Salem began as a small farming settlement in Bruce County during the 1850s. The community got its name from the Salem Presbyterian Church which opened in 1859. The post office was actually known as Salisbury.
Salem offered little in the way of commercial activity. Saw and grist mills, located on the Elliot farm, operated briefly until they moved to nearby Chesley. There was also a school. A post office, opened under the name Ravelston in 1888, later got the name of Salisbury.
Social activities in Salem revolved around the church. In the early 1920s, the congregation replaced with old frame church with a handsome new red brick building. The school lasted until 1964 when it closed due to centralization of the school system. 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, now operates as a private school. Learn more