Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Seeking Relief: Horse manure and Humanure at the Courthouse

What is that column on the corner of State and High?

Over at the Mission Mill blog, folks from the archives and library have posted something of a mystery.

We've dropped some comments, but because they have links, the comments seem to get stuck in the spam queue, and it seems easier to answer over here.

The mysterious column is also visible here and here, but not here, here or here. Those with a better knowledge of automobile models and fashion might be able to date it more securely through these additional images, small as they are. We guess right around 1920, and it had disappeared well before the 1940s.*

At the Mill, speculation and recollection suggested it was a ventilation tower for an underground toilet. But what about the water table and flooding? Were there really toilets below ground. Is it possible the tower was an early traffic signal instead?

The identity of the column is a fascinating mystery, and hopefully more documentation will surface!

In the same discussion they posted another photo and identified it as showing excavation (bottom left, not bottom right as their notes suggest!) for the Masonic Building.

Here's a better reproduction of the image that started the inquiry. Between the caption, the wagons, and the fencing, we think it's a paddock associated with the Fashion Stables, visible in this image, and operating at this location from 1903 to 1910, and not excavation for the Masonic building circa 1911.

It's great to see the Mill starting to share bits of history online and hopefully conversation will grow more and more lively!

* The dating in the Mill's note is a little garbled, and it's not clear what they mean:
Also, they weren’t sure when it was built, but the the general concensus was that it was after WWII, maybe even as early as a Great Depression WPA project, and it was filled in probably in the late 1940s.
Update, April 17th, 2012

Sun of a Gun! Here's a detail from an image dated May 30th, 1941.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Pliny or a Stoic: It's Beer-tiquity Time

The sun goes down too early now. We aren't ready for fall!

Fall beers are here and the beery meme of classical antiquity just seems to get more and more traction. Right now you have your choice of Pliny the Elder at Venti's downtown for Fifth Monday, or you can go for The Stoic by Deschutes at the Taphouse. It's an "American Quad,"
mingling the four virtues of compelling ingredients, nuanced flavor, sound body, and a composed harmony. The Stoic requires discovery of the truth of the matter.

Our brewers describe a simple recipe ironically hard to brew. The classic malt bill is all Pilsner malt. Hallartau, Czech Saaz, and Northern Brewer hops sustain a deftly understated flavor. Belgian candy sugars add impact and the smooth body required of any Belgian-style brew worth quaffing. A healthy portion of pomegranate molasses casts an opulent, tangy twist, while a vintage Belgian yeast strain provides a solid reference point. Pinot Noir and Rye Whiskey barrel-aging suggest notes of spice, citrus, pepper, vanilla, and toasted caramel like offerings to the ancients.

Like the ancients, we employ reason to live well. Reason demands truth. Truth invites experience. Unraveling the intricacies of The Stoic reveals a determined pursuit of that spirited endeavor. Ergo…it is very reasonable to live well when experiencing The Stoic.
We love the label - but it's definitely more medieval monk than Roman empire. (The New School has a nice photo of it on the bottle.) And we aren't exactly confident the Stoics would have endorsed imbibing much of a pleasantly intoxicating beverage.

But whatever. There's some fine beer out there right now. Go drink up!

(And if big beers aren't your thing - or if you protest, as we do, "but it's still summer!" - hopefully some of the pours from the Mighty Mites festival will make it here. In the meantime, Pike's Dry Wit may still be on tap!)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Murders and the Man of Mystery at the Waldo House

Murders! Hangings! Lost burial grounds! Ruins! Wine!

You probably saw Cara Pallone's story in the Statesman about the Waldo House and Cemetery. Or maybe you heard the story on OPB a couple of weeks earlier.

Naturally, we were curious, and this past weekend the CT Expeditionary Forces with Aide-de-camp RC trekked out to the Waldo Hills in search.

The press focused on the great story of the cemetery's discovery, but in the process flattened out some of the history. As is so often the case with real history, the legacy is complicated, and it turns out the homestead may be more interesting as a crucible of 19th century race relations and religiosity here than as a pioneer land claim or a forgotten burial ground. Daniel Waldo was, the Dictionary of Oregon History says, "a man of forceful but liberal views, independent, but sometimes critical and acid in opinion," and it's a shame there isn't more published history about him and those around him. He's something of a mystery.

