605 Summer Street NE View Map
Waldo Park is ONE OF the smallest parks in the United States as it consists only of a heritage tree, planted in 1872. It is located in downtown Salem.
Waldo Park is named for Judge William Waldo who came to Salem in 1843. Waldo was a lawyer and later became a Marion County Judge. He lived on an estate along Mill Creek in what is now the center of Salem. In 1872, a traveling salesman with a bundle of redwood saplings, convinced Waldo and many other Salemites to purchase the miracle trees.
Waldo planted the Sequoia gigantea on the corner of his property, which is now the junction of Union and Summer Streets. As the town of Salem grew, Waldo sold his land with the stipulation that the redwood, to which he had become attached, be preserved.
Finally, in 1936, the American War Mothers, supported by many of Salem's leading citizens, succeeded in having the tree and ground around it dedicated as as city park. Today the 82-foot high tree, whose trunk measures six feet in diameter, stands on a plot 12' by 20', just large enough for the tree, some additional landscaping and a park sign. Summer Street, a main arterial, is squeezed from four lanes to three lanes and then back to four lanes to make room for the tree in its precarious position.