The Oregon statesman. (Salem, Or.) 1916-1980, March 28, 1931, Page 15, Image 15

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D. H. Talmadge Recalls How Grass Grew High in Willson Park;
Old Shacks Come Down for Lovely New Structures; Town Advances
' Oregon City. Ore.. March 28. 1851 Salem. Ore.. March 28. 1931
w y
By D. H. Talmadge
pregon Statesman on Its 80th
. birthday! .
.It is a good deal with congrat
ulations as Parson Winegar said:
"I've, -been interested in a heap of
doing first and last in which con
gratulations were in order, and
I've heard folks a-plenty" try to
say the customary well-chosen
word, following the congratula
tions, but I never heard one who
did himself much credit. . For bees
wax' sake,' if you've got congratu
lations to offer, offer 'em and shut
Well, there was a man who came
to the Willamette valley at about
the time .1 came, which was 20
years'and more ago. He was what
is called a live wire, that man. We
looked .the valley over from Port
land, to Cottage Grove. I was not
' -what is ;called a lire wire, and the
valley 'suited me first rate right
from the start.
Didn't Intend to
Wait for Awakening
But. the man said he didn't aim
to put in any of the best years of
his. life waiting for a section of
country to wake Up, even if it did
come mighty near looking as he'd
been taught in Sunday school the
Garden of Eden looked.
And he returned to the -east.
. That man came back the other
day. And he said to me, among
-other things, "I've been looking
around Salem again. Missed my
guess on that town. Say," said
he, "when ij saw it last the grass
in Willson Park was two feet high
and there was a crop of oats on
the Willamette campus, and there
was an old yellow trolley car loose
in every joint, that bounced and
rolled in and out of Winter street
every once in a while, and there
was a little red trolley car that
zipped out to the prison and back
every now and then, and only
State and Court streets were
paved, and they only partially.
Heaven only knows how many farm
wagons are buried in the mud un
der those pavements.'
Then he took a long breath and
New Structures
Replace old Shacks
"Where the Oregon building now
stands was a ramshackle old wood
en structure, filled with second
hand furniture, and where the Ma
sonic building now it was a vacant
lot, and where the First National
Bank building now rears its 11
stories was a dingy two-story
brick, and where the McGilchrist
building and the Bligh hotel now
are was a row of shacks, nothing
less, covered with moss. . The busi
ness section was pretty much all
shacks, as a matter of fact."
I ventured to suggest that even
then there-were signs of promise.
"yes," . he agreed, the new
United States National Bank build
ing loomed up, and Buren & Ham
ilton were in. a promising- new
buildings on Court street, and the
federal building had been com
pleted, and the Odd Fellows build
ing was a feature, and the Marion
eounty court house, was 'one of the
most beautiful (buildings In Amer
ica from an architectural view
point, just as it is now, and the
.city hall would have been a credit
to any town, but" and his roice
took on a note of sorrow "China
town is gone, end the old Salem
hotel on .the corner has gone, and
Ferry street is no more what it
used to be. Modern buildings
everywhere. It has been pretty
difficult for me to accustom my
self to the stately and religious
looking Elsinore, the like of which,
it is fondly claimed,' does not exist
j it m rr i c , r:
! I
jj&i. gaol's "pUctfpal Xhnrcli,
Reed's Opera House,
i . " t- ox .c-
Friday" pvENiNC, eb. 9TH, 187.
Jefferson Peak
Reached in '88
By Cross, Farmer
Ed C. Cross and Ray Farmer of
this city are entitled to the honor
of being the first to scale the ex
treme heights of Mount Jefferson
which feat they accomplished last
Sunday morning, thus doing away
with .the universal belief among
those acquainted with the surround
ings that the thing could . not be
done. Accompanied by . George
Pearce, they started from their
camp at the foot of the mountain
at six - o'clock, arrived at what is
termed the summit, the highest
point ever reached before, at 10
o'clock, having traveled up the
south slope. Here they found two
bottles containfng names of those
b. s. irrx, mAM nmn. -
, ' - From S. A. Clarke srrapbook : courtMT Mrs. 8. I C Dyer.
in. another city of the size of Sa
lem in the United States, when I
recall the one-story shacks it re
placed." Changes Show
Steady Progress
, And thus he went on enumerat
ing the changes worked by two
score years, i Dozens. of them.
Hundreds. . All for civic better
ment. The group of state build
ings on Capital Hill trebled. Can
neries. Mills. Hard surface streets
everywhere. Modern hotels and
passenger depots. A long, long
list. I
The official population of Salem
in 1900 was 4254. In 1910, 14,094.
In 1920, 17,679. In 1930, 26,266.
All of which is -merely a leader
to what I want to say about the
Statesman, and in the saying of it
of there is absolutely no reflection
on the merits of any other news
paper in the valley.
The old paper has come over a
long traiL Up hill, much of it.
Rough in spots. But it has come
through. And the progressive city
of Salem owes, much to it as a vital
influence in Community develop
ment. I reckon Robert J. Hend
ricks is entitled, more than any
other one person, to credit for the
achievement. I think I have never
known a newspaper publisher who
followed more persistently and un
der all conditions, adverse and
otherwise, the beacon of faith in a
town and state. " '
And so well, congratulations.
There are, I am sure, big days
ahead for the Statesman.
Temperance Talk
'Way Back inf87
For Labor's Day
The first Labor Day celebration
in Salem was June 4, 1887 which
was the day fixed as a holiday by
the previous legislature. There
was a procession of the Knights of
Labor, the organization which pre
ceded the A. F. of L. headed by
Boys band, march to Marion square
where exercises were held.
Frank C. Baker was president
of the day and gave an address on
the "labor question." A Rev. Mr.
Weddell of Ohio followed with a
talk on "temperance and labor."
CoL George Woodford of Illinois
talked " on "prohibition" and the
report says he "delivered himself
in an admirable manner of the
time-worn arguments of his class
of temperance advocates." j
who had preceded them in the past,
some of which could not be read,
but those of Hon. John Minto, John
Waldo, John Scriber, L. M.; Yates,
Don Smith and George A. Peebles
were plainly legible.
"At this point began the real
dif ficultiet of the trip. They
crawled around to the west side of
the mountain and commenced the
perilous ascent up an almost per
pendicular height of fully 250 feet."
Statesman, Aug. 17, 1888.
The steamer Isabel . yesterday
took up to Corvallis for shipment
over the Oregon Pacific and Ta
quina steamers one. thousand sacks
of wheat, or about two thousand
bushels. Every trip of the steamer,
a quantity Of wheat is taken. The
price remains apparently fixed at
92 cents." The Statesman, May
27, 1887.
oft Jfm
Furniture Co.
One can hardly think of fur
niture without thinking of the
C. S. Hamilton Furniture com
pany, located at 340 Court
street, Salem.
This firm is one of the oldest
home furnishing establish
ments in Oregon, having been
established for more than 37
For a number of years Ham
ilton's made the greater part of
the upholstered furniture sold
by their store. Many of these
early pieces are still in service
in. the community. Recently,
Hamilton's completed a recon
ditioning job on a couch, made
by their own shop twenty-seven
years ago, and it was deliv
ered to the owner, in shape to
stand j several years more of
hard wear.
Quality has always been a
hobby; with , Hamilton's store.
The public appreciates the fact
that they can buy quality and
style at reasonable prices at
this store. .
Careful buying is the secret
of successful merchandising.
If quality goods are bought
right, they can be sold right.
This firm always give their
customers the benefit of their
knowledge in buying, hence
you can obtain the best at com
paratively low prices at Ham
ilton's Furniture Store.