Thanks to Jason Lee’s Methodist Mission at Salem and the rich farmland of the Willamette Valley, Marion County was a major destination for pioneers coming to the Oregon Country. Traces of their settlements still are present in the Court-Chemeketa District, which first served as missionary-owned agricultural land with industrial uses along Mill Creek and later developed as residential additions to Salem.
As Salem grew and residential development spread east of the railroad tracks, new house construction occurred in the broad waves as the farmland and factory zones were gradually subdivided. The first wave began as early as the 1870’s and peaked in the period 1908-1910, and ended with World War I. The second, smaller wave began in the 1920’s and ended in 1937 when all the remaining land was developed. The area has changed little since then. The district encompasses 117 historically compatible structures spanning 50 years.
“East Salem”, as the area was known, represented a cross-section of the growing city’s society. Today, as the district continues to serve Salem’s citizens, it survives as the major remnant of Salem’s original residential area - now occupied by the North Capitol Mall and downtown development.
As you visit the neighborhood, remember these are private homes. View them from the sidewalk and do not disturb the residents Kamagra 100mg. Parking on residential streets is limited to two hours.
The house pictured above is the oldest house now in the District. Moved twice, it was the home of Alvin Waller, a pioneer Methodist minister and supporter of the early school which became Willamette University. He raised funds and oversaw construction of Waller Hall and the First Methodist Church.
When You Are Here:
Oregon encourages historical preservation of property with a special tax assessment program. In return, owners are required to hold an annual open house for the public. Dates when Court-Chemeketa houses are open to the public can be found in the Statesman Journal's Real Living section, published on Fridays.
To Learn More:
No longer in circulation is a 1989 Court-Chemeketa Historic District brochure prepared by the Salem Historic Landmarks Commission. The description above contains excerpts from the introductory article, “Setting The Context: The District and Its History”, by Roger Hull.
Marion County Historical Society is an excellent source of local references. An index of subjects and articles in Historic Marion, as well as copies of recent issues, are available. With an appointment, a member of the professional staff can assist you.
Information is available from the City of Salem at Historic Landmarks Commission, 555 Liberty Street, Salem, Or. 97302. Call 503 588 6011. You may also refer to the Historic Landmarks Commission website.
You may also call the State Historic Preservation Office at 503 986 0672.