Live the History!
For students at the Hannah E. Mullins School of Practical Nursing, Charles Bonsall’s house wasn’t just a place to attend nursing classes—it was also their home. Nurses-in-training lived where they studied, creating the atmosphere of a boarding school or college residence hall. One of the first students at the school, Virginia Toot, spoke to Salem News reporter Lois Firestone in 1991 and shared some of her experiences. Toot was a member of the first Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) class, graduating in 1958.
During her interview with the Salem News, Toot explained the stipulations for studying at the school: “We had to be single. That was a rule. A nurse couldn’t be married back then.” Still, rules were made to be broken, as she described: “A fire escape was handy, and we often sneaked out after hours to meet our friends.” This was no easy task, requiring the students to evade the housemother’s watchful eyes. Such scenes continue to play out in modern college dorms—if there is one constant throughout history, it’s the resourcefulness of young people.
Though the Bonsall home was demolished in 1978, LPNs currently study at the Kent State University City Center, continuing the proud legacy of excellent nursing education in Salem.
Source: “Mullins school has moved over the years.” Firestone, Lois, The Salem News, 18 April, 1991.
The well-dressed student wore this outfit in 1958 at Hannah Mullins School of Practical Nursing.
Facts we see in the calendar photo:
Built in 1891
Named Broadway Hotel
The address is 110
Mystery PRIOR to 1891:
In one of Dale Shaffer’s Books he writes that Zadok Street (grandson of founding father Zadok Street) added buildings on Broadway, including the Sibyl Block, which was named after his wife and still stands today. South of Columbia Street on the west side of S. Broadway, he built a three-story structure called Broadway Hotel that opened in January of 1863 by S.H. Lamar, proprietor. It was “one of Salem’s largest and most elegant hotels; fully carpeted, with water and gas in every room.” The hotel stood at 110 (later 359 S. Broadway) until about 1905.
If the hotel were as built in 1891, what happened to the building that Zadok Street built? There is no mention of it in any newspapers or articles.
In 1891, extensive remodeling was done to the Broadway Hotel by A. Tennant, proprietor for the ‘new” Broadway Hotel. The planned opening was delayed by 2 months because of extensive reconstruction. It appears that this remodeling is the reason for the 1891 date on the photo. This would have been 28 years after the original hotel was built by Zadok Street.
Mystery POST 1891:
In the same article was the drawing shown above. It states that Charles Morrison was the proprietor. Rates were $1.50 per day. Newspaper articles indicate that Charles Morrison held that position in 1896 and 1897. Although there are some similarities, a comparison of the drawing to the calendar photo shows a significant difference in the facade.
Just 5 years after the photo, had the hotel changed that drastically? Newspapers do not record any demolition or fires. Was Zadok Street’s original building used for the drawing in the 1896 ad rather than having another drawing made of the newer building? If so, then it was also used when James M. Bonner was proprietor, but no date is indicated on that ad, nor has James Bonner been found in our old city directories. Perhaps Bonner was prior to 1891 and Morrison used the same ad with updated information?
If there are any historical sleuths who have valid documentation to answer our questions, please share your information so we can fill in the gaps!
Broadway Hotel was sold several times and contained a restaurant, a billiard hall, a barber shop, and was later used as a boarding house. An ad appeared in a 1928 edition of Salem News advertising the sale of “Broadway Hotel Property consisting of a three-story building, with lot fronting 58 feet on Broadway, with depth back to Filbert St. An unusual bargain for quick sale.”
Old Salem News articles verify that it caught fire early Tuesday morning, Sept. 13, 1932 as a result of a bomb being placed or thrown into the front of an empty storeroom next to the hotel. It destroyed the hotel which was being used as a boarding house.
In the late 1910s and in 1920, The Broadway Hotel was the site of may fights, gambling raids, and arrests for storing and selling liquor during the prohibition. One knife fight in 1924 resulted in a death and the suspension of a police officer for neglecting his duty to stop the fight.
Ahhh, Salem, “City of Peace!” We still love you!
Sources: “Salem Remembered…A Picture Scrapbook,” Dale E. Shaffer, 1991,
pages 26-27, 78.
“Probe of Fire Is Continued,” The Salem News, October 3, 1932.
An early drawing of Broadway Hotel used for advertising when Charles Morrison was proprietor in 1895
While many might think of dishes, bowls, and mugs as purely utilitarian objects, to the Schreckengost brothers, a plate was more than a plate: it was a blank canvas waiting to be transformed.