Top Photo: Cara Pallone, Statesman Journal

Pioneer in the Waldo Hills

The house was not difficult to find, but it is right in the middle of a new vineyard. The slender vines held grapes very small and green, the vines likely in third or fourth leaf. The road was gated and we stood outside. A few of the gentle eminences looked like candidates for the cemetery.

The house, it turns out, has been abandoned for well over 60 years. The library's photo collection dates this Ben Maxwell photo from 1947.* Even then the house looks abandoned, and there is scaffolding on entry and on the right.

42 years before that, it seemed to be in ok shape. After a visit in 1905, T.T. Geer, Governor of Oregon from 1899-1903, said the house was "still in a splendid state of preservation." Geer dated the house to 1856, but a few years later in 1911 Geer said that the house was built in 1853. In any event, it replaced a log cabin finished about a year after Waldo had first claimed his land in the fall of 1843.

Geer also said:
Dan Waldo was a member of the last Legislative Committee which met before the organization of the provisional government. It held its sessions “at the house of Mr. Hathaway,” in Oregon City, in June, and again in December, 1844. Among his seven colleagues were numbered Peter H. Burnett, M. M. McCarver, A. L. Lovejoy and Robert Newell — all men of sterling character, in whose integrity no man failed to place the fullest confidence, and fitted by nature as well as by experience to accomplish great things.

Mr. Waldo at an early day engaged in many branches of business which had for their object not only his own financial gain, but the development of the country. Chief among them was the Willamette Woolen Mills Company which, established at Salem in 1857, was the first business of its kind in the Northwest. The last few years of his life were spent in Salem, where he died about 1880, after a painful and lingering illness. He lives in the memory of Oregonians as one of the best and most enterprising of her early pioneers a splendid type of the frontiersman.
Though he was a pioneer of 1843, he furnished loans for the Cayuse War and the Willamette Woolen Mills, and Geer observed Waldo "was in affluent circumstances from the start."

Still, Waldo doesn't seem to have merited much biography - the usual places, like Gaston's Centennial History of Oregon (4 vols) are silent. Even Oregon Historical Quarterly doesn't have much. In an Oregonian obituary from September 11th, 1880, James Nesmith said
Mr. Waldo possessed a remarkable vigorous mind, and he was well read in history. The amusing and immortal satires of an older civilization, as presented by Miguel Cervantes in "Don Quixote", he knew by heart. They were adapted to a practical mind like his, which had no patience with cant, shams, pretenses, hypocrisy or hum bugs.
It seems we are dealing a complicated and independent, perhaps even eccentric and difficult, character, one whose love of satire might not always have endeared him to his neighbors and even to his friends.

* Another photo is dated from 1945, but it looks more recent, as the front entry is denuded. So the dating here is not certain.

Map detail from 1861 General Land Office Survey

Portrait of Daniel Waldo from the Oregon State Library.

The Waldo Bogle Wedding

Daniel Waldo's direct involvement in Salem's first marriage of African-Americans is unclear. But on January 1, 1863, the Reverend Obed Dickinson performed the marriage of Richard Bogle and America Waldo.

Writing in The Skanner, Abe Proctor says America "was the free daughter of Daniel Waldo...and one of his female slaves." One family descendent summarizes the argument against America being the daughter of Daniel Waldo, but suggests she was more likely a niece. Still, the contradictions and ambiguity here capture the mixed up nature of so many slave-holding households. Certainty may not be possible. (The household of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings might be the most famous example of such a complicated family, but we cannot forget that we are also dealing with slavery, with people held as property, not some bohemian notion of polygamy.)

The marriage scandalized many. On January 13th, and writing privately about the wedding to Judge Matthew Deady, Asahel Bush observed
They had a feast and Jo [Watt] presided at the table. At it were the whites named and six niggers - three bucks and three wenches. "Am I not a man and a brother?" It was negro equality sentiment mixed up with a little snob-aristocracy. The "first circle" character of the whites was expected to give eclat to the affair and bar all remarks. But it has caused a good deal of gossip and generally [is] regarded as shameful by the community.
On January 31st, a writer in the Oregonian noted
It appears that some ladies and gentlemen attended the marriage of a colored girl who had long been a servant and a great favorite in a family at Salem. This circumstance induced an anonymous blackguard to rush into print about the danger of negro equality.
With or without Daniel Waldo's patronage or support, the Bogles did not stay around Salem for very long.

