Thursday, December 29, 2011

Beer Poetry: Eckerlen's Bad Santa and Auden on the Post-Christmas Lull

Was your Santa, like this one in an ad from 1903, an ol' booze hound?

It's hard to imagine today seeing an image of Santa like that, except in a "bad Santa" meme. (But we know about Santa's little helper.)

Hopefully you drank well and often over the holidays!

And now the pause.

In "For the Time Being," a Christmas Oratorio, written but too long for Benjamin Britten to set to music, W.H. Auden captures the hung-over flavor of the post-holiday lull:
Well, so that is that. Now we must dismantle the tree,
Putting the decorations back into their cardboard boxes --
Some have got broken -- and carrying them up to the attic.
The holly and the mistletoe must be taken down and burnt,
And the children got ready for school. There are enough
Left-overs to do, warmed-up, for the rest of the week --
Not that we have much appetite, having drunk such a lot,
Stayed up so late, attempted -- quite unsuccessfully --
To love all of our relatives, and in general
Grossly overestimated our powers. Once again
As in previous years we have seen the actual Vision and failed
To do more than entertain it as an agreeable
Possibility, once again we have sent Him away,
Begging though to remain His disobedient servant,
The promising child who cannot keep His word for long.
The Christmas Feast is already a fading memory,
And already the mind begins to be vaguely aware
Of an unpleasant whiff of apprehension at the thought
Of Lent and Good Friday which cannot, after all, now
Be very far off....

...In the meantime
There are bills to be paid, machines to keep in repair,
Irregular verbs to learn, the Time Being to redeem
From insignificance.
(Santa from a 1903 Eckerlen Saloon and liquors ad)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

State Street's Bayne Block Built with Hops, Shows Knighton Charm

Ever the promoter, Mary Lou Zeek has started a holiday blog for the commercial microdistrict on State Street. Does it need it? Perhaps because State Street is one-way and out-bound here, it's in the shadow of the Reed Opera House and the corner of Liberty and Court just one block away and served by in-bound Court Street. Whatever the reason, State Street does seem sleepier than it should be.

State street has, we think, the most interesting procession of buildings between Front and 12th. They run from the very earliest brick structures from the late 1860s and 1870s through all the phases of style and commercial development. Down the street, for example, next to the Beaux-Arts Carnegie Library of George Post is the modernist YWCA building* of Pietro Belluschi. It's not just the businesses that deserve fame!

Recently the Historic Preservation League of Oregon was in town, and they checked out the Farrar building of Fred Legg (its corner is on the right in the photo) and the excellent alley between Liberty and Commercial. Another shot of the alley at night made the rounds on twitter.

On the west side of the alley (left) is the Bayne block, housing Zeek's own gallery and William Bragg's photo studio. It could be argued this is the creative center of Salem - at the very least, it's a notable hotspot!

The Bayne building is understated, yet it is surely one of the more charming of the modest brick commercial buildings downtown. The brick detailing and the upper windows show a real harmony. (The lower storefront windows have almost certainly been modernized and don't show the same charm.)

It is, in fact, an early design by William C. Knighton, designer of Deepwood, the Supreme Court Building, and a contributor to the 1892 remodel of the Capital National Bank building.

Hops funded the building and upon completion it housed several hop brokers. Bids were opened on March 24th, 1902, and in September construction was complete.

In the Journal of Tuesday, September 9th, 1902 a notice ran:

Geo. Bayne's Creditable Business Property is Occupied

The fine new brick block, recently constructed on State street near Commercial for George Bayne, is completed and occupied. It is one of the most creditable business blocks of the city and not only bespeaks the enterprise of its owner but reflects credit upon those who were identified with its construction.
It is a modern two-story brick building, with pressed brick front, of a substantial character and is equipped with all conveniences. On the ground floor there are two large airy and well-lighted store-rooms while the second floor has been provided with four suites of elegant offices, every one of which opens on a large hall. One of the large store-rooms will be jointly occupied by L. E. Gardner, the umbrella and bicycle repair man, and C. E. Bunce, the barber. The other room on the main floor has been rented, also, but the tenants do not desire to disclose their name and the character of their business until they are ready to open up which will be in the near future. Three of the office suites on the second floor are occupied. John Bayne, the lawyer and a brother of the owner of the building, has removed his law office to one of the front suites. Another will be occupied by B. O. Shucking and a third by S. Ramsey & Co., of Seattle, hop merchants.

The architect who prepared the plans and specifications for the block and who personally superintended the work of construction, is W. C. Knighton, a former resident of Salem who is now located in Portland where he is enjoying a large patronage. Mr. Knighton is a conscientious and fair-dealing man and to place your business in his hands insures the return of a full worth of the investment. R. N. Ely, of this city, is the contractor who constructed the building. Mr. Ely is one of Salem's largest contractors and the building is substantial evidence, in itself, of his thorough workmanship. This new block is a distinct credit to that part of the business district in which it is located.
Here's Bayne's biography in Gaston's Centennial History of Oregon, 1811-1912, Volume 4:
GEORGE BAYNE, starting out in life as a farm hand, became in the course of years a successful agriculturist and at the time of his death in 1911 owned a valuable farm property in Multnomah county. He was born in Scotland, on the 1st of February, 1869, a son of Mr. and Mrs. John Bayne, also natives of Scotland. The parents left their native land and settled in America in 1871, locating first in Iowa, where the father's death occurred. Subsequently the mother removed to Oregon but later went to Georgia, where she passed away. They were the parents of ten children, five of whom survive.