Don (1910 – 2001) and Viktor (1906 – 2008) Schreckengost were born in Sebring, Ohio and learned the art of ceramic design from their father. Both men would transform the dinnerware industry with their innovative designs, many of which debuted as Salem China collections. In 1934, Don created two of his most well-known designs: Tricorne and Streamline. The collections’ bold colors and innovative shapes “propelled the dinnerware world light-years ahead” (Wellman, 1989). Though Don did not receive the same amount of worldwide acclaim and recognition as Viktor, his designs for Salem China started new trends that would grace dinner tables across the United States. He also designed the Bicentennial Cup, which commemorated America’s bicentennial celebrations.
Tricorne and Bicentennial Cup are on proud display at the Salem Historical Society Museum. The museum’s Bicentennial Cup is the last of the series: 175/175.
Sources: “The Salem China Company,” B.A. Wellman, The Antique Trader Weekly, May 1989.
“Viktor Schrekengost,” Smithsonian American Art Museum website, https://americanart.si.edu/artist/viktor-schreckengost-4323.
Cooper Hewitt website: https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/people/18050509/bio.
Don Schreckengost china design "Tricorne" made by Salem China.
"At one time in Salem’s history, this intersection was referred to as “Assassination Square” because of the street names McKinley, Garfield, and Lincoln. Today, only one street name remains the same, and only one of the old corner buildings still stands: Victoria on the southwest corner, where Dr. Hurray spent 41 years serving the citizens of Salem. It is currently the site of Hofmeister Reality. Prior to that it housed “The Joshua Tree” and before that it was “The Fiesta Shop.”
We have received photos of the construction of the Old Post Office on this corner. It is posted on our blog page.
Source: “More of the Salem Story…With Photographs,” Dale E. Shaffer, 1992. Page 208.
Assassination Square looking west on Main Street (E. State St) from Garfield Ave (N.Lincoln Ave).
Before showcasing some of the finest silent films to grace the silver screen, Salem’s Grand Theatre was named the Opera House and featured live theater. According to Salem Historian Dale Shaffer, when the Opera House opened its doors in October 1890, “The Friday night…was a very special one in Salem history.” The Heinrich Confield Comic Opera Co. from New York City was the first group to perform at the new venue, beginning a legacy of great performances in Salem.
For this particular production, the Opera House’s scene designer spent two days painting a detailed backdrop that was “as large as the side of an ordinary dwelling.” But he wasn’t the only one working hard—one Salem woman spent the entire night before the performance tying red tassels onto the programs. Though the production seems to have been a success, the Salem Republican made this wistful statement: “It is regretted that more of our citizens did not avail themselves of this opportunity of enjoying a really fine entertainment.”
As time progressed and entertainment trends shifted, so did the Opera House. The turn of the century brought silent films to the stage and a name change. The newly christened Grand Theatre featured both movies and vaudeville acts to entertain audiences and maintain revenue. According to a Salem News interview with the Grand Theatre’s owner, Nat Walken, some of the most popular box-office draws were Shirley Temple films and Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. When the Grand Theatre closed its doors in 1955, it left an enduring legacy of entertaining Salem citizens for over sixty years.
Sources: “‘Moving Pictures’ Caught on Quickly with Salem Audiences,” Dotti Miller, The Salem News, July 10, 1984.
“Early Days of the Grand Theatre Recalled,” The Salem News, May 28, 1969.
“‘Gypsy Baron’ opened the Grand Opera House,” Dale E. Shaffer, The Salem News, October 10, 1994.
Erratum: Since Salem was founded in 1806, the Sesquicentennial took place in 1956, not in 1952 as it appears in the first printings of our calendar. We have corrected the error for all subsequent printings. If your calendar has the 1952 date, you have a very limited first-print edition. Please correct your calendar, as our goal is to preserve history, not to change it. Many thanks!
The interior of the Grand Opera House when it opened in 1890.
"In 1893, Salem was a thriving, growing community amid a flurry of activity. It seems fitting that it have a beautiful stone station, and admired landmark, to represent it. And a beautiful landmark it was.
It was quite picturesque with its rustic stone walls, overhung roof, and beautiful architecture. Its covered platforms ran beyond the structure, supported by large, wooden beams. It was enhanced by a small park of fragrant, seasonal flowers, such green grass, and elegant shade trees. It was truly a picture postcard brought to life by the fashionable horse-drawn carriages and traffic of people coming and going."