Photo of America Waldo and Richard Bogle is from the Oregon Historical Society, OrHi 12649, and obviously dates from much later than 1863.

The Bush letter and Oregonian citation from "Obed Dickinson and the 'Negro Question' in Salem," Egbert S. Oliver,
Oregon Historical Quarterly, Vol. 92, No. 1 (Spring, 1991), pp. 4-40.

The Delaney Murder

Just two years later, in 1865 Daniel Delaney was murdered. Race was also at the center of it. Virginia Green and Katherine Wallig summarized the crime:
Despite being a former slaveholder, Daniel Delaney had a reputation of being friendly with blacks. In 1865, after a dispute about some cattle, some of Delaney’s neighbors took advantage of this; they blackened their faces and went to kill Delaney, hoping that the authorities would pin the crime on blacks.
George Beale and George Baker were arrested. In 1945 about the trial and execution Ben Maxwell wrote:
Marion county grand jury indicted Beale and Baker for murder in the first degree. Their trial opened March 20, 1865. Judge Ruben P. Boise presided. [Richard] Williams and [Rufus] Mallory were the prosecutors. David Logan, assisted by Caton and Curl of Salem defended. It was a battle of the giants in early Oregon pleading. Reputations were enhanced. Williams soon entered congress. Mallory later....

Beale and Baker stood upon the scaffold facing a multitude. If they were repenant they did not show It. Mrs. Josie Delany LaFore, then a child of 12 and a granddaughter of old man Delaney, recalled that one of them, just before swinging into eternity, tried to spit upon William Delaney, one of the old men's sons.

Hawker's cries interrupted the last thoughts of Beale and Baker. A few days before the execution both confessed and tried to fix the blame on one another. Frederick G. Schwatka a printer, seized upon the confession as a business opportunity and was selling his documents to the crowd as a souvenir....

In death Beale and Baker had small interest for the spectators, who silently slipped halters and drove away. A few remained to arrange disposal of the bodies. No church warden was anxious to receive them within the sacred precincts of their cemetery. Baker's relatives, some commentators relate, claimed his remains and removed them to a family plot.

Beale's body remained unclaimed. His family did not desire it. Then Daniel Waldo, for whom the Waldo Hills were named, said that he, because he did not profess to be a Christian like those present, would provide decent burial for Beale’s body.

Waldo loaded the box into his wagon and drove to his home in the Waldo Hills. There he buried Beale on a hillside and built a rail fence around the grave. Now the fence has fallen away but inquiring persons who travel southward on the highway between MaCleay and Shaw may still see the old, thorny unkempt white rose that seasonally blooms on the grave of George Beale.
It's not clear from this and other accounts whether Waldo self-identified as an atheist, an other unbeliever, or perhaps, wishing to point out religious hypocrisy, even thought of himself more authentically Christian than conventional church-goers. In any event, if his relation to slavery was complicated, it seems his relation to Christianity was also complicated.

One detail that seems to have gone unremarked upon is that David Logan, lawyer for the defendants, was married to Mary Porter Waldo, daughter of Daniel Waldo. This tie might have also suggested the burial arrangements.

Photo of David Logan from Wikipedia

The Ben Maxwell piece and several others about the 1865 hanging are transcribed here. Unfortunately, Maxwell doesn't cite his sources, and it is not possible to know how secure are the details. Some, it is possible, may be narrative embellishments.

An Innocent Executed in Salem?

In Some Small Cemeteries and Miscellaneous Burials, Bernita Jones Sharp noted that "It has also been reported that, in 1894, a colored man by the name of DRAKE, who was also hanged at Salem, was interred in the Waldo Cemetery." One immediately thinks of lynching.