George Bayne acquired his education in the common schools and at the same time laid the foundation for his agricultural career by assisting on the home farm until he started out independently. He ever showed the salient characteristics of his Scotch ancestry by his energy, industry and thrift. At the "time of his death he owned one hundred and sixty acres of land near Burlington, which he had cultivated earlier in life and which is still the property of his widow although they never resided upon it. By careful and judicious management his property proved so highly productive and profitable, that later in life he was able to purchase considerable real estate, including a valuable business block and a substantial home in Salem. Until 1909 he made his home upon a farm of fifty-three acres, located four miles east of Salem, and engaged most successfully in hop growing.

On the 20th of April, 1902, Mr. Bayne was married to Miss Mary Smith, whose birth occurred in Marion county and who is a daughter of James and Isabelle (Low) Smith, both of whom are also natives of Scotland. They came to America in 1874 and located in Marion county, upon the farm where they resided until their removal to Polk county, where they are still living. To them four children were born, namely: Mrs. Bayne, James, Albert and Isabelle. To Mr. and Mrs. Bayne one son was born, Albert Edward, whose birth occurred on the 11th of March, 1903. Mrs. Bayne is now residing in Salem, having retained her home there since her husband's death.

Mr. Bayne was always interested in matters relating to the civic welfare and never neglected the duties of citizenship, although he neither sought nor desired office. He always kept well informed on the issues of the day and gave his support to the measures which he thought would be most influential in producing good government. He was devoted to his family, was a good neighbor and a faithful friend. He was sociable by nature and enjoyed the companionship of those of congenial tastes and interests. He readily recognized the good in others and was loved by all who knew him. He left a comfortable competence to his family and also an untarnished name, a valued inheritance even more to be cherished than riches.
Sometime we'll write more about the procession of buildings and fashion on State Street. It may, more than any other street in Salem, tell the City's story.

* Here's the house demolished for the Belluschi Y. Perhaps we'll return to this topic, but we aren't sure we miss the house all that much. It's too bad the house couldn't be moved, but it's possible the Y is a more interesting building. We find it meaningfully middle: Solid and interesting, it's better than pedestrian Belluschi - much better than the courthouse and the bank on Chemeketa and Liberty - but not the best Belluschi. Hopefully it will be loved and used again - though perhaps the interior offers issues that make this more difficult. At any rate, this is an instance of demolition that doesn't make us howl in outrage and loss: The new building offers verve in the procession of buildings along the block, and it's hard to argue that institutions like the Y don't deserve to modernize.

What upsets us most, as you will have doubtless seen, is replacement of a building by an empty lot. That's the death of a city.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Toasts for Ben Maxwell and Al Jones

On Christmas it has become our custom to toast Ben Maxwell, on whose work nearly all local history depends in some way.

This spring, area historians, professional and amateur, lost Al Jones - who also happened to write about Ben Maxwell upon his death.

A generous toast to the memory of each!

Ben Maxwell

The obituary writers called him "the sage of Polk County" and "the bard of Eola Hills." Ben Maxwell died 44 years ago tomorrow. He was born on the 25th of February, 1898 and died on the 25th of December, 1967.

Maxwell was a raconteur and journalist. He loved stories. His articles and notes are the essential starting point for any research in Salem area history, though as a story-teller Maxwell's taste for flavor and color sometimes caused him to overseason the facts. He is unfailingly reliable for the big picture, but in the fine detail he cannot always be confirmed.

While this more than occasionally vexes Capital Taps, we also acknowledge our debt. And with our holiday tipple, we raise our glass. Prost!

Maxwell wrote for the Capitol Journal, the periodicals of the Marion County Historical Society, as well as for national magazines.

He was also a great collector of photos and clippings, and he donated over 5000 photos to the Salem Public Library. They constitute the Ben Maxwell Collection, images from which regular readers will often see here.

His obituary said:
Ben Maxwell - "the sage of Polk County"; "the bard of Eola Hills" - is gone. Living on, in the wake in life he created, is his memorial to the past he loved so well. Maxwell died of a liver ailment on Christmas in a Salem hospital, 68 years and 10 months from the day he was born into a pioneer family.

He was generally recognized as the Mid-Willamette Valley’s chief historian, particularly for Salem and Polk County. He said once, "The historical inclination grew on me like any other disease." Later, explaining why he continued his research and gathering of printed and photographic memories of history, Maxwell said: "It’s more comfortable to live in the past than in the present, because you can eliminate what you don’t like about the past. You have to live with what you have in the present."

Yet Maxwell lived in the present, too, and became well-known not only because he was a walking history book but for his colorful turn of speech. He described one politician as "nothing whittled down to a fine point." And he said of another that he "could hang a gate and daub mud on the inside of a chimney, but he never will write poetry."

Another of Oregon’s noted historians, state archivist David Duniway, called Maxwell "A great figure in the historical world. His work has been tremendous. He knew more of the history of Salem and Polk County than any other member of the community, and he expressed himself tersely and effectively in describing. it."
About his writing, Al Jones said
Ben's vocabulary added flavor to facts without loss of accuracy. He might refer to a certain politician as being “whittled down to a fine point” or to another early character as one who “could hang a gate or daub mud on the inside of a chimney, but could never write poetry." In describing early Salem hotels, he said: “In pioneer times, most so-called hotels were little more than flop-houses without facilities. The flea bag who scratched when he applied for a room was just as welcome as a dignified citizen who wore a plug hat and squirted tobacco juice through his whiskers."
The slight variations on the favorite phrases are amusing - and characteristic.

According to Jones, he also said:
I’ve always regarded Salem as a good place to be born, a nice place to die in, but a dull place to live.
(originally posted December 25th, 2009)

Al Jones

We never met Al Jones, but we run across his work constantly.

Many historic photos show his research or were preserved by him. Here's a link to 349 images from a search on his name, for example. (These two from the Grand Theater NRHP nomination images and form.)

