Sunday, September 18, 2011
1849 The David Leslie House
The fourth house in Salem, seen above in a drawing, was built by the Rev. David Leslie. He lived here with his second wife, Adelia Judson Ollie, and two daughters of this marriage, Sarah and Emma. Both girls died before the age of 8.
When the Methodist mission was discontinued in 1849, Leslie had been assigned the claim lying between what is now Mission and McGilchrist streets and between the east edge of Bush Pasture Park and Willamette Slough. Here he built this home and planted an orchard with numerous varieties of apples and pears. In 1860, Leslie sold 100 acres of his property to Asahel Bush II, and Bush House now stands on the site of the Leslie's home. The Bush family lived in this house, moved down the hill to Mission Street before theirs was built in 1877-78. In 1863, while the family lived in the former Leslie home, 30 year old Eugenia Zieber Bush, wife of Asahel, died. She left four children under seven years of age to be raised by their father who did not remarry.
The 1900 photograph below, taken from the porch of Bush House, may give a glimpse of the Leslie House after its move. It would be the house to the right in photograph, approximately at the present intersection of Mission and Cottage Streets. It may have been moved from this location after the Oregon School for the Blind was established on that property.
The next location of the residence was probably a block west to the present northwest intersection of Mission and Church Streets. It may have remained there until the 1950s, but no picture is available.