The Ram Restaurant and Brewery, located today at 515 12th St SE in Salem has been a gathering place since about 1940, when then proprietors Walter Goughnour and Merle E. Pruett converted their auto service station into a “gas station and beer parlour.” Here’s a quick look at the history based off of listings in the local Salem City Directories:
|1938-39||Pete’s Service Station
(Joseph L. West & Walter Goughnour)
|1940/41 – 1945||Pete’s Service Station, gas station and beer parlor
(Walter Goughnour & Merle E. Pruett)
|1947-1951||Walter Goughnour Beer Parlor|
|1953/54-1962||Walt’s Place, tavern (Walter Goughnour)|
|1963-1972||Hof Brau, tavern (Virgil A. Zwicker)|
|1973-1978||Vacant or not listed|
|1979 – Present||The Ram Pub|
There are no listings in the Classifieds, white pages, nor in the reverse address directory (either the original 515 12th Street nor the alternative 1170 Bellevue St.) for any iteration of the Ram Restaurant/pub/tavern until 1979. However, a photo found in a collection given to the Willamette Heritage Center by the Chamber of Commerce and dated April 1974 (seen above), suggests that the city directories may have been incorrect in their listings.
When Walter Goughnour first converted the service station into part beer parlor in the 1940s, the neighborhood looked much differently than it does today. The map below shows the building that housed Walt’s Place (circled in orange). The yellow colored buildings marked “D” all indicate residential housing. These houses are, for the most part, gone replaced by hospital buildings to the south (left) and the Willamette University soccer fields to the north (right).