According to the Statesman, he died Sunday at the age of 90. He was an old-time newspaper man, and we're sure the SJ will run a complete story. We look forward to learning more about him.

A tip of the pint. Godspeed.

(Capi Lynn's obituary has disappeared into the archives, but this feature from the early 2000s, and reposted in March of this year, is still live.)

(Reposted from this spring.)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Solstice Toast with Salem Beer and a Poem by Campion

Salem Beer sure seems to help Santa with the ladies - at least that's the suggestion. The scene looks rather pagan and the Santa more than a little creepy!
And Salem beer are one and inseparable. Try a case this Christmas and you will find it the finest flavored, purest beverage you ever tasted. It is bottled by the Capital City Brewing Co., who supply it promptly to all who order.
Capital City Brewery and Ice Works, Mrs. M. Beck, Proprietress
Here's a winter poem by Thomas Campion:
Now Winter Nights Enlarge

Now winter nights enlarge
This number of their hours;
And clouds their storms discharge
Upon the airy towers.
Let now the chimneys blaze
And cups o'erflow with wine,
Let well-tuned words amaze
With harmony divine.
Now yellow waxen lights
Shall wait on honey love
While youthful revels, masques, and courtly sights
Sleep's leaden spells remove.

This time doth well dispense
With lovers' long discourse;
Much speech hath some defense,
Though beauty no remorse.
All do not all things well:
Some measures comely tread,
Some knotted riddles tell,
Some poems smoothly read.
The summer hath his joys,
And winter his delights;
Though love and all his pleasures are but toys
They shorten tedious nights.
Here's to the turning season and longer days again. Prost!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Salem Beer for Christmas Cheer - Saloon Loon Anderson - Xmas Dinner at Hotel Willamette

Here are some snapshots from Christmas in the years a little before and a little after 1900.

In 1903 the imagined role of bright beer for holiday cheer is especially winning! We also like the idea of toning the system with beer. A beer tonic anyone?
Our Beer Promotes Christmas Cheer
Families who like to have a case of bright, sparkling, beer at home, which will give a zest to their food and tone to their system, will have a case of ours now. It is a fine beer. Call up phone 2131.
Salem Brewery Association
You might think of SantaCon as a distinctly modern and naughty take on Christmas. But even a century ago, there were Congresses of Santas!

Gilgamesh is hosting a more sedate form of it on Saturday:
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Gilgamesh's Winter Ale House, #106 in the Reed Opera House
Cost: Free, but everyone is encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots, in which case they will get half-price draft beers

Bill Anderson was Salem's near-sociopathic saloon-keeper. We hope to have a longer story for you sometime. You may recall his prank with a cadaver's skull at a "free lunch" promotion. Here he is in 1898 trying to scare the bejesus out of his Christmas customers! Well, it looks like Someone may had his patrons' backs instead...
Hand Badly Injured.
W. R. Anderson, the proprietor of the Elk Head saloon, met with an accident Saturday evening which may cost him his right hand. While at his place of business he thought to startle his customers a little for a Christmas joke, and procured a large Chinese bomb, which he intended to explode in the middle of the floor, but scarcely had he applied the match to the fuse when it went off in his right hand, shattering that member In a ghastly manner. The hand was torn asunder between the third and fourth finger from the base of the fingers almost to the wrist. The palm of the hand and the Inside of the lingers were badly lacerated. Mr. Anderson was taken to a doctor's office and the injury dressed it requiring 20 stitches to close the wound. It is thought that the hand can be saved.
Finally, here's the menu from the Hotel Willamette for Christmas dinner, just a decade earlier than the Thanksgiving menu we saw. There's no "Chateaubriand of Moose" or "Saddle of Alaska Antelope" this time. The menu is much more conservative and straight-forward. Oranges and bananas are the exotica. Oysters have to come from the east - or at least say they do. The Sauterne and Claret are almost certainly from California rather than France.
Big Christmas Dinner.
Following is the bill of fare at Hotel Willamette for Christmas day. 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., price 50 cents:
Fresh Eastern Oysters Raw
Fried Salmon, Julian Potatoes
Chicken Salads
French Olives
Sweet Cucumbers and Dill Pickles
Sugar Corn French Peas Cauliflower
Baked Sweet Potatoes
Mashed and Steamed Potatoes
Roast Turkey Dressing Cranberry Sauce
Roast Duck Roast Chicken and Dressing
Boiled Ham Cold Tongue
Oyster Patties
Banana Fritters with Wine Sauce
Apple Mince Strawberry Pies
English Plum Pudding with Hard Sauce
Fruit Marble and Sponge Cakes
Star Kisses Crescents Chocolate Eclairs
Lady Fingers
Naval Oranges Apples Bananas
Fancy French Mixed Candy
Assorted Nuts and Raisins
Sauterne and Claret Wine Vintage 1891
The Hotel Willamette, aka Hotel Marion and Hotel Chemeketa, was located on the corner of Ferry and Commercial, where the Conference Center is today, just next door and north of the Capital Brewery, located where the sculpture garden is at Commercial and Trade. The photo here, from the Salem Public Library Historic Photograph Collections, is from around 1870 and is an old Cronise image. If you click through the link it will enlarge to show tremendous detail!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Lost Glories: Old City Hall - Knighton Perfects, Pugh Struggles with Concrete

With news about the Police Station's growth and the seismic instability of New City Hall, maybe it's time to revisit Old City Hall.

Sue Bell writes:
Nothing remains now to mark its presence but a stone shaft and plaque on the southwest corner of Chemeketa and High Streets. Erected in 1989, the monument was installed 17 years after demolition of the original City Hall building when the Civic Center Complex was completed in 1972....

