HISTORIC SALEM- First called “Chemekata”, which means “Place of Peace”
Jason Lee's Methodist Mission was the first permanent settlement in the Salem area.
Jason Lee, pioneer and missionary, helped establish the first Provisional Government in Oregon.
Jason Lee died in Stanstead, Quebec. His remains were moved to Lee Mission Cemetary in Salem in l906, next to his first wife, Anna Maria Pittman
Jason Lee House, 1841. It is the oldest frame house still standing in the Pacific Northwest.
Four families lived in the Jason Lee House. It was the first meeting place for the Oregon Provisional Governement as well as the first Post Office.
Methodist Parsonage, 1841. Living quarters for Methodist missionaries directly involved in running the Indian Manual Training School. These missionaries helped create the Oregon Institute (1842), which later became Willamette University.
Oldest surviving Presbyterian Church in Pacific Northwest. Moved from near Aumsville, Oregon to the Mission Mill Musem.
John D. Boon House, 1847. Oldest single family home still standing in Salem. Boon was the first Territorial Treasurer, Oregon State Treasurer, and co-founded the Oregon Woolen Mill. He donated land for the Woolen Mill.
The Thomas Kay Woolen Mill was founded in 1889 by Thomas Lister Kay. The mill produced woolen blankets and fabrics for 73 years before closing in 1962.
The mill was managed by 4 generations of Kay family, a legacy still standing as the Kay family still owns and operates the Pendleton Woolen Mill.
The main mill building burned down in 1895, but was rebuilt and operating within 6 months. The turbines were powered by electricity generated by water from the millrace through the property.
Asahel Bush House, built 1877-78. The estate includes a barn, gardens, and greenhouse. Bush founded the Oregon Statesman newspaper and Ladd & Bush Bank. Bush served as a trustee of Willamette University and a regent to the University of Oregon.
An example of one of the finest “Queen Anne” style home built in 1894 for Dr. Luke A. Port. The estate is called Deepwood. Port served 90 days during the Civil War in the Ohio Infantry, became a doctor in Missouri, and then became a newspaper editor. He arrived in Salem in 1884, where he bought a drug store.
The Deepwood Estate includes four acres of gardens, a greehouse, and a carriage house. The name Deepwood was given to the estate by its third owner who named it after Albert Bigelow Paine's book entitled, “The Hollow Tree and Deep Wood Book”.
The stained glass window above the fireplace is a memorial to Luke and Lizzie's son, Omega, who was lost at sea in 1887.
Oregon's first capitol was located in Oregon City, Salem was designated the territorial capitol in 1851. In 1855, the capitol was moved briefly to Marysville (now Corvallis) before returning to Salem. Salem gained statehood in 1859 as the 33rd state.
The current capitol building was built in 1936-38. Two former capitol buildings were destroyed by fire in 1855 and again in 1935.
The first institution of higher learning was called the Oregon Institute and estabished in 1842 by the missionaries. In 1853, the name became Willamette University and is considered to be the first university in the West. Through a grant of $50,000 from A.E. Eaton, owner of the Union Wollen Mills, Eaton Hall was built in 1909.
Waller Hall, the oldest university building still in use west of the Mississippi, was built in 1867. The bricks for the building were fired on campus from clay excavated for the foundation. The building has suffered two major fires, one in 1891 and another in 1919.
Gatke Hall was an early Salem Post Office, built in 1902 and moved to the Willamette campus. It is named for Willamette University President R.M. Gatke.
A Craftman style house, built in 1907-08 for Alexander Daue. The Daue family came to Salem in 1891 and had a grocery/general merchandise store. The house currently houses an antique store run by the Salem Assistance League.
Andrew T. Gilbert, uncle of A.C. Gilbert, built this house in 1887 at this location. The house is part of the A.C. Gilbert Discovery Village, named in honor of A.C. Gilbert, inventor of the erector set. The village is presently an interactive children's museum.
C.S. Rockenfield built this house in 1883. To make room for Capitol building, the house was moved twice and became part of the Discovery Village in 1992.
The Parrish house, part of the Discovery Village, was built in 1860 and moved to its present location in 1990. Parish, a Methodist Missionary, was also a founder of the Oregon Institute, which later became Willamette University.
Josiah Parrish was one of the early missionaries who lived with Jason Lee in the Jason Lee House.
The house on the right is a replica of the Wilson-Durbin House, which was built on this site in 1861. The original house burned down, and this replica was built it 1999. It is a part of the Discovery Village.