Early History of Salem

Salem Courthouse rendering

Salem was first settled in 1761 by Joshua Conkey and James Turner who as soldiers in the French and Indian War, passed through the territory. In 1764, Alexander and James Turner acquired a patent which was soon divided up between the New Englanders from Pelham Mass. and a group of Scotch/Irish Presbyterians from Ballibay, Ireland.

The name of this place was disputed for many years. The New Englanders called it White Creek after the clear creek that ran through the village and the Scotch/Irish called it New Perth since it reminded them of home. In 1788 the New York State Legislature settled the dispute by calling it Salem, a name first used in 1777 for Fort Salem of Revolutionary War time.

Index to Governmental records, Town of Salem ( updated 10/2016)
Index to Town Historical Archives (updated 10/2016)

Contact Town Historian: Al Cormier (wcormier1@nycap.rr.com) if you would like to access the archives.

Visit our Landmark and Revolutionary War Cemetery pages for more information about Salem history.

Click here for the 123rd Regiment website