The Grand Hotel - Salem, Oregon
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member ddtfamily
N 44° 56.337 W 123° 02.379
10T E 496871 N 4976169
Marker describing the history of the Grand Hotel site
Waymark Code: WMFPC1
Location: Oregon, United States
Date Posted: 11/12/2012
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 1

This is one of eight "Welcome Information Centers" placed in downtown Salem, describing the history of important landmarks. This marker is at the southwest corner of Ferry and Liberty streets. The marker notes that at this location, before construction of the Grand Hotel in 2005, was the site of Chemeketa House, built in 1870 as Oregon's "premier hotel." Later renamed "Marion Hotel" in 1911, it was an important place for political deal-making.

The text is as follows:


This downtown block, now site of the Salem Conference Center and The Grand Hotel, has a legacy of hospitality and comfort for those from out of town. The Chemeketa House originally opened here in December of 1870 as Oregon's premier hotel. It featured 17-foot ceilings in the lobby, hot and cold running water, speaking tubes, and strategically placed "comfort stations with self-acting water closets" throughout the building. Another particularly modern luxury was a telegraph in each guest room, catering to the business traveler well over a century before the dawn of the Internet age.

Renamed the Marion Hotel in 1911, it was well on its way to being the unofficial center for state and local "backroom" politics. During its 101-year history, the ornate basement lounge was the watering hole of choice for legislators, lobbyists, government officials and business people. Many profound decisions that shaped local, state and even national politics took place at "The Marion."

THE MARION derived its name from Marion County, which was named after Brigadier General Francis Marion, Patriot and hero of the American Revolution. This area was originally named the Champooick (and later Champoeg) District of the Oregon Territory, with Salem serving as the Territorial Capital. Upon statehood, it was renamed Marion County. Today, Salem is both state capital and county seat.

After surviving numerous fires over the years, the Marion Hotel burned down on November 12, 1971. A new hotel was built in its place by the Red Lion chain and later sold, then demolished to make way for the Salem Conference Center and The Grand Hotel, which opened March 1, 2005 as part of a Downtown Urban Renewal public/private partnership project.

1859: Salem population 1,139 - Oregon becomes the 33rd State in the Union.
1959: Salem population 49,142 - Oregon celebrates 100 Years of Statehood.
2009: Salem population 156,955 - Oregon celebrates 150 Years of Statehood."

On the backside of this marker is a "You are Here" map, designed to orient visitors to Salem's downtown historic district.

Historic Topic: Pioneer

Group Responsible for placement: City Government

Marker Type: City

Region: Willamette Valley

County: Marion

Web link to additional information: [Web Link]

State of Oregon Historical Marker "Beaver Board": Not listed

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