History of Salem, Maine
A Gazetteer of the
State of Maine

By Geo. J. Varney
Published by B. B. Russell, 57 Cornhill,
Boston 1886

Salem is situated in the eastern part of Franklin County, 7 miles from the railroad station in Strong, and nearly 20 miles from Farmington. It is bounded east by Freeman and Kingfield, south by Phillips, west by Madrid, and north by Mount Abraham township. The northern part of Salem is occupied by the southern base of the Mount Abraham group of peaks. Curvo stream, a branch of carrabasset River, takes its rise in this group of mountains; and passing through the midst of the town, furnishes at Salem village the power for a saw and a grist-mill. Along the streams there is considerable interval land; but elsewhere it is quite gravelly. Cobble-stones are said to abound in some parts of the town. Beech, birch, maple, cedar and spruce are found in the forests.

Salem was formed from parts of Freeman, Phillips, and Number Four in the First Range, Bingham's (Million Acres) purchase. The first clearing was made by Benjamin Heath 2d from Farmington, about 1815; to which he and John Church 1st, and Samuel Church removed in 1817, being soon followed by Messrs. Double and Hayford. The town was incorporated in 1823 under the name of North Salem, which was changed later to the latter word of the name alone.

A quaint, red, one-story building constitutes the town house, and also serves for religious meetings in the absence of a church edifice. The village has a small Sunday school library. Salem has four public schoolhouses, the total school property being valued at $400. The town valuation in 1870 was $64,432. In 1880 it was $59,868. The rate of taxation in the latter year was 1½ cents on the dollar. The population in 1870 was 307. In 1880 it was 273.

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