“Back in the Day”

In cleaning one closet out this weekend and throwing away lots, taking a box to Goodwill, some things to file…I found a stack of cards that a local funeral parlor (now the site of a Starbuck’s) made up in the 1950’s and handed out.  They are all photos of Salem from the early 1900’s and on.   For the “play” part of our day we drove around after dinner to check some of the places and re-photo the same spots.   All houses pictured are gone, but here are the things still standing…

In my memory this was the Unitarian Church, and is now a Quaker meeting house

The “Skiff Building” on Court Street

Court and Liberty (now one of the numerous Starbuck’s dotted all over Salem):

The Montgomery Ward Building site & building, Liberty Street (note that little gothic revival cottage marooned downtown)

At State and Commercial, looking east

the Oregon Building…

State Street looking west

And then the two houses which fared less well…Union & Cottage looking west

Front Street…

It was getting dark so we called it a day, but were fascinated at the street trees and surprised at the relatively good historic integrity of many buildings 75 to 100 years on.


    1. All kinds of memories, yes? I remember crawliing into that free-floating display window (now gone) in front of Starbucks…Tracey Saucy and I doing displays for The Nutcracker…carrying dummies down the street…yikes!

  1. WOW! What a trip. (Have to wonder how many times the trees on State St looking East have been replaced?) So interesting how much our little town has changed over the years. Glad you found those old cards and took the time to check out the way it is now. Thanks again Bonnie!

  2. what fun! you and roger are the best. when i asked dave, who was born here, if he remembered any of the buildings in the before pictures, he said he mostly “hadn’t paid attention.”

    1. …and it goes right by us, doesn’t it. I had to laugh in many of the photos it referrenced the building in the background as iller’s Department Store”…wonder if Dave remembers that?

      1. Miller’s? We bought our 1st set of dishes there. Dave made the choice and we still use them every day. It’s amazing to see the size of plates then compared to the super size of plates today.

  3. I couldn’t agree with you more, Bon. The restorations are, all in all, good, and in spite of the disappearance of many of the beautiful old trees, there are quite a few additions of healthy landscapting. It confirms my view that smaller cities are good places for older buildings.

  4. Wonderful tour, Bon. I always go look at the homes and buildings of people I write about in my history columns. (Or the places where the homes and buildings used to be, in a few cases.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s