Friday, March 13, 2009

Adolph Block and Wild Pear

On Monday the 16th, the Adolph Block will be holding an open house. Virginia Green has the details. The Adolph building enjoys direct links to Salem's beer heritage! (Photo:

Samuel Adolph built it in 1880. He was born in Germany around 1835 and, like Henry Weinhard, was into applied fermentation! He had a bakery and Salem's first brewery.

According to the Salem Online History
Sam Adolph founded the first Salem brewery with John Brown at Church and Trade Streets in Salem in 1862. When Adolph's brewery burned in 1869, it was relocated to the southwest corner of Cottage and Trade streets. In 1885 Adolph joined with two of his employees, Maurice Klinger and Seraphin Beck, to build the Capital Brewery on the northeast corner of Commercial and Trade Streets, which produced mainly draught beer but also had a small bottling plant behind the brewery.
In the middle of all this, in June 1880, Adolph purchased land for a new commercial building with three storefronts. Three wood buildings had burned a short time before. Work commenced on August 20th. J.S. Coulter, a local architect, designed the building and managed its construction. An article of December 31st that year suggested it was almost done and would cost about $10,000. (By comparison, Deepwood, built in 1893, also cost around $10,000.) Adolph would have a saloon and there would be a butcher shop. Allowing for a bit of boosterism, the paper claimed Adolph's saloon would be "the finest and best furnished north of San Francisco." It would also serve wholesale customers.

A few years later, according to Ben Maxwell, his building was involved in the first stage of Salem's electrification:
Paulus and Klinger’s saloon, Staiger Bros. store, and Sam Adolph’s saloon received their electric lights in the summer of 1886
Adolph also arranged to have custom flasks made. Collectors of Northwest Brewiana prize them.

Sadly, on September 17, 1893, Sam Adolph died. The day before he'd been thrown from his carriage by a runaway horse. Shortly after midnight on Sunday the 17th he died. I believe he died in his home, also on State Street. (Here's his son's home on Commercial.)

Here's three views of the south side of State street, where his commercial building is located. From left to right are: Ladd & Bush Bank, the Patton Block, J.K. Gill Building, Adolph Block, and first the Gray then the Livesley Building.

1884. Here's the first address scheme. The middle part of the Adolph block, 53, has his saloon. On either side are a Stoves & Tinware shop, and the Smith & Millican Butchers.

1895. Note the saloon in 102 State. That's the J.K. Gill building. Christopher Paulus and E. Klinger (maybe a relative of M. Klinger?) had opened a saloon there in 1886. This is the saloon that was wired for electricity. By 1902 it was Talkington's - whom we saw in the 1908 Saloon raids. But saloons were everywhere! There's one in 110. That's where Wildpear is today. There were also a couple more directly across the street.

1926. Note the Livesley Building, the First National Bank Building, in grey because it was mapped from plans rather than completed construction. Here also we see the modern addressing, which took effect in 1904. In 362 State is the White House Restaurant, where Cooke's Stationery is today. By this time the long run of sporting goods stores had started in 372.

This flickr group has a number of nice architectural details, and one really handsome full elevation of the front and east side. The eastern third of the building has retained its facade; the exteriors on the other two-thirds have been covered in sheetmetal. The details are polychromed nicely, so you don't notice the quilted sheetmetal much.

Wildpear is a sweet space, but except for First Wednesdays, they aren't open for dinner. They have an afternoon Happy Hour that ends at 5:30, however. It's more of a wine and cocktail kind of place - a little scrubbed and genteel, if you know what I mean. They have no taps and only a few bottled beers. Eatsalem has a review of the lunch menu. More reviews at yelp.

Personally, I want to average Wild Pear and Pete's - one too clean, the other too scruffy - that would be the kind of place I'd go for a beer!

No comments:

Post a Comment