Free horse and buggy rides were being run from the depot to the new Broadway Hotel. (See February’s feature in the 2022 calendar.)
"The station was a hub of activity in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Many recreational excursions departed from the depot. Weekend and afternoon trips to parks, fairs, and scenic vacation spots were common. Round trip excursions to Niagara Falls were popular, and it was not uncommon for as many as 175 people to set out for such adventures. The Niagara Falls excursions were especially popular among many of the young adults who often took advantage of the opportunity for romantic elopements.
"During World War I and II, the stone depot saw many a soldier arrive or depart and steadfastly greeted those just passing through. Often the station was line with soldiers standing or sleeping on the benches.
"Thus, for a time, the Salem depot was alive and thriving. But changing times brought changes with them, and as the railroads gradually became outdated in a new era of automobiles and airplanes, so did the stations that served them."
Source: “The Handsomest Building On the Road,” Janice Wells, Salem, Ohio, 1987.
The Salem Depot for the Pennsylvania Railroad.
An enormous outdoor screen, humming engines, buttery popcorn, thrilling films—the Drive-In Theatre undoubtedly brings back countless memories for Salem citizens. The venue opened in 1950 with a showing of “Northwest Stampede” and entertained visitors until 1986. Designed by Jack K. Vogel—known as “the Frank Lloyd Wright of drive-in theatres”—the twelve acres could accommodate up to 500 cars on twelve parking ramps. Improvements were made over the years, including the addition of 3-D technology in 1953; though this was a problematic addition at the time, 3-D eventually became a cinema standard. In addition to blockbuster films, the theater also held church services on Sundays.
Paul Vogel, who owned the theater, believed, “We have to make our theatres an interesting place for the whole family.” To accomplish this, the theatre included a playground, as well as a fire engine that would visit and take children for rides. Today’s Salem citizens are left to remember or imagine how exciting these evenings were—a night at the movies beneath the summer stars.
Sources: “Salem Drive-In,” Cinema Treasures website.
“Drive-In Theater Will Open Thursday,” The Salem News, July 26, 1950.
Grand Opening Announcement for the Drive-In Theatre
"During its 73 years of existence, the building housed many occupants. A. W. Jones Co. (dry goods) was on the first floor, with entrances on both Main and Lincoln. At the rear of the first floor was the YMCA. It had a swimming pool, gym, track and bowling alley. Entrance was from Lincoln Ave.
At the rear of the second floor was the aristocratic Calumet Club, with its dance hall at the front of the third floor. In 1899 the Salem Public Library had the corner rooms over the Jones store.
The Elks Lodge eventually took over the entire second and third floors. Salem was one of the first small cities to secure an Elks charter (June 14, 1895). They used much of the facility for a hotel. During the 1920-21 typhoid fever epidemic, some of the space was used to house hospital patients.
In November of 1912, R. S. McCulloch brought his dry good store from Akron and occupied the main floor. Later McCulloch purchased the building at 567 E. State St. and established his store there. It is now McCulloch Park.
The Pioneer structure was often referred to as the Arbaugh Building because W. S. Arbaugh and his father-in-law, Mr. Patton, moved their business from the northeast corner of Ellsworth Ave. and State St. to this location. They eventually occupied the entire ground floor.
Other occupants through the years included the Verna Bolen Dance Studio, elementary school grades one through three, and the Jaycees. In the 1940s high school dances were held on the upper floor after football games.
At one time the Salem Wallpaper & Paint Co. had its store in this building. During every school year, the store held an art contest for elementary students. The first prize of the first contest was won by Arthur Shinn. His prize was $3. Second prize of $2 went to Charles Burchfield. This is thought to have been the first art prize won by this famous artist."
Source: “Salem As It Was — A Collection of Historical Articles and Photographs,” Dale E Shaffer, 1989, page 35.
A drawing of the new Pioneer Building with its first occupant, A.W. Jones Company.
Just before the majestic Fourth Street School was demolished in 1974, Elsie Hole wrote a letter to The Salem News. She began attending Fourth Street School in 1898 and wished to share memories from her time there. Her recollections offer a glimpse into turn-of-the-century education at one of the most remarkable buildings in Salem:
“I started school in 1898, the first full year that the building was in use. It smelled new. The lawns had been landscaped and the grass had a good start and looked beautiful . . . There was a big bell tower at that time and we were summoned to school morning and afternoon by three bells. There was practically no tardiness.