The remaining salvageable material was carted off by wrecking contractor E.S. Ritter to dispose of as he saw fit.

Though the property is now bank parking lot, in a corner which stands the easily overlooked stone shaft commemorating Old City Hall, there are still bits and pieces of the venerable municipal structure scattered throughout the City. In these traces, the memory lives on.
It's a little lonely here.

Not long after it was built it looked like this. Chemeketa is not yet paved here.

Bell continues:
On the 19th of January, 1893, Mayor Gatch and the City Council received recommendations from the Committee on Fire and Water to begin the process of acquiring new City Hall property in order to consolidate all the municipal offices in one central area. An amendment to the City Charter was called for to allow bonding to float a $10,000 indebtedness to the City, which would be added to the $20,000 proceeds from sales of current City property. By April, the Building Committee had completed specifications on the City Hall and were ready to entertain bids on the new construction.

The plans for a "High Victorian Gothic" edifice submitted by Walter D. Pugh were accepted by the Council on April 20th. Pugh's compensation was to be 4% of the contract price for the construction. However, one change in the specifications was recommended at the Council meeting: the clock tower would be 136 feet high, rather than the 156 feet in Pugh's plan.
Here's a much larger image from more recent times, complete with parking meters - be sure to click to enlarge!

One detail that seems have been lost to history is the role William C. Knighton had in the design. According to an article from 1894, just before he was finishing up the Deepwood project (though it didn't get that name until well into the 20th century), Knighton's
first work was to perfect a set for plans for the Salem City hall now under construction.
It would be interesting to know just what this "perfecting" involved! Was it detail work a draftsman might undertake? Was it structural engineering, perhaps for the tower? Was it what we'd today call "value engineering"?

In February 1895, a list of warrants shows that Knighton was still working with C. S. McNally and that Charles Burggraf also had his fingers in the cookie jar!

In any case, in the same report as the list of warrants there was apparent confusion in authority between the superintending architect Pugh and construction superintendent Harrild, and within a few months it had blossomed into a full reprimand over - wait for it! - concrete and masonry:

The report listed several problems with structural concrete, masonry, and iron, and concluded
Architect Pugh has exceeded his authority and has violated the spirit of his contract with the city and laid himself open to just criticism and reprimand by the council.
Maybe it's no wonder the tower on the Grand Theater collapsed in a snow storm! (A correspondent has mentioned another problem tower associated with Pugh, but we couldn't find the reference - we'll update if we can.)

Today the early 70s brutalism of New City Hall probably looks ugly and useless in the same way the chunky Romanesque Gothic of Old City Hall looked in 1972. So that's a cautionary tale about the vagaries of fashion and about probable folly in rushing to vacate and demolish the Civic Center. It's also a little alarming that Salem seems to have a problem with public buildings and their concrete!

But more than anything, it's sad that nothing better than a parking lot has replaced the Old City Hall. That's real ugliness.

(Images: Old City Hall late 1890s and Old City Hall with Parking Meters from Salem Public Library Historic Photograph Collection. It has lots of other images in the collection.)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Holiday Shopping and the Empty Lots - Argo Hotel, Busick Market, Eldridge Block

Since big box shopping season is upon us, along with the crazy hunt for a parking spot, here are a couple of lost buildings - and the big box car parking that replaced them. The lost aren't necessarily "glories," especially the Busick Market, but you have to admit they're more attractive than what is currently there. (The angles and scales on the modern shots are pretty close to those of the old.)

(Argo Hotel, Salem Public Library Oregon Historic Photo Collection)

This isn't exactly an empty lot - we'll call it a series of stacked lots over a retail cavern - but it's not put to very good use, either. On the north side of Chemeketa street between Liberty and Commercial you can see the corner of the alley in each photo. On the alley today are Carl's Cuisine, the elevator, and J.C. Penny. Presumably the Argo was demolished when the parking garage went up (but we haven't confirmed this).

On the south side of Chemeketa, the parking garage wiped out the Eldridge Block. The very south-most portion remains today as the home of Greenbaum's, but before the garage the block was three times as big, and extended to the corner where the shoe shop is today. You can see it here and here. And here is one a little later in 1954 that shows the whole Eldridge block with Greenbaum's.

(Eldridge Block, Salem Public Library Oregon Historic Photo Collection)

Another of the empty lots is the one behind TJ Maxx and Rite-Aid downtown. Next to TJ Maxx is a curious building, a gabled garage with two mostly parabolic-y arches on the side facing Marion Street. You can just see it behind the man's head in the first image.

(Orignal photo, badly identified, Salem Public Library Oregon Historic Photo Collection)

There's not a whole lot written and easily accessible on the Busick Market in this location, but the name remains in the Busick Court restaurant on Court Street. There was more than one Busick Market location, and we don't know the relation between them all.

So here are three ways the old downtown used to have a lot more character. We drink a toast to lost charm and buildings lost!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Ventis Taphouse Hosts Holiday Seasonal Taste-Off

Last summer you might remember the Best of the West IPA Bowl. It seemed unwieldy to us, and we didn't make much of a brew-ha-ha about it. And indeed it went on waaaay too long.

But Venti's executed a course-correction, and v2 looks great!

The Brew-Ho-Ho is a four round set of four beers. The same 16 beer draw, but half the number of rounds and twice the beer in each round. Win!

It's also much more interesting to get away from the IPA, same-ol', same-ol' thing.

Nicely turned!

