SALEM - WEST VIRGINIA

Salem

Salem

Salem

Salem

Salem

Salem

Salem

Salem

Salem

Salem

Salem

Salem

Salem

Salem

Salem

Salem

Salem

Salem

main

Population 2000

The first habitation by white settlers was a hunter's camp established by Nicholas Carpenter in 1785, who used it for a hunting and trapping center. He also used it for a sort of crude hotel for himself and his men who drove cattle from Clarksburg to the Ohio River at Marietta, OH, which was the nearest market.

Samuel Fitz Randolph purchased the property on which the village was founded in 1790. He has started with a caravan of pioneer settlers from Salem, NJ, who crossed the mountains in 1789. The settlers came on to what is now Salem, after a year and one-half trek from the sea coast. They arrived in the spring of 1792. The community was originally known as New Salem. Two years later, in 1794, the community was incorporated. Salem was the first settlement of the Seventh Day Baptists west of the Alleghenies.

 

 

 

Salem has a history of large fires. The same full city block has burned down twice in the city's history. The north side of Main Street downtown burned once in 1901 and again on March 2, 2006. The more recent fire burned the old city bank building, several store fronts, and several residences; five structures in all were damaged. The fire departments' ability to put out the blaze was hampered by a limited city water supply; they were forced to draw water from the nearby creek.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 1985, an historic era ended for Salem.   During that year, the last scheduled train traveled the tracks through the city bringing  an end to 129 years of rail service. The Northwestern Virginia Railroad originally developed a rail line from Grafton to Parkersburg,  which followed along the Northwestern Turnpike.  It required digging many tunnels through the hilly terrain.  " The Great Railroad  Celebration " of  July 1857 marked the arrival of the first train in Salem. 

The current depot was built in 1912.  The economy was impacted by the allowing Salem access to the eastern market for supplying beef and lumber.  Shipping then shifted from railways to roadways. With the freight yard's reduced activity, it was demolished in 1976.  The Depot remained , although it was renovated from a passenger station to a work place for railroad employees.  In 1988, the tracks were pulled thus removing a visible link to Salem's past. 

Lately the depot was ruined again by fire.

Volunteers are working to restore the historic caboose from the Baltimore Ohio line.

Salem

Salem

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salem