Newspapers don't seem to have anything for 1894, but the Willamette Farmer of May 9th, 1884 contains a story about the murder of David Swartz.
The people of Marion county are excited over a murder trial of unusual interest, because it occurs near Salem and involves the death of an old pioneer and well-known citizen, though he has been accused of great cruelty and unkindness to his family. David Swartz has lived in Howell Prairie, some seven miles east of Salem, and was shot when returning from Bass' saw mill. The wife and son and two neighbors named Joe Drake and William Henry were implicated, and Henry seems to have turned State's evidence and told the facts before Justice Coffey, of Salem, who has held the preliminary examination. Henry's story is that Mrs. Swartz told him and Drake that her husband would kill them on sight, and a favorable chance to kill him would be as he came home from Bass' mill. They went to waylay him, and when he came by Drake fired a shot gun and revolver at him, when he fell from the wagon. They then mounted their horses and went home. Swartz lived until the next day, but made no statement, not gaining consciousness. The tragedy was deliberately planned and executed. It remains to be shown what excuse there was for the unholy deed. Swartz was a very unkind man in his family and was disliked by many. His wife complains that he abused his little boy as well as herself, and it is notorious that while he was well off he did not provide his family with comforts and clothes that were needed for decent appearance.
The story disappears for a bit, but it resurfaces in this piece from March 20th, 1885, in the Daily Astorian:
Joseph Drake, the colored man who aided in the murder of old man Schwartz last summer, is to be hanged at Salem this afternoon. A strong appeal has been made to the governor for a commutation of the death sentence to life imprisonment. The petition is signed by most of the trial jury, and by the supreme judges. The murder of Schwartz was one of the most cold-blooded and unprovoked that is in the history of crime in Oregon. The old man was ambushed at night, when he little thought of death. The aim of the assassins was unerring and the victim was killed instantly. One of the murderers, Henry, turned states evidence and is now in the pententiary [sic] for life. Drake was tried by a jury in the circuit court and condemned to death. The supreme court reviewed the case and confirmed the judgment of the circuit court.
And on the 22nd, the Astorian has a piece about the execution:
Joseph Drake, one of the murderers of David Schwartz, was hanged at Salem yesterday, at 1 p. m., by sheriff Minto. The execution was accomplished without any mishap, and Drake's neck was broken by the fall. The scaffold was erected at the northeast corner of the court house, and only a few spectators were admitted, though Drake could be seen from the outside until the trap was sprung. The body was cut down in twenty minutes and given to his friends for burial. He went to his doom with a firm step and without assistance, and on the "brink of the grave" protested his innocence to the last.
If members of the trial jury had signed a petition for commutation, it seems all-too-likely that Henry purchased his life at the cost of another's, and on the surface there is good reason to think Drake indeed might have been innocent. While Drake does not appear to have been killed by mob lynching, his trial it seems was likely not fair, and race was unquestionably a factor. There are also large questions about the role of Mrs. Schwartz in the murder. Finally, it is possible that David Schwartz was Jewish, and this could indicate other ethnic or racial tensions.

Without more documentation and evidence, we cannot be certain that Drake himself is buried on the Waldo property. But in light of the events of 1863 and 1865, it is quite plausible. Whether Waldo embraced the outcast and marginal in life we may not know, but it seems he made a place for them after their deaths.

Vineyards and the Return of Wheat

Interesting in the historical NOW is the return of wheat-growing to the hillsides. Resident farmers have remarked on the softening of the market for grass seed and a return to wheat. A source we could not verify suggested that Waldo himself was the first to grow wheat here in 1844.

Also interesting were the vineyards, planted on hillside land planted from something like 400 to 700 feet in elevation, about the same as elevations in the more celebrated west side vineyard areas, like the Eola Hills and Chehalem Mountains. Like those hills, here some of the slopes were gentle, some more steep. Even though the vineyards have clustered on the west side of the Willamette River, in Polk, Yamhill, and Washington County, east side land may be the new undervalued resource in the market.

This is the seal for the Provisional Government in the 1840s. It shows salmon and grain. It is much more attractive, we think, than the current seal of Oregon, and salmon is surely a much more powerful icon, one that remains intensely relevant today, than is the covered wagon. The land that feeds us - the suggestion of stewardship - over the land grab by ship and by wagon is an image worth dwelling on.

It will be interesting to see if the Waldo property could become as significant as the Joel Palmer House, each now part of a new regional wine-making legacy. It seems the house may be left to rot or even demolished straight-up, but if the ruins could be stabilized the house could provide a focus and icon for this nascent wine-growing region. The cemetery will also provide this in a lesser way, but its stories are more complicated and it wouldn't make for a very good - or perhaps even appropriate - icon and image. But you can imagine the house on a wine label or brand. And if that helped preserve the house...who could consider that crass commercialism?

