The two most prominent names in the meat processing business
in early Salem were Cross, Steusloff, and West. In 1880 Arthur
and John West ran a meat business on Commercial between State
and Court streets. Mr. Thomas Cross emigrated from England
and founded Salem's first packing plant in the early 1850's.
His meat market and slaughter house were in an attractive
white two-story wooden building with a wide porch and picket
fence and tall trees around it on Center Street. He was succeeded
in the business by his son Edwin C. in 1884, and by his grandson
Curtis B. in 1907.
In 1892 Fred W. Steusloff came to Salem and had a market at
284 N. Commercial with a slaughterhouse on 25th Street. Steusloff's
brother William later joined him and they opened a new market
on the NW corner of Court & Liberty in 1902.
Curtis B. Cross, the two Steusloffs, and A.N. Bush joined
in January 1919 to found the Valley Packing Company. Their
slaughterhouse was on the west side of 25th Street just south
of Mission Street (then Turner Road); the retail market was
on the south side of State Street just east of the alley behind
Ladd & Bush Bank.
The Valley Packing Company was in a 4-floor concrete building
on 55 acres just west of the Southern Pacific Railway crossing
on Portland Road near the city limits. It was the only U.S.
Inspected full-line meat processing plant in the state outside
of Portland. One year they processed over 10,000 hogs, 4,000
sheep and 2400 head of cattle; they produced more than twenty
varieties of sausage and marketed their meats under the "Cascade
Brand". In 1933 a commercial photographer was hired to
document most of the operations and employees of the company
and these photos were mounted and prominently displaced on
the main office wall where customers and farmers could appreciate
the diversity of their plant. Most of the accompanying photographs
are taken from that collection.
Cascade Meats Inc. took over the plant in 1956.
Researched and written by Joan Marie "Toni" Meyering
Information from Douglas Chambers whose family was associated
with Valley Packing Company through three generations and
grew up working there.
"The Valley Packing Company has Handled 10,000 Hogs in