Seventy Years in the making...

July 29th is a very special day - the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Salem Historical Society. On that evening in 1947, Roy Wells Harris and Frank Yengling organized a community meeting at the Memorial Building. The group present voted to start a Society and to find a permanent home to preserve and display historic memorabilia. 42 Charter Members were enrolled.
For the next 23 years, members collected and stored artifacts in garages, barns, and attics all over town. In 1970, Caroline Lehwald was appointed to search for a structure to house the collection. The American Legion building was briefly considered but eliminated after speaking to Ray Pearce, a member of both the Legion and the Society. In 1971, Caroline was to be installed as President of the Society. According to Dale Shaffer, at 5:30 p.m. just before the December meeting, Ray called her at home and asked "if she would like the building located north of the Methodist Church. Thinking about how the money would be raised to pay for [it], she replied, "Is it historical?" He answered, "I don't know if it is historical, but I bought it for you today." The 1882 doctor's residence at 208 South Broadway opened on April 30, 1971 during Founder's Week and was dedicated in memory of Elizabeth Pearce, Ray's wife.
A building fund committee conducted a year long campaign and raised enough by November of 1975 to purchase the Schell building, next-door at 202 South Broadway. It was annexed to the Pearce building and opened during the Bicentennial in 1976. A new meeting space, the McKeown-Frankensteen addition was dedicated in 1979. Freedom Hall, a replica of Liberty Hall, was built on East Pershing Street and opened in April of 1988. Most recently, the Dale Shaffer Research Library opened in 2012, made possible by a bequest from its namesake, local historian, librarian, and author. It also houses our Industrial/Transportation exhibit, Bookstore/Gift Shop, meeting space, and offices.
Little could the founders have imagined that the Salem Historical Society and Museum would grow to over 60,000 square feet with more than 13,000 square feet of exhibit space. It features an amazing collection of items covering all aspects of local history. We have a car, plane, drones, boat, trailer, and tractor made in Salem. We have stoves, pumps, farm equipment, statues, paintings, military ordinance and even a suit of armor made in Salem. We have clothing, books, furniture, tools, and machinery made in Salem. Our earliest treasures include a 1556 German Bible and Quaker artifacts from the early 1800s.
To observe this 70th Anniversary milestone, the Society is having an old fashioned Porch Party on Saturday, July 29, 2017 from 6 to 8 p.m. and everyone in town is invited. Bring your family, friends, and neighbors. There will be food, music, and conversation. Those attending can tour the ground floor exhibits that evening as they walk between four serving stations near each building’s porch. Start on South Lundy, Dale Shaffer Way, East Pershing, or South Broadway. The Party will be held rain or shine so join us to celebrate - “70 and Strong.” For more information, call the Society at 330-337-8514.
Gift Certificate

First Ghost Tour of the Season

            July 29 at 8pm

The Salem Historical Society opens another series of
the popular Ghost Tours. Two types are available.
Below is a description and cost for each.

The Salem Ghost Trolley Tour takes people out of the
downtown area to cemeteries and other “haunted” areas
around Salem. There are three occasions that you do
exit the trolley and walk around so wearing good
walking shoes is encouraged.

The cost of the trolley tour is $15.00. The first tours for this season are July 29th and August 26th at 8:00.

The Salem Ghost Walk takes people around the city, telling of Salem ’s “haunted” past. The walk is held rain or shine. Wearing of good walking shoes is recommended. The cost of the walking tour is $10.00. The upcoming dates for the walking tours are October 13th and 22nd at 8:00. To finish the season, a dinner and Ghost Walk is planned for October 28. Call for details.

Available at the Museum Gift/Book shop is a book prepared by docent Kim Mitchell, “The Haunted Salem, Ohio” and trolley T-shirts.

All tours meet at The Dale Shaffer Research Library meeting room, 239 South Lundy Avenue. Reservations are required for both the walk and trolley tours. Please call 330-205-3923 and leave a message of your interest. Your call will be returned.

Help us celebrate  our 70th Anniversary

Help support The Salem Historical Society by using the link at the bottom of this page to purchase from Amazon.

The Salem Historical Society
Main Entry for Meeting Room and Gift Shop in the lower level of
Dale Shaffer Research Library

239 South Lundy
Salem, OH
(330) 337 - 8514

....keeping and making history

Activities Elsewhere...

Winona Area Historical Society is hosting the concession stand at the Keir auction starting at 10am on August 12 at 4714 Yates Road in Salem with Eugene Kiko and associates conducting the sale of property, vintage autos, machinery and personal effects.  Click here for more details.

They would appreciate people purchasing food to support the care of their historic Meeting Houses.

Summer Activities for young people grades 4-8

The Salem Historical Society

Office Hours
Monday, Wednesday,
Thursday  9am-noon

Offices are located in the upper level of the Dale Shaffer Research Library

Mailing Address:
208 South Broadway Ave
Salem, OH 44460

Sunday Tours 1-4pm
(May through October)

Tours are also available by appointment, call 330-337-8514

Sunday Tours begin at the rear door of the Pearce House in the old meeting room on Shaffer Way.

Trolley Tours begin at the lower level of Dale Shaffer Library on South Lundy Ave.