The trip out to the Waldo House was terrific and moving. A 150 year history was visible in so many ways, the past and present intermingling in a stew rich and savory and often sad. Daniel Waldo was an interesting and complicated man, and the stories of those buried on his property are equally interesting. We hope the discovery of the cemetery will yield more research and publication.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Is St. Mark's the Most Beautiful Church in Town?

Generally we worship at the pub and bar counter. We have an altar and celebrant, libations too.

But what about actual churches? What is the most beautiful church in Salem?

We propose St. Mark's Lutheran on the corner of Marion and Winter. Its Belluschi+Wright blend of modernism and prairie school strike us as the most lovely church building in town. Its rhythm, proportion, and harmony are a most pleasant balance of old and new, of jaunty and peaceful. The brick is warm without being at all severe, the windows and massing shape the space in lively ways, and the gothicky bas-relief of Jesus stresses the Good Shepherd and not the Crucifix. And it still has energy, refusing to be tired or dowdy or dated, from which some mid-century design now suffers. Indeed, it has just past the 50 year threshold for listing on the National Register, and we wonder if it might meet the other criteria for significance.

The congregation is almost 100 years old. In 1957 construction started on a new building and in 1958 it was dedicated. Harold E. Wagoner of Philadelphia designed it.

According to the Philadelphia Architects and Buildings database:
Harold E. Wagoner was born in Pittsburgh, PA, and received most of his architectural education at the Carnegie Institute of Technology (B. Arch. 1926), with a return to architectural education in 1933 when he enrolled at the American Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Fountainebleau, France. Immediately after graduation from Carnegie he was employed by the Methodist Bureau of Architecture (1926-1933; Sundt & Wenner), and this experience inclined his mature career toward ecclesiastical design, an area in which he became a specialist. Writing in 1983, Wagoner declared: "My firm is one of the few, perhaps the only one in the U.S. which has devoted all its efforts to Religious Architecture. We have had commissions in 36 states. . . . We have designed over 500 religious buildings."

During the years in Philadelphia working for the Bureau Wagoner was associated with the office of Thomas & Martin (1936-40), followed by a stint of work with Wenner & Chance. His connection to Walter Thomas would be cemented in the 1940s when Wagoner became Thomas's partner in Thomas & Wagoner (1944-1948), after serving as Chief of the Camouflage Unit, U.S. Army Engineers during World War II (1942-1944). In 1948, however, he organized his own independent office and continued in operation well into the 1980s. During this period, he was also associated with William C. Chance. Wagoner's office was succeeded by Henry Jung.

Prominent in the field of Protestant church design, Wagoner contributed a number of articles to Faith & Form. He also received several awards, including in 1958 an Award of Merit from Carnegie Institute of Technology. Within the awards granted by the Church Architecture Guild of America, Wagoner dominated in the 1950s and 1960s.

Wagoner was also active in the Philadelphia Chapter of the AIA, serving on the board of directors from 1959 to 1961 and as vice-president from 1961-1962. He gained Emeritus status with the AIA in 1976. He also served as Chairman of the Commission on Architecture, Lutheran Society of Music, Worship and the Arts and President of the Church Architectural Guild of America.
Though this doesn't list it, in 1968 he also became a Fellow of the AIA. His AIA membership file contains a long list of publications, addresses, and church designs. Clearly he was a big deal in church architecture. The google suggests he worked in a broad range of styles, from neo-Gothic to modernist, and it seems he took special pride in designing from and following each congregation's sensibility and theology rather than imposing his own style.

So that's our candidate. What's your choice for the most beautiful church in Salem?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Burggraf Civil War Letters Online: Father of Salem Architect Writes his Family

It difficult to say just how supremely cool and wonderful and sad and touching are the Civil War letters of John G. Burggraf and the fact they are available online now. The Willamette University archives has just released them digitally.

