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Reed Identified With New Historic Marker

May, 2010

Historic Marker
Historic Marker

The Reed Opera House is one of 33 properties in Downtown Salem that are now identified with Historic Marker plaques funded in part by a Preserve America grant administered by the National Park Service of the Department of Interior.

The initiative supports community efforts to preserve local culture and heritage. The participating properties will soon become part of a downtown historic walking tour brochure and website.

The Plaque reads:

The Reed Opera House, built in 1870 by Oregon Adjutant General Cyrus Reed, contained a 1500 seat theater, and a complex of seven retail stores that constituted the state’s first “shopping mall.” Susan B. Anthony campaigned for women’s suffrage from the opera house stage, and Author Samuel Clemens, Political Cartoonist Thomas Nast, and John Philip Sousa entertained Salem audiences here. It was the center of Salem’s early social and cultural life until the last curtain in 1900, when the structure was converted into Salem’s first department store, Joseph Meyers and Sons.

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