history. See the mill as it appeared circa 1910.

Zielinski, 212 21st. Street SE, (D)

Recorded as being built in 1900, original owner of this house is unknown for its first quarter century, but between 1924 and 1932 the occupants were Bert and Ellen Zielinski. Occupants varied over the next thirty years and in the 1960s the house was unoccupied for several years. The exterior of the more than one hundred year old residence appears to have been unchanged through the years except for window replacement and is a prime example of master carpenter craftsmanship for even the most modest homes built in this neighborhood.

Martin, 1548 Lee Street SE, (LL)

This property and surrounding lots were sold to J. W. Roork in 1891; the same year this lot was sold to F. M. Rinehart, the first of many quick transactions over the next twenty years when the house had nine different owners. Jessie Martin bought the property in 1921 and continued to live here into the 1950s. Miss Martin was a teacher at the Park School. This is a designated Local Landmark.

Siegmund, 1396 Lee Street SE, (LL)

An early owner of this house was E. C. Cross, prominent Salem businessman, but records indicate he did not reside here, nor did later owners Gideon and Margaret Stolz and W. T. Rigdon. For many years in the early part of the century it was the home of William M. Siegmund, a blacksmith and later part owner of his own business. By 1932 Mr. Siegmund was the owner of the property. Other residents were Eugenia and Wilda Siegmund, both listed as dressmakers. It is a designated Local Landmark.

Potter, 420 20th St. SE, (D)

The 1909 City Directory reference to Alexander Potter at this address identifies him as a carpenter and so we may assume he built this home for himself and wife Helen. As his widow, she remained in the house until at least 1931. By 1951 it had become the Smith Apartments with four tenants and it has continued to be apartments since that year. In 2006, the house underwent extensive restoration. With its recent enhanced landscaping and towering trees, it is a dignified residential apartment site.

Myers, 1896 Lee St. SE, (LL)

This house was originally owned by Jefferson Myers, noted political figure in the late 19th century. He served as state representative, 1889, and state senator, 1891-93. He practiced law in Salem from 1894-1901 at which time he moved to Portland where he served as chairman of the State Commission of the Lewis and Clark Exposition. He later served as State Treasurer. Later owners of this property were Alicia Kerrington, G. Baillie, Charles Long, and in the 1950s Mason Chappelle, long-time Salem grocery store owner.

Mill Race Dam, 21st. & Ferry Street SE, (D)

Because water power of Mill Creek was important to the early development of Salem, the early pioneers built a dam at this site in 1864 to divert this energy to practical uses. Named Waller Dam for the pioneer missionary who donated the land, this created a new watercourse, south of the original stream. Today this Mill Race flows through Mission Mill Museum, Willamette University and so on to join Pringle Creek and the Willamette River.

Knight Memorial Church, 19th & Ferry Street SE, (D)

On February 17, 1926 a Congregational church meeting discussed constructing the present building on the
corner of 19th and Ferry Street to replace an older structure. The congregation voted to name the new church Knight Memorial in honor of an outstanding citizen of Salem who served this church, city and state.
In 2005 the church membership had dwindled to the point that the church structures could no longer be
supported financially. The buildings were sold to the Korean Church of Salem.

"Grandmother's House", 396 21st. Street SE, (D)

The first thirty years in the life of this house are unknown, but Oregon Historic Sites Database lists it as the Clarance Van Patten House with a construction date of 1905. By 1958 Fannie G. Diamit was living here.
Her granddaughter remembers the house well. In 1991 a family with three daughters moved here, also
enjoying happy memories of this home. Additions have been made to the rear of the house, but the front has remained essentially the same. Of special interest is the decorative metal frieze lining the roof line of this

Duniway/Lachmund, 2430 State St. SE, (LL)

This 1908 Craftsman house was first owned by Willis S. Duniway and wife Alice. He was the son of Benjamin and Abigail Scott Duniway, early Oregon settlers. Abigail Scott Duniway was a pioneer advocate of women's suffrage. When the residences of “Piety Hill” were demolished for the construction of the North Capitol Mall (1937-57), this one was spared. Then the residence of former Mayor Louis Lachmund, it was moved to Willamette University to serve as residence of the president. It was later moved to its present location for offices and apartments. An earlier SHINE entry about this property is found here.

Charlton, 234 23rd. Street SE, (D)

During her 109 years, Luella Charlton lived in only two houses. She was born in the three-storied, cupola-crowned mansion built in 1872 across the street from the Capitol by her great-grandfather, Edwin Cooke. Her second home was this one, built in 1927 by Luella and her husband Carl, where she lived for 80 years. Luella was a great resource for local historians and lived surrounded by the love of her family, her friends, domestic helpers. She had shared more than a century of Salem memories when she died on December 23, 2007.

Burggraf/Burt/Webster, 901 13th Street SE, (NR)

This 1895 Victorian Queen Anne residence was designed by architect Charles Henry Burggraf as his own home. It was later the residence of Judge Daniel Webster, Justice of the Peace in Salem 1905-1918. The third owner was Julia Webster, the Judge’s daughter. It was also the home of Thomas P. Burt, a railroad engineer. The former home now serves as offices.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

White's Restaurant, 1135 Commercial Street SE, (D)

Charles and Myrtle White, and their sons Bob and Kenny, were the first of the family to create and runs this family-style restaurant. For 50 years it was run by the extended family, then the ownership passed to Don Uselman. Dining here continues to be a traditional experience, reminding diners of the d├ęcor and menus of restaurants enjoyed three generations ago.

Wade, 1305 John Street S, (NR)

This 1869 Gothic style residence was originally constructed at 862 Liberty Street NE by William L. Wade, owner of a dry goods store on the same block at 888 N. Liberty Street. (See 1971 photograph.) The house was later occupied by his son, Murray Wade, a well-known newspaper cartoonist in California and Oregon and publisher of the Oregon Magazine for 45 years. It was moved to John Street by owners Mr. and Mrs Richard Neuman.