As background, the archives note that
John G. Burggraf was born in Baden Baden, Germany in 1825. His family moved to the United States in 1835 and settled near Columbus, Ohio. In 1851 Burggraf married Eliza Cox. In 1856 they moved to Centralia, Illinois where they lived until 1883. The Burggraf family moved to Salem, Oregon in 1891.
Burggraf volunteered soon after the Civil War began, joining the United States Army on October 19, 1861 in Salem, Illinois. He served in the 49th Illinois Infantry from December, 1861, when the unit was mustered in, until it was mustered out on September 9, 1865. During his time in the military he served as a carpenter, a mechanic and secretary to Col. Phineas Pease.
John's son Charles (born in 1866) was active as an architect in the mid-Valley, though few of his houses remain in Salem. The Burggraf-Webster house from 1895 stands on 13th just south of Mission and the Ashby-Durbin house from 1892 in the Court-Chemeketa Historic District. Other significant buildings are preserved especially in Albany and Corvallis. The National Register nomination for the Sherman County Courthouse contains more on Charles and his work.

Here's a letter from just after the battle at Ft. Donelson, an important early engagement for Ulysses S. Grant.

Presumably, English was Burggraf's second language and he frequently retains a German t where English uses d in cognate words. He did not appear here to use much punctuation - capitalization is infrequent, and we could see no commas, periods, or paragraphs. Spelling, too, is sometimes more phonetic than dictionary-approved. He was writing just after a battle and exposure to cold, and orthography was much more fluid then, than today (though chatspeak and textmessaging have reintroduced fluidity, and perhaps we are returning to historical norms of variety). "Sesesh" refers to Secessionists.

This is a tentative transcription only, and cannot pretend to be at all certain or final. (Hopefully we have not introduced our own scribal errors.)
Fort Donnelson Feb 21st 1862
Dear Eliza and Children
This is the first oppertunity I have to write to you since we came here I can say after all the exposure we had in the last week I am well and I hope this may find you the same we had a very hard time of it in the last week lying out in the woods for 4 days and 3 nights without any Shelter in rain and snow and mud up to our knees no one can disscribe the horrers of this battle field withe the pen The dead and woonted lying around for 6 or 7 miles by hunderts I went thrue the Town of Dover [?] is in the fort day before yesterday and went in some 20 or 30 houses and found in every one of them Dead or wounted and legs and arms lying round in the streets and dogs knoing on them The sesesh are very sory thay have bin caut in this snap I have heard a good many say that thay would join us if we wood let them I think the next time you will here from me we will be [?] where alec for thair will be a forward movement somewhere in a day or too but where I know not I am writing this letter on a fine desk I captured in Town and I brout it to our tent for the Col Pease to write when we want any thing I can find it all we have to doo is to take it it aught to be a terrer to the sesesh to see us come but I hop we will not have to go much further before thair will be a settlement made I will send a knife home which I captured of wich thay most all have to cary to kill us with but thay dit them not much good You can get more information from Mrs Pease of the battle from Col Peases letters and from Logan when I first saw him I had just got up in the morning to get breakfast and he eat breakfast with us you may beleafe me I was glad to see him here I don't know nothing more to write at present only my prayer is that if it the will of God we may all meet in that social family circle once mor and praise him for his kind care offer us and that we may life more for him then before and tell the children that thay must obay you and be good and obedient
no more at present your
Affectionate Husband
J.G. Burggraf
Go read them - and check out the other digital content! A big tip of the pint to the Archives!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

New Walking Tour Brochure Features Adolph Block

Back in May 2010 folks released the first iteration of the Historic Downtown Walking Tour. We criticized the choice of cover image and hoped that a second printing would choose something more lively and inviting.

Success! We were at the library recently and a flash of color below a gaudy LED display actually got our attention. It was the polychromed facade of the Adolph Block, and it turned out to be the cover of the Walking Tour.

That's a big serving of win!

Here's the old one and our complaint:
It's interesting that the first-floor storefronts, the sidewalk zone, are all dark and obscured, and that the cars are more visible than the pedestrian amenities. For something premised on the wonders of walking, its cover image doesn't sell those wonders very strongly.

And why not pick a more iconic downtown building rather than a pair of lesser buildings? (We suppose that two of the more iconic ones are owned by the same person, and that a politics of even-handedness might have played a role in this.) We aren't a fan of the canvas and watercolor treatment, either. History is way more interesting and exciting than this gauzy view! Is this a pamphlet that will stand out among all the others in Travel Salem? It just doesn't have shelf appeal in our opinion.
In the new one? First-floor storefronts and sidewalk zone are front and center. Iconic building. Historic business. Colorful shelf-presence (not that you can see this in bw, sadly). All check!

