Monday, January 3, 2011

Mayor Lachmund Boosts Salem on a Sea of Beer

Since we'll have ourselves a new mayor in not too long, it seemed like a good time to revisit the glories of Salem's "hoppiest" mayor.

Regular readers will remember Mayor Louis Lachmund from several posts: The Union St. RR Bridge controversy of 1911, the Hops Strike of 1933, the typhoid scare of Christmas 1909, and several others. He always seemed to be at the center of some controversy or another.

Here he goes to Portland to lure the Ad Club with offers of a "wide-open" city, with saloons open past midnight, presumably nearby brothels on stand-by. Since Governor West was to engage in cleaning up vice couple of years later, it's hard to believe that Lachmund would make this speech in his presence. But Lachmund seems never to have avoided confrontation or felt tact might be useful.

This is from July 1911, just a few months after the railroad bridge fight.


Hop Crop Will Bring $5,000,000 to Salem - It Would Make an Ocean of Beer That Would Float a Navy, and Make Some Billions of Good Cool Drinks - Tells of Blowout at Hotel Here, and How it Advertised Salem and Salem's Mayor All Over the Coast

Portland, Or, July 19. - (Special) - At the Hotel Portland rathskeller, at noon today, the Portland Ad club pulled off a splendid Salem day luncheon, at which Governor West, Mayor Lachmund and Secretary Hofer, of the Board of Trade, made talks. The whole thing was gotten up by Dell Dinsmoor, that royal Salemite, who always makes good for the Cherry City.

Governor West gave a talk on "Citizenship," in which he outlined his present policy. It was received with great cordiality, and a resolution was passed endorsing his talk on this line.

Mayor Lachmund spoke on the hop crop, a topic which had been assigned him. He stated that 100,000 bales would be grown this year, and that they would bring to Salem $5,000,000, and he elaborated by saying how many million gallons of beer would be made from these hops, and how many trillions of drinks they would produce - how much joy it would all bring to the world. He then pictured how deep a sea this quantity of beer would make, and how many ships could be floated upon it. He thought that if a variety of fish could be created to live in this beer that the entire population could drink and angle in it would be an elysium, indeed, or words to that effect [sic: the sentence seems to be spliced].

He next stated how he had been appointed alderman to succeed a man who "had retired on a competency," and how he had been elected mayor - how he was working for the dear people - hoe he had originated the idea of paving our streets and building sewers and how many miles he is having put down. He then berated the Salem newspapers because they do not indorse his style of doing things. He also told how he and a bunch of his compatriots indulged in a big time at the Marion hotel bar, how they were ordered arrested by the chief of police, and were ordered to appear before the police judge, "but we didn't appear." He told that he has since made peace with the chief of police, and invited the Ad Club to come up to Salem, and have a good time with him. He promised that everything would be wide open, and that the saloon clocks would be stopped before midnight, and that nothing would be allowed to interfere with their pleasure.

In answering the roll call at the opening of the meeting Salem's mayor announced himself as follows: "Louis Lachmund, Hop Grower, Booze Fighter, and incidentally Mayor of Salem." He spoke of his escapades as being one of the greatest advertisements Salem had ever had, being published from San Diego to Alaska, and all without cost. Salem's mayor stated that his administration was spending a million dollars of the people money in public improvements, and boldly asserted that the people were back of him in all of these things.

At the close of the meeting each of the speakers was given a souvenir loving cup with the compliments of the Portland Ad Club.

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