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Salem Essential Info


Salem, the capital of Oregon, is located in the Willamette Valley between Portland and Eugene with a population of 160,000. Salem was established in the early 1840s as a farming community and as the town grew during the years of the California gold rush Salem became the capital of Oregon in 1851. The first two Oregon State Capitol buildings tragically burned down while the third and current building was completed in 1938, complete with its distinctive gold-plated pioneer statue, the "Gold Man," perched atop. Salem is the third largest city in Oregon and an hour south of Portland in addition to being the home of Willamette University.

Description is available from Wikitravel under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license. A list of contributors is available at the original article.


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Fun Facts

  1. Salem's water has been recognized as one of the best tasting in the Pacific Northwest.
  2. The area now known as Salem got its start as a Methodist mission established in the 1830s.
  3. Salem sits on the 45th Parallel, which means it’s the center point between the North Pole and the equator.
  4. Salem is nicknamed the "Cherry City", because of the past importance of the local cherry-growing industry.
  5. The film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was filmed at the Oregon State Hospital in Salem.

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