“As there was no playground, we entered the building as soon as we arrived and went to our rooms. We entered the wide, roomy hall, but were not free to roam around in it. There were black parallel lines on each side of the hall about as far apart as sled tracks between which we walked to our rooms single file.”
Salem historian Dale Shaffer also offered recollections of Fourth Street. He recalled, “The Grand Staircase with the divider railing in the middle, and the landing halfway to the second floor. There were hundreds of perfectly-spaced spindles in the railings around the staircase. Every day Miss Doris Tellow could be seen watering her plants located near the four large front windows on the landing.” He also remembered how Mr. Walter Regal, “that beautiful man who had so much love for music and children,” welcomed students back into the school after fire drills by by playing music on the piano.
Testimonies such as these lend a personal touch to the building, suggesting that the people who filled the school were just as remarkable as the structure itself. In the words of Dale Shaffer, “Memories of this school are as numerous as the minutes of time students spent there during the 77 years of its existence.”
Sources: “Fourth Street was a school to remember,” Dale E. Shaffer, The Salem News,
“Remembrances of Salem Past.”
“Our Readers,” Elsie Hole, The Salem News, March 13, 1973.
'The Grand Staircase' on the lower level of Fourth Street School.
First it was loose bricks falling off the top floor of the Haldi building (TanFastic) that caused Butler Art Museum to close its doors due to the damage to the roof.
Then Haldi building was demolished in April of 2015 because of unsafe deteriorating condition.
This demolition damaged the building to the east, formerly Rice Bakery-Rosetti Bakery-Engles Bakery, and it was demolished a few days afterward in April of 2015.
That demolition caused enough damage to the former Cheshire Bookstore building and it was demolished in November of 2015.
Luckily, Butler Museum Building is still standing, but remains vacant.
Salem News recorded the events as follows:
"Buildings fall into history
If only the walls could talk before falling into a pile of rubble.
Two Salem structures which stood on State Street between Lundy and Broadway for 100-plus years became part of downtown’s razed past last week, joining a long list of buildings no longer standing but still cherished by historians and residents.
Sad was the feeling expressed a lot on the Salem Historical Society’s Facebook page under Salem Ohio History, but there were also many fond memories recalled about former tenants of those buildings.
The first building to fall was the former TanFastic building, better known to some as the headquarters of Haldi’s Shoes, where many city residents shopped for the latest styles in footwear and had their feet measured by the X-ray machine. According to “The Salem Story,” the Sesqui Centennial Souvenir Hand Book, the building also housed a millinery shop for many years and the Style Shop in 1956 at the same time as Haldi Shoes.
Next was the building to the immediate east, known as the former site of both Rossetti’s Bakery and Engle’s Bakery. In 1912, it was known as the L.H. Rice Bakery. In 1956 the building housed Joe Bryan’s Floor Coverings. A metal sign which said Bryan’s Floor Coverings was attached to the back of the building and seen by many in the past few weeks. The sign is now in the hands of the Salem Historical Society.
The fate of two more buildings on the block could be decided soon, with the west side of the former Cheshire Booksellers to the east opened up like a dollhouse during the demolition of the bakery building. The building has played host to many businesses, including the Rosebud Cafe in 1912.
Also up in the air is what’s going to happen to the former Butler building, which had been the location for Kresge’s and had been part of First National Bank. The site where KeyBank and the Butler is located previously was the home of the Pow building, the first location for the First National Bank and the location of Concert Hall on the third floor where Mark Twain once appeared."
Sources: “Buildings Fall Into History,” The Salem News, April 13, 2015.
Photo Collection at Salem Historical Society.
Polk City Directories, various years.
Rosebud Cafe later became Cheshire Bookstore
Rice Bakery later became Rosetti's Baker then Ambience.
The Citizens Savings Bank & Trust Company was a short-lived structure in Salem, but it was words, not bulldozers, that initially brought about the building’s demise. According to The Salem News, the grand structure closed when bank and liquidated its assets in 1931. How did this happen?
