history-wall

History Mural Unveiled

Jun 01, 2012

After several months of researching, uncovering, and sifting through piles of material to select information that best captured the hospital’s rich heritage, the mural was created.

Sometimes we take for granted how much times change. It may be a photograph, a relative’s reminiscence, a scent of mildewed paper, or in today’s world, a computer file, to remind us of what used to be.

In the case of healthcare, however, it’s nearly impossible to ignore, much less forget, change.

Documenting that change is another matter.

This year, the hospital turns 116-years-old. And since the birthday isn’t traditionally a “milestone,” like say 100 or 125, it’s a good time to record the hospital’s history in a way it has never been documented.

In 1996, the Salem Hospital Foundation funded the “Century of Service” project, a 124-page book which chronicled the hospital’s first 100 years, from humble beginnings to a vital health resource.

Also, display cases showing various hospital historical documents, photographs and equipment, were located outside the hospital’s Wedel Auditorium.

Fast forward to 2012. The hospital is still changing to meet the growing healthcare needs of our community. And once again, the foundation is providing funding to document those changes in the form of a 60-foot history mural.

“The foundation board has really stepped up over the years, dedicating resources for projects that record the hospital’s history,” said Martin Morris, Chief Development Officer and Vice President for Community Outreach.

“We are so fortunate that our board members recognize the importance of not only the hospital’s history, but also the history of healthcare in Salem, and want to play a role in preserving that,” said Sherri Partridge, the Foundation’s Annual giving Officer.

After several months of researching, uncovering, and sifting through piles of material to select information that best captured the hospital’s rich heritage, the mural was created.

“It was interesting to look through actual items from the 1930s and ‘40s, and learn about the hospital’s history,” said Paul Howard, MLIS, Ph.D., librarian at the hospital’s Community Health Education Center, and a mural project coordinator. “I felt like I was stepping back in time, and looking at healthcare and the hospital with a whole new perspective.”

Fast Facts

  • Time Span: 1896 to 2014
  • Length: 57 ft. 9 in.
  • Unveiling: April 4, 2012
  • Foundation support: $25,000

Project coordinators

Paul Howard, Martin Morris, Sherri Partridge

Special thanks

Dr. Thomas Bailey, Dr. Howard Baumann, Stuart Compton, Dr. Donald Gaiser, Les Green, John McMillan and Ken Sherman Sr.

Salem Health

503-561-5200