November 19, 1914

by Richard van Pelt, WWI Correspondent

Of absolutely no connection with war is the following story of a “properly robed lady in black” floating down Commercial Street:

STREET CAR CREW DISCOVERS A GHOST

Salem Water Company facilities on the east side of Commercial Street south of the intersection with Trade Street. Salem Public Library Historic Photograph Collections, Salem Public Library, Salem, Oregon.

Lady Properly Robed in Black Floats Down the Street with the Car

While European countries boast of relics and ruins of interest to tourists, and California has already began a campaign for “seeing America first” Salem may lay come claim to fame for its “Haunted Bridge.” Few cities in the United States can boast of a real ghost at large, and no slow creepy ghost at that, but one that can keep up with a street car. Neither is the Salem phantom a filmy white spook, but is barged in substantial black, and all of the above facts are authentic, according to Conductor F. A. Robertson, of the Portland, Eugene & Eastern, and his testimony is substantiated by that of A. E. Atherton, the motorman.

It appears that at about 8 o’clock last night the two men were returning from the run out to the end of South Commercial street when they flushed the ghost at the top of the hill before coming down to the bridge across South Mill street. Mr. Robertson says it was a woman, that’s way [sic] he is willing to believe anything of it. She was dressed in black and kept her body rigid floating long clear of the ground some four or five feet.

Conduct Was Ladylike

She followed alongside of the car until they reached the bridge, and then the conductor called the attention to the motorman to the spook. The motorman saw her and stopped the car. Both hesitated to speak to the strange lady, and she floated on across Mill creek bridge and turned off of the street at the Salem Water company’s office, where she remained stationary.

When they started the car again they saw her still there, but neither thought to go over and solicit her patronage for the street car company. Mr. Robertson’s reputation for truth and sobriety lend credence to the story, and none of the street car boys doubt it in the least. Robertson says it is impossible that they could have seen the top of a smokestack of one of the river boats turning around in the Willamette slough, and as a rapid transit ghost is a valuable asset to the city, it is considered unnecessary to look to such material things for a solution to the mystery.

In sporting news:

JACK JOHNSON WILL MEET JESS WILLARD
Trouble Anticipated When It Comes to Selecting Place On the Fight

(By Hal Sheridan)

New York, Nov. 19. – Now that Jack Johnson, negro heavyweight champion of the world, and Jess Willard, the monster white hope, have signed articles for battle, interest is centered in the probable battlefield. It is of course, impossible to stage the affair either in Paris or London on account of the European war.

From the pages of the Daily Capital Journal:

REPRESENTATIVE OF PRESS TELLS STORY
Food Supply Abundant and France Prepared to Continue War Indefinitely

DESPERATE BATTLE IS BEING FOUGHT IN EASTERN PRUSSIA
Russians Trying to Win Victory Compelling Germans to Leave Poland
KAISER IS RUSHING TROOPS TO VISTULA
Germans Try to Deliver Crushing Blow to Relieve Pressure in Prussia

ALLIES TRYING TO CUT KAISER’S LINES OF COMMUNICATION
French Suffer Appalling Loss When Mines in Captured Town Were Exploded
ARTILLERY FIRE WAS UNUSUALLY VIOLENT
Unconfirmed Report Germans Had Quit Lille and Allies Occupied It

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About whclarc

We are devoted to providing information fresh from the Archives, Library and Collections of the Willamette Heritage Center in Salem, Oregon. We specialize in the history of Marion County and the greater Salem area.
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