The Salem schoolhouse©Copyright: Jeri Danyleyko
Salem began as a small farming settlement in Bruce County during the 1850s. The community was named for the Salem Presbyterian Church which opened in 1859.
Salem offered little in the way of commercial activity. Saw and grist mills, located on the Elliot farm, operated briefly until they were moved to nearby Chesley. There was also a school. A post office, which opened under the name Ravelston in 1888, was later renamed Salisbury.
Social activities in Salem were focused around the church. In the early 1920s, the old frame church was replaced with a handsome red brick building. The school lasted until 1964 when it was closed due to centralization of the school system, and the church lasted until 1969.
Today a small handful of people continue to call Salem home. The area is now primarily farmland. A cairn with engravings of both the old and new churches sits on the former church site. The cemetery, located behind where the church once stood, remains in use. The schoolhouse, surrounded by playground equipment, is now operated as a private school.