Salem Online History This site is provided by Salem Public Library (Salem, Oregon).
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Salem Community Service Clubs and Organizations
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Salem Carnegie Library
First YMCA building

YWCA building

American Legion
The American Legion was born at a caucus of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) in Paris, France, in 1919. As the weary, homesick delegates assembled for that first Paris caucus, they brought with them the raw materials with which to build an association of Veterans whose pri-mary direction was to God and Country. Due to his unwavering service during these vital times won Lt. Col. Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., the affectionate title of "Father of the American Legion." Learn More

Chemeketans is a Salem-based club dedicated to the use and preservation of the out-of-doors. The club was formed in the fall of 1928 after the idea was conceived on an August climb of Mount Hood. Our club has always been run by a nine-person Executive Council. The names of the persons on that first Council, probably the charter... Learn More

Three decades after establishment of the first Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Baltimore, Maryland, in 1819, members of the order began drifting West. By late 1852, a large enough group had settled in and around Salem to organize Chemeketa Lodge No. 1, Oregon's first lodge and the first order in the Northwest. This "Mother Lodge" furthered the objectives of all other lodges in the U.S. by offering aid and assistance to its members in time of need. Learn More

The Salem Rotary Club was organized early in September, 1919 by a group of four or five forward-looking business and professional men who met above Gile's Wholesale Fruit Store at South High and Trade Streets. The Club grew rapidly through the fall and early winter. By February 18, 1920, Charter Night, the membership was twenty-two. From the beginning, Wednesday luncheons were held in the Hotel Marion. Learn More

Salvation Army
The Oregon Statesman newspaper's December 24, 1886 issue, it was reported that, "The Salvation Army commenced holding services after the 28th of December" so it would appear that the work was officially started before January of 1887. This early presence makes the Salem Salvation Army Corps one of the earliest chapters in U.S. history. Learn More

Scottish Rite
Records establish the fact that the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite was active in Salem as early as 1870. For reasons unknown, this group was dissolved sometime between 1875 and 1880. In the spring of 1922, four Scottish Rite Masons called a meeting of members of the Rite in Salem to consider plans for the observation of Maundy Thursday and Easter Sunday ceremonies. Learn More

Woman's Club
On October 12, 2001, the Salem Woman's Club celebrated 100 years of community service at a luncheon in a local restaurant. That date is exactly a century from the first business meeting where Isabell Greer, wife of Oregon Governor T. T. Greer was chosen the club's first president. The club is the oldest affiliated with the Oregon Federation of Women's Clubs. The local club was organized to improve literature, art, science, home and household economics in the community. Learn More

On May 4, 1892, the Y opened its first quarters on the second floor of the Patton Block on the south side of State, near Commercial Street. By 1900, it has moved several times: to a second home in the Gray Building at Liberty & State; to the upper floor of J.C. Brown Hardware, 120 North Commercial; to the Hughes Building on the south side of State near High. On December 24, 1901, the Y was in a building it owned at Commercial and Chemeketa. In about 1910, an indoor pool, Salem's first, was built on... Learn More

1855: First YWCA founded in England as nurses - the first time women had served on the front - return from the Crimean War. At the same time, the Industrial Revolution sees women flocking to the cities from farms to find em-ployment. Cities are not friendly places for young women alone - they need housing and other services. Learn More
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