At Venti's Downtown

Meanwhile, at the other Venti outpost, on Wednesday,
Venti’s Basement Bar at the Cafe and New Belgium Beer Ranger Mat Robertson will be hosting a New Belgium Brewing Party December 7th from 6PM to close featuring six rare New Belgium Beers: New Belgium Lips of Faith Fresh Hop IPA, Lips of Faith Super Cru Belgian Strong, Lips of Faith Prickly Passion Saison, Snow Day Winter CDA, Lips of Faith “La Fleur Misseur?” Belgian Pale Ale and Abbey Dubbel.
That's a solid beer week in Salem!

UPDATED: Repeal Day

Fiddlesticks! Almost forgot about Repeal Day.

Toast the 78th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition! Today is Repeal Day, December 5th, the date in 1933 the states and nation formally ratified the 21st Amendment.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Smallpox Epidemic Wipes out Pratum Family in 1910

Today's news about vaccination compliance is worrisome. We think of the diseases as "gone," but it's not difficult to imagine some of them returning. Just a century ago smallpox occasionally burned through families and places. While smallpox is officially "eradicated," other diseases yet linger.

In her research, SOME SMALL CEMETERIES and MISCELLANEOUS BURIALS, Bernita Jones Sharp writes about the Herr family:
The Daily Oregon Statesman, 10 December 1910, on page 2, has a bold headline: BIG EPIDEMIC OF SMALLPOX. The article goes on to say a report had been received from Pratum that a smallpox epidemic was raging there and the Herr family had fallen victims of the disease, with more than a dozen families having been exposed and many houses quarantined, including Howell School. The county health officer reported the first death occurred on Saturday, Mr. Herr, the father of the family being the unfortunate one. The mother, daughter, son and his wife were also ill.

On 11 December 1910, page 3 of the Daily Oregon Statesman, another bold headline proclaims: WILL SUBDUE BIG EPIDEMIC. This article, under a Silverton dateline, tells "of perhaps the most virulent type of hemorrhagic smallpox that has ever been known on the Pacific coast". It goes on to say that Mr. Herr, a wealthy citizen of Ohio, in company with his wife, had been visiting his son, Simm Herr, and while here but a few days, Mrs. Herr of Ohio, broke out with the disease in a mild form. This rapidly spread to the remaining members of the family resulting in the death of Simm Herr, Mr. Herr of Ohio and Mr. Herr's sister. Mrs. Sim (sic) Herr and little son Clarence were "suffering greatly" but there was hopes of their recovery.

WHOLE FAMILY IS WIPED OUT, emblazons page 2 of the Daily Oregon Statesman on 13 December 1910 and tells that another victim has been added to the death list in the Pratum smallpox epidemic. Mrs. Sen (sic) Herr died "yesterday"; and tells us that her husband died on Saturday. Mr. Herr & his wife, from Ohio, visiting their son, Sen (sic) Herr, were the first afflicted and it was doubtful the son of the Sinn Herrs would recover. Mrs. Herr, of Ohio, was slightly improved and her recovery was looked for.

The Silverton Appeal, on 11 Jan 1911 pg 5 provides a little more information on the Herr family when it is reported that "Mr. Herr" from Bluffton, Iowa had arrived to assist in arranging his father's business affairs [after) "his father and sister died of smallpox a few weeks ago".

On 20 January 1911, pg 6 of the Silverton Appeal is a Card of Thanks from Mr. & Mrs. Peter Herr & the Lichty family and refers to the, "terrible illness and death of Mr. Christ and Sim Herr".

The Oregon Death Index provides the following information:

HERR, Christian, died 03 December 1910

HERR, Fanny M., died 08 December 1910

HERR, Sem (sic) S., died 08 Dec 1910

HERR, Matilda Sarah, died 11 December 1910

Christian Herr was the father from Ohio.

Fanny M. & Sem S. Herr were the daughter & son of Christian and his (unnamed) wife.

Matilda Sarah "Tillie" was the wife of Sem S. Her maiden name was, reportedly, Lichty. The 1895 Census does include a Lichty family with a daughter Matilda, aged between 10 & 18.

The 1910 Census tells us that Sim S. Herr was 36 years of age, born in Ohio, and had been married 4 years. His wife, Tillie S., was 27, born in Oregon, she had had one child and one child was living. Their son, Clarence, age 3, was also born in Oregon. [Clarence Herr did survive the epidemic.]

Peter Herr was apparently another son of Christian Herr. For more on Peter & his family see the reference to them in the section on Mt. Hope Cemetery, in this volume.

In none of the above referred to articles is there any mention of the disposal of the bodies of these victims of smallpox. Reportedly, those who died from communicable diseases were not allowed to be buried in public cemeteries, so burial usually took place on the victims own land and that may have been the case with this family. No obituaries were located for any of the victims.
(Headline from the Oregonian, December 11th, 1910)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Beer Goddess to Read at Willamette U Bookstore Thursday

Need some bibulous bibliographic bliss?

Join the Beer Goddess for a reading at Willamette University Bookstore on Thursday, December 1st, at 3:30pm!

From the release:
Lisa M. Morrison
Craft Beers of the Pacific Northwest: A Beer Lover’s Guide to Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia

The Beer Goddess, a.k.a. Lisa Morrison, is a Portland-based beer writer, author, and host of Beer O’Clock, a radio program on Newsradio 101 FM KXL. Each week, Beer O’Clock connects beer lovers in Beervana (Portland, Ore.) and around the world to the best in great beer through exclusive interviews, brews news, event listings, and tasting notes and a lot more. Unlike most radio programs, Morrison personally buys the air time for Beer O’Clock and uses sponsorship to pay for it.
Morrison also is the executive director of Barley’s Angels, a nonprofit organization focused on helping women learn more about craft beer and brewing so they can chart their own course of beer discovery.

