The Salem Historical Society
Main Entry for Meeting Room and Gift Shop in the lower level of
Dale Shaffer Research Library
239 South Lundy
(330) 337 - 8514
....researching, preserving, showcasing
In December, 1971, W. Ray Pearce donated the first museum, Pearce Building, at 208 South Broadway Avenue in memory of his wife, Elizabeth. The corner brick building, Schell Building, was purchased in 1974 and the two were then connected. In 1979 a meeting room was added in the back of the Schell Building with a grant from the Salem Community Foundation.
Salem, Ohio was founded by Zadok Street and John Straughan (pronounced Strawn) on April 30, 1806. The city was named after Salem, NJ, where Zadok Street originally immigrated. The word 'Salem' comes from the word 'Jerusalem' which means 'city of peace' and many of the early townspeople were Quakers. Salem was a major hub in the American Underground Railroad and was the headquarters for the Ohio American Anti-Slavery Society, later known as the Western Anti-Slavery Society that published THE ANTI-SLAVERY BUGLE. These papers are available for research at the Salem Historical Society. In April 1850, Salem hosted the first Women's Rights Convention in Ohio, the second such convention in the United States.
Our newest addition, The Dale Shaffer Research Library, was the dream of Dale Shaffer, noted Salem historian and author. He helped to plan the design and then left his entire estate to the Historical Society to ensure its construction. It was dedicated August 7, 2012. The Library houses the research room, a staff working room, offices, the Gift Shop, the Meeting Room, and the Industrial Display.
Freedom Hall was built in 1987 as a replica of Liberty Hall, a carpenter shop once used by abolitionists to have secret meetings in an upstairs room above the shop. Freedom Hall houses memorabilia relating to Salem's anti-slavery movement. It houses items from the local abolitionists as well as artifacts from World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War.
Donate to the Historical Society. For the Trolley Fund, please designate "Trolley" in the comments.
Offices are located in the upper level of the Dale Shaffer Research Library
208 South Broadway Ave
Salem, OH 44460
Weekly Sunday 1-4pm
Monthly 3rd Tuesday 6-9pm
(May through October)
Tours are also available by appointment, call 330-337-8514
Tours begin at the front door of the Pearce House at 208 South Broadway.
Trolley Tours begin at the lower level of Dale Shaffer Library on South Lundy Ave.
There are hundreds of special artifacts on display at the Salem Historical Museum. These objects, legacies of yesteryear, give life to the past including old photos, antique industrial products, ethnic collections, and articles of daily life from yesteryear. Over 12 rooms in the four buildings offer theme contents. The collections are a meaningful and tangible part of our Salem heritage and cover a wide range of topics:
The Salem Historical Society was formed in 1947, with Roy W. Harris as president.
The Salem Historical Society Museum is a nonprofit volunteer organization that maintains four buildings to house and display many historical artifacts. Its purpose is to collect, explain, and preserve Salem's history.