Current home of 4th Street Mall
215-219 E. Fourth Street (Block 3)

In 1901 there was a drought that lasted from March 19 to October 1.  Wells went dry, crops failed and ponds dried up.  Charles Middaugh was the Mayor at that time and he had the City dig a well on the east side of the creek where the Fourth Street Mall now stands.  A hand pump was installed.  At times fifty wagons would line up to fill water barrels for personal use.  Also on this site a man from North Carolina named William Swicegood had built a distillery where he made Apple Jack Brandy.

When the Ely Walker Factory was built in 1926 the old well was filled in.  The Salem Chamber of Commerce raised funds and the driving force behind getting the Ely Walker Company to locate in Salem.  James H. Butler and L.N. Coffman were the largest contributors.  Business was good and the Ely Walker Company, known as the shirt factory, had plans to build an addition to their first factory.  When the first part of the factory was built a dance and supper were held and a dedication ceremony by W.P. Elmer in 1927.  In 1936, Salem deeded more land to the company and Salem citizens pledged $35,000 in additional funds.

After the factory left Salem, the Salem Sportswear Company moved into the building and operated for several years manufacturing jackets.  The next company to inhabit the building was Iritial Mills, a contract shop.  After several years vacant, the building  was renovated into the  Fourth Street Mall by Bob and Elva Schafer. It still operates as the 4th St Mall today. (2010).

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