Salem is the capital of Oregon and the state’s third largest city. It was founded in 1842. Then it became the capital of the Oregon Territory in 1851, and was incorporated in 1857. The area of Salem has been inhabited for over 10,000 years. The Kalapuya peoples would gather on the plateau east and south of the downtown area in the winter and establish villages. If you want to learn more about Salem history, Mission Mill Museum is a good place to start. Located downtown, the museum features working displays of the Thomas Kay Woolen Mill and other historic Salem buildings which have been moved to the site. There are five buildings that make up the Mission Mill Museum, all of which date back to the 1800’s. While downtown, one may want to visit the state capitol, the latest of three. Two previous capitols (one a two story building and the second was a domed Greek Revival structure) burned and the current art deco structure was built in 1938, though some even say it looks more like a grand mausoleum than a capitol building. Many visitors go to the Capitol and take the tour to the top of the building to see the Gold Man. (The Oregon Pioneer). The golden “Oregon Pioneer” statue that tops the capitol building is a work by Ulric Ellerhusen and This heroic figure represents the spirit of Oregon’s early settlers. Observation Deck tours are available to the public Memorial Day through Labor Day. In Oregon’s state capital, you can swirl down a 350-foot spiraling waterslide, and scale a three-story Erector Set tower and it is all in the name of fun.
Salem is an excellent city for dining with many restaurants featuring the seafood specialties of the Pacific Northwest. Shopping is much the same as any medium size American city with a few upscale malls anchored by large chain department stores. Considering its spectacular location in the Pacific Northwest, there are not that many shops promoting the specialties and artistic traditions of that part of the country. Rather sad in a way.
“Like most of the Willamette Valley area, Salem has a Marine West Coast climate (Koppen Cfb) with some distinct characteristics of the Mediterranean climate. Rain is heaviest in late fall and throughout winter, but precipitation is spread throughout the year, with the exception of a short dry season from late June to early September. Light snowfall does occur in winter, but major snow events are rare. Fog, persistent cloudy skies, and low cloud ceilings are commonplace during the long rainy season…
Salem’s mean annual temperature is 52.6 °F (11.4 °C); its annual precipitation is 40 inches (1,020 mm), with an average 6 inches (15 cm) included. However, the median snowfall over the 1971-2000 period was 0. Salem is about 47 miles (76 km) south of Portland, but actually has a lower average temperature than Portland (53.5 °F (11.9 °C).” – Climate summary from Wikipedia. For information on temperature conversion between Celsius and Fahrenheit, see degrees Fahrenheit.
Salem is served by Portland International Airport, an hours drive to the north, with a shuttle service between city and airport. Public transportation is bus and taxi.
Salem population is 154,510 (2008) Metro region is 383,100.
1 is the international calling code for the United States.
503 and 971 are the area codes for Salem.
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