About the Book:

Craft Beers of the Pacific Northwest is the first book in more than a decade that brings beer lovers the very best insider information on the best places to source Northwest beer. This book is a suds-soaked adventure through the northwest, with 18 mapped-out pub crawls, listings, labels, photos and details on more than 115 different places to have a great beer, and a great beer-experience in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.
The New School has a nice interview with her here.

(Image of Morrison from the interview.)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

LifeSource adds Beer Steward and Expanded Selection

If you don't shop at LifeSource, here are three excellent reasons to check out the store: A beer steward, an expanded beer case, and a weekly blog update with the new beers!

They have a special focus on single bottles and encourage sampling. With the cool storage, you are more likely to have a pristine bottle. Win all around!

This weekend's update includes, for example, a couple of bottles from Portland favorite Upright.

This is great to see! Thanks, Liam and LifeSource!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Fancy Salem Thanksgiving a Century Ago in 1911

Chateaubriand of Moose or Saddle of Alaska Antelope? Here's what your Thanksgiving might have looked like at the Hotel Marion in 1911.*

(click for larger menu)

Holy Cow, that's a lot of meat!**

Any culinary historians out there? Perhaps you can mine it better for bons mots or discern curious habits. This was not, needless to say, a proletarian plate. Even so, New York or San Francisco could bury it in excess. So this was Thanksgiving for the Salem gentry and their visitors, such as they were.

For an assortment of historic images of the Hotel Marion, see here. It was located where the Conference Center is today. A history here.

*Reposted from a year ago.

**No wonder Syrup of Figs, Fletcher's Castoria, Paine's Celery Compound, and a ton of other patent medicines attended to the needs of the constipated, who must have been many, judging by the frequency and number of ads and mentions of digestion.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Sumerian Saloon: Gilgamesh to Pop-up in Reed Opera House

Tomorrow your options for holiday respite and relief will get a little bit better in downtown Salem!

From the facebook:
Gilgamesh Brewing Co. will open a pop-up shop on the Court Street side of the Reed Opera House on November 23. The shop will sell Gilgamesh brand merchandise, including new holiday packs. We will release seasonal brews (including a new winter ale), fill growlers, and welcome those who want to escape the holiday shopping and come in for a pint. The shop will be open through the holiday season.
In the 8 taps, they'll also have some new beers:
the Blitzn-Prancer, a winter ale made with molasses, nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove, and limited-release ABandon Brew, a brew aged in pinot noir wine barrels for more than a year.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday
10 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday
noon to 5 p.m. Sunday

It's been a while since there was a regular saloon in the Reed! Here's one from back in the day. You'll recognize the location on Court street next to the alley. Note how the storefront system has changed from the narrow brick arched windows to large picture windows.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Turkey Day Beverage Delight: Abyss Vertical and Wine Country

Last year at New Years Venti's basement bar had the 2010 Abyss, and it looked to us like the best toast in town.

This year, a little earlier, they're doubling down: Perhaps in a new Salem institution, much like the mythic and epic annual verticals at the Woodstock Wine and Deli, Venti's is squirreling away kegs of Abyss and cellaring them for holiday tastings. At the Taphouse on
Monday, November 21st at 4pm... [the 2010 and 2011] beers will be available, side by side only, two six oz. pours, until the kegs are gone. What’s more, in subsequent years you may look forward to a two year vertical tasting again in 2012 and a TRIPLE VERTICAL in 2013!
A big tip of the pint!

Wine Country Thanksgiving

Beer is great and all, but if you have read CT, you'll also know that we recommend taking the holiday weekend to go wine tasting.

Vineyard managers and winemakers just finished the latest harvest in Oregon wine history, and a mostly dry October meant that many of the wines look like they will be elegant and especially lithe and lovely. You won't be able to taste from the 2011 vintage, but wines from 2010 were also late and show some of the same possibilities.

Don't miss our amazing proximity to wine country!

So mix it up, and try to take a day to head into the hills.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Corvallis looks to hit another Home Run

Though Les Caves in Corvallis been softly open for a while now, the grand opening is this weekend. The menu and beer list for the new restaurant associated with Block 15 founder and brewer Nick Arzner looks tremendous!

Here's the taplist:
We will begin Saturday morning with the first listed beers and them move on to the “on deck” as kegs empty.

Block 15-2009 Pappy’s Dark
Cantillon- Vigneronne 2009
St. Bernardus- 2010 Christmas Ale
Cascade- 2009 The Vine
Banhof- Berliner Style Weisse, Brettanomyces Lambicus Special Edition
Upright- Barrel Aged Four with tangelo & organge peel and rose petals
Hair of the Dog- Cherry Fred from the Wood
Ninkasi- 2010 Conventionale (Imperiale)
Oakshire- Bourbon Badger (Nitro)
Harviestoun- Bitter and Twisted Zymatore (Gin Barrel Aged)
3 Fools- Cider matured with Brettanomyces Lambicus
Great Divide- 2010 Chocolate Oak Aged

On Deck:
De Struise- St. Amatus
Great Divide- Yeti 2009 Oak Aged Yeti
Boneyard- Femme Fatale
Flat Tail- Double Dry-Hopped English IPA
Jolly Pumpkin- 2010 La Parcela
And here's the opening tasting menu. This is some serious food-n-beer matching!
Available November 19 & 20th 4pm-10pm
$45 with Beer, $35 food only

House Charcuterie
Venison salami, rabbit pate, apple butter, pickled beets, torn bread
~Upright Brewing Pinot Noir barrel matured Four

Moroccan Vegetable soup
Candied lemon
~St. Bernardus 2010 Christmas Ale

Seared Breast of Duck
With Pumpkin and goat cheese ravioli and browned butter
~Cherry Fred from the Wood, Hair of the Dog Brewing

Belgian Chocolate Terrine
Hazelnut, Framboise sauce
~2009 Pappy’s Dark, Block 15 Brewing

The menu proudly features local goods from: Gathering Together Farms, My Pharm, Freddy Guys, Denisons, & Evergreen Creek Farms.
The New School had an October preview.

