Look Up, Salem! A Walking Tour of Salem, Oregon
There is no better way to see America than on foot. And there is no better way to appreciate what you are looking at than with a walking tour. This walking tour of Salem, Oregon is ready to explore when you are. Each walking tour describes historical, architectural landmarks, cultural sites and ecclesiastic touchstones and provides step-by-step directions. More
There is no better way to see America than on foot. And there is no better way to appreciate what you are looking at than with a walking tour. Whether you are preparing for a road trip or just out to look at your own town in a new way, a downloadable walking tour is ready to explore when you are.
Each walking tour describes historical and architectural landmarks and provides pictures to help out when those pesky street addresses are missing. Every tour also includes a quick primer on identifying architectural styles seen on American streets.
In 1851 the territorial legislature convened in Oregon City to select a capital. Salem, which had been founded in 1840 by New England missionary Jason Lee, got the nod but not everyone was pleased with the selection. The governor, two members of the territorial supreme court and a good chunk of the legislature refused to go. When the government grudgingly arrived in Salem they found a handful of families and scant accommodations; their first session was held in a resident's home. it didn't take long for the legislature to vote to move the capital to Corvallis but they trudged back to Salem after one session because Congress had appropriated money to construct buildings here. Even Asahael Bush, editor of the Oregon Statesman who was the leading champion for the move to Salem lobbied for the name to be changed back to its original handle, Chemeketa, a name derived from the native Kalapuya Indian language that translated to "place of rest."
Salem weathered the early disgruntlement and when Oregon was admitted to the Union as the 33rd state in 1859 Salem continued as the capital and has served as such ever since. Government has been the driving industry in Salem during that time but also developed as a business hub for the rich lowlands of the Willamette Valley; it was estimated at one time that 1/3 of all the fruits and vegetables were processed in Salem's canneries.
Our walking tour of Salem will start in the shadow of the state capitol and gradually work back in time as enter downtown, encountering century-old buildings from the Victorian Age and earlier, not so much different than what William Wilson envisioned when he laid out the town...