Salem, Oregon


Sign up to receive marketing tips and promotions!

Design Your Signdesign-a-sign.png design-a-sign.png design-a-sign.png

Salem Business Signs

The Willamette Valley in Oregon has been inhabited for over 10,000 years.  The Kalapuyans, who originally settled the area, called it ‘Chemeketa.’  Chemeketa, in the Central Kalapuya language (Santiam) means ‘meeting or resting place.’  When white settlers came to the valley, they built a city.  In 1850 and 1851, William H. Wilson filed the plats for the city under the name ‘Salem’, which is an anglicized version of the Biblical word ‘Shalom’, meaning peace.  Salem was officially incorporated in 1857.

The modern day city of Salem is the capital of the state of Oregon and its third largest city.  According to the 2010 U.S. census, Salem had a population of 154,637 people.  Salem also serves as the principal city in the Salem Metropolitan Statistical Area.  This MSA also covers Marion and Polk counties.  In 2010, it was estimated to have a combined population of 390,738 people.  In 2013, a re-estimate was released, putting the metropolitan population at 400,408.  This would make the Salem Metropolitan area the second largest in the state.

Salem’s largest employer is the State of Oregon, which employs 21,000 people, according to the city’s 2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.  The Salem-Keizer School District also employs a substantial amount of people, at 4,550.  The city’s largest private employer, however, is Salem Health, which employs 4,000 people.  Salem Health runs Salem Hospital, which was founded in 1896, and is the only hospital in the city.  Salem is perhaps most famous for being the home of Kettle Foods, Inc., which has made potato chips since 1982.

Salem is the site of many events and celebrations year-round.  These include the Salem Saturday Market in the summer and the Holiday Gift Market in December.  Both of these events are held in the indoor Saturday Public Market, which is open all year round and is more than 60 years old.  There is also a World Beat Festival, which includes a Dragon Boat race, and the Bite of Salem, which showcases local restaurants.  The largest event in the city, however, is the Oregon State Fair, which runs from the end of August through Labor Day.  The fair is held in the Oregon State Fairgrounds in North Salem and offers exhibits, competitions, and carnival rides.

The Reed Opera House hosts many productions by the Salem Repertory Theatre.  The Opera House’s full name is The Reed Opera House and McCornack Block Addition.  Architect G.W. Rhodes built the Opera House in 1869 in Italianate brick style.  It also serves as a shopping mall and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.  Elsinore Theater is also on the Register of Historic Places.  This theater was built by architects Lawrence & Holford in 1926, and is famous for having the largest working pipe organ on the west coast.  This pipe organ was originally used as a showcase for silent films during the early days of cinema.

Sports teams in Salem include the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes of minor league baseball and the Salem Stampede of the International Basketball League.  The Stampede play their home games at the Salem Armory.  The American Basketball Association also has a team in the city, called the Salem Sabres.  They play at Chemeketa Community College.  There is also a women’s roller derby league, the Cherry City Derby Girls.  The league is home to four home teams: the Rydel Bells, Thrill Kill Kittens, Dolls of Anarchy, and Panty Raiders, as well as a travel team, the 8 Wheel Assassins.  The league also has a ‘b’ ranked travel team who call themselves the Bone Yard Brawlers.  Additionally, there is a men’s roller derby team called the Star City Offense.

Do you own a small business in the Salem, OR metropolitan area?  Are you thinking about starting one?  These resources could prove helpful to you:

Apply for a Business License in Salem, OR

Business in Salem, OR

Salem Area Chamber of Commerce

Looking for Salem, OR business signs?

Get the word out there about your small business!  Contact one of our authorized members:

Sign Crafters of Oregon
1310 12th St. SE
Salem, OR 97302

Bason Signs
33527 Brewster Road
Lebanon, Oregon 97355