Salem is the capital of Oregon state, as well as the county seat of Marion County. Approximately 155,000 people call Salem home, making it the third largest city in the state behind Portland and Eugene. It is located in the Willamette River Valley and smack dab between Portland and Eugene on the I-5 corridor.
A Brief History
Salem was founded in 1842 after settlers came to Oregon via the Oregon Trail. It became the capital of the Oregon Territory in 1851 and was officially incorporated in 187 after the territory became a U.S. state. It is unknown exactly where the name Salem came from, but competing theories include a whitewashed pronunciation of the Hebrew word “Shalom” and that it was named after Salem, Massachusetts. Prior to Salem, the area was referred to as Chemeketa, from the original Native American spelling and pronunciation of a word meaning “meeting place.”
As the state’s capital, Salem draws many people for many reasons. Residents of Salem can attend a number of colleges, including Willamette University, Corban University, and Chemeketa Community College. The city lies on the 45th Parallel, making it an ideal location for viewing meteor showers and other astral events. There are plenty of opportunities for outdoor exploration, as Salem is a short drive from Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, the Oregon coast, hot springs, and countless hiking trails.
Alan G. Seligsen, P.C. & Salem
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