The backside shows a restaurant. It's, well, appetizing.

Nicely done.

(For more notes on the Adolph Block go here!)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Lectures on Tap Tuesday and Wednesday

Two lectures, one on modern history and wet, another on early Salem history and dry, are coming up this week.

U Think on Tuesday

U Think returns on Tuesday to Brown's Towne. But this wet one's too dry! This is the first of the lectures that seems like it might be too serious.
Willamette University's U Think series will explore the meanings of various political ideologies, such as socialism and Marxism, by considering policies implemented by the Obama administration in historical context.

Willamette history professor and socialism expert Bill Smaldone will deliver the talk...Smaldone is the author of "Confronting Hitler: German Social Democrats in Defense of the Weimar Republic, 1929-1933," and he is currently writing a textbook on socialism.
Maybe beer is the solvent for tea...? We suspect Smaldone will conclude Obama is far from a socialist, significantly to the right of FDR, and indeed in another era could be counted as a centrist, moderate Republican. In fact, we suspect Mark Hatfield and Obama would have got along splendidly.

We wish Smaldone might talk instead about the way capitalists co-opt socialist imagery in popular marketing!

How about talk, Poseurs and Poses: Branding and Socialist Iconography.

Jewish Pioneers on Wednesday

As part of the Sendakorama, "In a Nutshell: The Worlds of Maurice Sendak," at the library John Ritter presents a talk, "Fur Traders, Blanket Peddlers, Tinsmiths, Iron Mongers: Jewish Pioneers of Old Salem" at
7:00 p.m. in Loucks Auditorium.
Local historian John Ritter will explore the rich diversity of the first Jewish Pioneers to the city of Salem, their occupations, where they lived and traded, and the community they built.

His presentation will focus on the early Jewish business owners in Salem from the 1900s-1950s and the people with whom they traded: Native Americans, Hudson's Bay Engages, Chinese, Japanese, Filipinos, Hawaiians, Germans and other Salem residents. Jewish pioneers helped build downtown Salem and make it a thriving commercial area.
No beer for this one, however. We're also not sure about the dates, wondering if the pioneers should refer to 1800s-1850s rather than the 20th century.

We hope Sam Adolph and his early brewery will get a shout out.

Jews in early Salem are not well known, and this is a terrific topic for research and a lecture.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Tip the Pint to Mark Hatfield, RIP

One of the most interesting, complicated, and important politicians in Oregon has died. A former Governor and US Senator, Mark Hatfield passed away today at 89. Obituaries in the Oregonian, Willamette Week, and the Washington Post testify to his significance. More will follow. (Go read them if you're wondering about the fuss! As they say, he was kindof a big deal!) The library at Willamette is named in his honor.

We drink a toast tonight to the memory of Mark Hatfield.

(Photo: In Newberg with former President Herbert Hoover, 1955.)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Gilgamesh Fortifies Couch Racers at Bush Park

The folks at Gilgamesh are having a busy weekend! Last night they hosted the afterparty for the Great Idea at the Enchanted Forest, and today they'll be at Bush Park for the Capitol City Couch Race.

Not sure where the beer garden will be, but there will be lots of chills, spills, and fun!

Racing starts at noon, finals around 7pm.

Go team, go!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Inaugural Taphouse Taplist!

Here's the first 22 taps! 15 minutes to opening...
Deschutes Inversion IPA
Ninkasi Tricerahops
Seven Brides Kili's Kolsch
Leavenworth Friesian Pilsner
Fort George Sunrise Oatmeal Pale Ale
Trade Route Mango Weizen
New Belgium Mothership Wit
Bridgeport KingPin Double Red
Mac and Jack African Amber
North Coast Old Rasputin
Lucky Lab Stumptown Porter
Young's Double Chocolate Stout
Oskar Blues Old Chub Nitro
Ninkasi Radiant Summer Ale
Wandering Aengus Anthem Cherry Cider
Brasserie Dupont Saison
Lindemans Framboise
Elysian Bete Blanche Abbey Ale
Sierra Nevada Giddorah Double IPA
10 Barrel India Session Ale
Nectar IPA
+ 2 more TBA