If you're looking for something out of town, head south!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Second Oregon Returns from the Spanish American War

Veterans Day didn't exist in 1899 when the Oregon Volunteers came home from the Spanish-American War.

Here's Charles A. Murphy. (Image from the Oregon State Library.) He was born in Salem, survived the war, was warden of the Penitentiary during World War I, and died in 1945. He is buried in the Pioneer Cemetery. When he died, one of his nephews was a POW held by the Japanese.

The Second Oregon was the first regiment to return to the US, in July of 1899. From San Francisco on August 9th they took the train north. Here are two images of their return to Salem, on August 10th. The images must be taken from what is now the Tokyo International University. They are of course from before the 1918 Beaux Arts depot, and may show the old wood freight depot.

(Second Oregon, returning from Spanish American War, August 10th, 1899.
Salem Public Library Historic Photograph Collections

(Second Oregod, returning from Spanish American War, August 10th, 1899.
Salem Public Library Historic Photograph Collections

Here's the area around the depot in a 1905 birdseye map. You can see the field where the camera must have been located. Mill street doesn't go through. The woolen mill is to the left, and there are canneries where the Willamette soccer field is now. 14th Street no longer aligns with the railroad, but has been realigned to meet what is here 15th. Yew Park School is at Mission and 14th - and Mission Street has been very much changed.

The returning veterans even had a song, "Hail to the Second Oregon."

Salem basically shut down for the train.
It Proves to be a Pleasant and Patriotic Occasion
Crowds Are Large, Good Natured, and Joyous Over the Second Oregon's Return

Showers laid the dust. The clouds cooled off the day. The sun burst out at last. Old nature made the greeting perfect.

All day people rolled and rode in to the city from all directions. Early the streets and walks were crowded. Thousands of bicycles were on the streets. It was indeed a public holiday. Carriages fluttered with flags and many business places were decorated. At 10:30 the Salem Military band, heading a procession of the Grand Army marched up State street to the depot, playing military airs and the column took a position east of the track.

THE FIRST SECTION pulled into the station at 10:40 and immediately the gun-powder began to boom. The Southern Pacific train gave the double toot and all the whistles and bells in town began to blow. There were eight coaches and out of each window stuck a flag. The depot grounds from the water tank to the bridge was a solid mass of rejoicing people. The train had not stopped when the boys in brown uniforms began to pile out and greet friends.

At 11 a.m. the Salem National Guard company with roses stuck in their muskets countermarched past the first section and joined the Salem Grand Army escort that headed by the Salem military band formed the special escort of honor for the occasion.

At 11:30 the guard of honor of Union veterans led off with their corps flag, the Relief Corps banner of silk and the tattered battle flag of the Second Oregon at the front, followed by the first battalion of the regiment.

The second seciton pulled in at 11:20 and was soon followed by the third, containing the Salem company when the cheering was renewed with further explosions of bombs and fire works. This was the climax of the whole occaions.

The Second Oregon are a fine appearing body of men physically, but few showing the effects of their hard campaign. Their only careworn look was occasioned by the loss of sleep and continual feasting since landing in Oregon.

[The story continues with the usual kisses between soldiers and sweethearts, with swooning "Salem belles," and with politicians and pageantry.]
For a different take on return, here's Captain Timothy Kudo, writing as part of an ongoing series in the New York Times, Home Fires, which features "the writing of men and women who have returned from wartime service in the United States military."
Only the dead have seen the end of war. This is a maxim that has been used to illuminate humanity’s propensity for war, but it is also an accurate reflection of many veterans’ experiences. The war not only came back with us, it was here the entire time, experienced by orphans and widows. It was experienced by the widows from my unit who were unable to cook a single meal for their kids since their husband’s death. During a memorial a few weeks after our return, families of the dead collapsed grief-stricken in front of their loved ones’ pictures as a thousand Marines solemnly bore witness. When an officer went to the house to check on one family, the littlest one told him matter-of-factly, “My daddy is dead.”
After coming home, our commanders told us we earned glory for our unit, but I know it’s more complicated than that. War has little to do with glory and everything to do with hard work and survival. It’s about keeping your goodness amid the evil. But no matter what happens, you never work hard enough, people die and evil touches everyone. Our lives will go on but the war will never go away. That’s why it’s not simply good to be back. I thought my war was over, but it followed me. It followed all of us. We returned only to find that it was waiting here the entire time and will always be with us.
Here are the Official Records of the Second Oregon and an oral history from 1939. For more, see the PBS Series "Crucible of Empire," Wikipedia on the Spanish-American War and the Philippine-American War, and the Library of Congress on the Spanish-American War. The headlines from the war in the Philippine Islands (going to 1902) sometimes seem an awful lot like the headlines from the past decade.

Monday, November 7, 2011

U Think Wednesday on the Invention of Jesus

Who would want to be limited to a single beer, brewed to the specifications of 3000 BCE, 1300 CE, or whatever model you might choose for the Ur-Beer?+

Nope, we celebrate the fecund excess of styles and variations today! There's never been a better time for beer.

In religion it's often the opposite: We mourn the loss of unity, worry about all the denominational variation, and long for a return to a moment of pristine origins when everybody was presumably on the same page.* The Truth is supposed to be one.

On Wednesday at Brown's Towne Lounge U Think features "the Sage of Galilee" and the latest scholarship on His foundational role in Christian origins.

It's timely since the presidential campaign of 2012 has put the origins of religion in the spotlight. How to explain this movement called Christianity and some of its descendents? And how should these movements inform contemporary politics?

