Three churches now dominate the surface of these three streets. First Presbyterian is the closest to The Capitol. So close, in fact, that when the church sold some land to the state to build the state library in 1958, the church had to be physically moved from one corner lot to the opposite corner of the block. The entire town was expecting the old multiple ton church to crumble but it survived the trip unscathed. Yes, the attempt to further separate for the new state building, actually kept the connection between three churches and the state Capitol intact.
The third church, St. Joseph’s Catholic church was founded in 1853 at the corner of Church and Chemeketa streets when Father Croke rented a 2 story building that was previously a Masonic temple.The building was purchased 10 years later, turned into a school, and eventually a new church building was built on the corner of Cottage and Chemeketa streets,one block closer to the Capitol building.
Three blocks, shifting slightly, but maintaining a close connection to the state for over 150 years.Shalom in Salem is the state of existence in Oregon today.