The scene: Salem, OH, at the height of the Great Depression. Fear, financial insecurity, and uncertainty rumble though the town like the busy streetcars. With a World War behind American citizens and another conflict possibly looming on the horizon, tensions and distrust were high—especially as many families struggled to make ends meet. According to an editorial in The Salem News, this fear led to the bank’s closure: “Rumors alone were responsible for discontinuing business at the bank…it would be operating today, with ample protection for its depositors, had it not been for the spread of these rumors.”
Though the content of these rumors was not stated in the editorial, one can imagine the distrust that Americans might have had for banks following the stock market crash and ensuing depression. Fearing that their money was not safe at Citizens, it seems that Salemites refused to do their banking there. In the opinion of the editorial’s offer, these wild rumors were unfounded and untrue: “Blame rests with the rumor mongers, not the banks.”
Which just goes to show—money might talk, but even it is powerless against the strength of false rumors.
Source: “Idle Men, Idle Money,” The Salem News, September 11, 1931.
The bank book used by customers to manually track deposits, withdrawals, and balances.
Mullins Manufacturing Corporation was the evolution of many owners, name changes, and product lines. The original company, founded in 1872, was called "Kitteridge, Clark and Co." The name was changed to "Kitteridge Cornice and Ornamental Co" when they started making decorative metal cornices and then statuaries for the outside of buildings. W.H. Mullins eventually bought into the company and in 1882 the name changed again to "Bakewell and Mullins Sheet Metal Statuary and Cornicework". Research indicates that there may have been as many as 11 name changes throughout the company's existence. Mullins became synonymous with many products: statues, metal boats, and later steel kitchens.
The Mullins organization developed a new method of making statuary by working with sheet bronze and copper. One of their most famous statues was "Goddess Diana” designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens.
The Statue Diana
The first version of Diana was installed on top of Madison Square Garden’s tower in 1891. The 18-foot high statue was to catch the wind with her copper scarf and rotate, but did not work well because of its weight. The designers also felt it was too large for the tower and created a smaller, lighter version that was 14.5 feet and weighed less than 60% of the first version. It was installed in 1893. The gold plating on Diana caught the sun and could be seen all over New York City and as far away as New Jersey. In the evening, electric lights illuminated the statue.
The first Diana was shipped to the Chicago’s exposition in 1893, and placed on top of the Agricultural Building. Eight months after the exposition’s closing, a major fire destroyed the building, and the lower half of the statue was demolished; the upper half survived but was later lost or discarded.
The second Diana was removed in 1925 when Madison Square Garden was slated for demolition to make way for the new location of the New York Life Insurance Company. After 7 years of unsuccessfully searching for an appropriate location in New York City, the company donated this Diana to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. After a much needed restoration, Diana has remained on display for more than 80 years on the balcony of the museum’s Great Stair Hall.
The Statue Pictured on the Calendar - No Official Name Found
In 1898, five years after the second Diana was placed on top of Madison Square Garden Tower, the Atlas-Globe statue pictured on the 2022 calendar was installed at the top of the former New York Life Insurance Company in Manhattan. It remained in place until 1928 when the New York Life Insurance company moved into their new headquarters built on the Madison Square Garden property. Ownership of the old building was transferred to the city of New York and was used by several city agencies for many years. In 1982 the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places. In 2013 it was sold and converted into a boutique hotel and private apartment condominiums. This iconic building stills stands.
No one knows what happened to this Atlas-Globe Mullins statue. The theory, which remains undocumented and unproven, is that it was melted down for the war effort. An interesting article appears on the website, untappedcities.com titled “Lost: 33 Foot High, 8 Ton, Statue — Have You Seen It?” Rumors say that a photo was seen in 1947 showing the statue still in place. Did someone steal it? Is it residing out of the public eye on someone’s private estate? Or did someone date the photo incorrectly?
Sources: “The Many Phases of Mullins Manufacturing Corp” by Marilyn M. Mason, April 22, 1985 for English Class taught by Dr. Jay Wooten.
“Lost: 33 Foot High, 8 Ton, Statue - Have You Seen It?” Benjamin Waldman,
“Former New York Life Insurance Company Building,” Wikipedia.
“Behold the Spirit of Chicago’s heart. Diana of the Tower departs Gotham for the 1893 World’s Fair,” https://worldsfairchaicago1893.com, April 20, 2019.
Mullins Catalogues at Salem Historical Society.
“Gilding Diana,” https://www.philamuseum.org/conservation/21.html.
Mullins Statue on top of the Old New York Life Insurance Building in New York City in 1898