Digging for the Truth

In a fabulous bit of cross-linguistic word play, the discovery of a Christian relic was called in Latin the invention of a relic. In-venio means to come upon, to find or discover. For us moderns the word "invention" points up the anxious matter of authenticity. Debates over golden plates and spectacles are far from new.

Here's the way one of the illuminators** of the Milan-Turin Hours envisions the discovery of the True Cross by Helena, Constantine's mother. She really found that cross. It may not be modern archaeology but the idea of digging was understood to lead to truth.

Nowadays digging also operates as a metaphor for textual interpretation. In post-Reformation Christianity, the text of the Bible, and not a relic or ritual, is the guarantor of authenticity. Scholars dig through layers of textual tradition in the Bible, in hopes of finding the foundation layer of Christian origins. The origin is assumed to be normative, the most authentic layer and commanding our assent. This leads from the Christ of Dogma to the Jesus of History.

About this, Albert Schweitzer wrote in The Quest of the Historical Jesus:
There is no historical task which so reveals a man's true self as the writing of a Life of Jesus. No vital force comes into the figure unless a man breathes into it all the hate or all the love of which he is capable. The stronger the love, or the stronger the hate, the more life-like is the figure which is produced. For hate as well as love can write a Life of Jesus, and the greatest of them are written with hate : that of Reimarus, the Wolfenbuttel Fragmentist, and that of David Friedrich Strauss. It was not so much hate of the Person of Jesus as of the supernatural nimbus with which it was so easy to surround Him, and with which He had in fact been surrounded. They were eager to picture Him as truly and purely human, to strip from Him the robes of splendour with which He had been apparelled, and clothe Him once more with the coarse garments in which He had walked in Galilee.
Though it's a totally different kind of passion than Jesus', the feelings behind Jesus research have been passionate indeed.

The torch-bearer of the modern quest is the Jesus Seminar.*** The Westar Institute runs the seminar's meetings, and just a few years ago they relocated to Salem, on the edge of the Willamette campus.

U Think catches up with the latest Jesus research on Wednesday!
Willamette University’s U Think series will feature Stephen Patterson, professor and historian who specializes in the origins of Christianity. He will present “The Historian’s Jesus: What scholars say about the sage from Galilee" on Nov. 9 at 6:30 p.m. in Brown’s Towne Lounge.

“Long before Jesus became the Christian savior he was a Jewish sage who provoked the masses and drew a crowd,” says Patterson. “Beggars loved him, and Romans feared him. In the end, he was executed for sedition. Historians now think they know why.”

Patterson is the George H. Atkinson Professor of Religious and Ethical Studies at Willamette University. He is the director of the Westar Institute, where he chairs the Jesus Seminar on Christian Origins. Patterson’s many books and essays address various aspects of the historical Jesus and Gospel of Thomas, among other biblical scholarship.
+ Or maybe like Pilsner Urquell. Biblical scholarship also has its Quelle, the Q-source.

* It's the old chestnut of the One and Many. The difference between hedgehogs, who know one thing, and foxes, who know many things. Or the difference between Athenian and Mancunian science, the difference between the physicist's search for a unified field theory and the biologist's search for new species.

** If you're into art history, many scholars have conjectured that this image is by Jan van Eyck.

*** Here's the Jesus Seminar Drinking Game™:

In the past, the Jesus Seminar voted on the sayings of Jesus, trying to determine whether they were authentic, similar to something Jesus said, inauthentic but related to something He really said, or totally inauthentic and from a later tradition. They used red, pink, grey, and black beads.

U Think can turn this into the best parlor game ever! If U Think the saying is real, you must finish your beer! If U Think it's similar, you have to drink half your beer. If U Think it's inauthentic but related, you have to take a sip. And if it's fake, you don't have to sip.

You will know the skeptics by their sobriety! And the enthusiasts will be rolling wholly on the floor.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Beer for Halloween

Whether you call it Halloween, All Saints and Souls Days, Samhain, or Día de los Muertos - it's a strange amalgam of carnival and loss. Take a moment to toast the good times and the dead and haunted in the next couple of days. Life is fragile and fleeting.

Here's a Halloween poem.
All Souls' Night, 1917
by Hortense King Flexner

You heap the logs and try to fill
The little room with words and cheer,
But silent feet are on the hill,
Across the window veiled eyes peer.
The hosts of lovers, young in death,
Go seeking down the world to-night,
Remembering faces, warmth and breath—
And they shall seek till it is light.
Then let the white-flaked logs burn low,
Lest those who drift before the storm
See gladness on our hearth and know
There is no flame can make them warm.
For the fun, don't let your Halloween Hangover stop you. Toast the Day of the Dead with an Abominable Winter Ale at the Taphouse.
The Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB) party is coming to the Taphouse November 1st with special guest brewer Jaime Rodriguez. This party will be staring later in the evening than previous parties and will run 7:30 to close.

We’ll have HUB swag to give away. A six HUB beer taster tray for $7. We’ll be running happy hour prices on all HUB draft beers through closing. Free HUB glass with your first HUB purchase while supplies last, one per customer please.

Draft beers will be: Batch 1000 ESB Anniversary Ale, HUB Lager, Abominable Winter Ale and Seven Grain Stout. HUB focuses on Organic beers that are produced in their environmentally friendly brewery in Portland.
And since it's not all fun-and-games, think about the lost, especially those lost deep in the institutions of Salem.

As the Prison and Courts grapple with a Capital Case even today, consider all those executed, some of them quite possibly innocent. But whether guilty or not, there's a long, long trail of loss and sadness.

And consider those alone who, without family by their side in dying, and without family after death, still endure the lonely cannister.