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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Harrisburg in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Old Salem Church

 
 
Old Salem Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, July 3, 2020
1. Old Salem Church Marker
Inscription.  The church which stands at S. Third and Chestnut Streets is the oldest standing church building in Harrisburg, erected in 1822. It however represents the second building on this lot granted by John Harris, Jr. for religious purposed when the Borough of Harrisburg was laid out in 1785. The first church was a log-constructed meetinghouse erected in 1787 on the rear portion of the property at the corner of S. Third Street and Cherry Alley (now vacated) and was shared by two congregations, those of the Evangelical Lutheran and German Reformed Church. The two worshiped together until 1814 when the Lutherans decided to go their separate way by purchasing land on S. Broad Street upon which they erected the original Zion Lutheran Church. The German Reformed group continued to use and improve the log meetinghouse which was weather-boarded on the exterior by 1804. In 1818, the congregation became formalized as “The German Reformed Salem Church of Harrisburg” and in 1821 ground was broken on the front portion of the lot facing Chestnut Street for the present building. Upon the dedication of the building on June 21, 1822, the church’s bell, brought
Old Salem Church image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, July 3, 2020
2. Old Salem Church
from London, England, was installed in the tower cupola. In July, 1863, portions of the church property were used as a hospital for Confederate prisoners injured in the Battle of Gettysburg. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the church building, which later became the Salem United Church of Christ, escaped demolition of the surrounding urban renewal activities of the 1960s. It beautifully survives as an important Harrisburg landmark.
 
Erected by The Harrisburg History Project Commissioned by Mayor Stephen R. Reed.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & ReligionWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Pennsylvania, The Harrisburg History Project series list.
 
Location. 40° 15.609′ N, 76° 52.755′ W. Marker is in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in Dauphin County. Marker is at the intersection of Chestnut Street and South 3rd Street, on the left when traveling north on Chestnut Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 231 Chestnut Street, Harrisburg PA 17101, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Old Salem Church (within shouting distance of this marker); 22 South 3rd Street (within shouting distance of this marker); Executive Mansion (about
The Old Salem Church image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, March 25, 2017
3. The Old Salem Church
500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Thomas Morris Chester (about 500 feet away); The Peanut House (about 500 feet away); T. Morris Chester (about 500 feet away); Strawberry Square Phase II (about 500 feet away); Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Harrisburg.
 
Old Salem Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, March 25, 2017
4. Old Salem Church Marker
This is a previous iteration of the marker from 2017. The wording and formatting is exactly the same.
National Register of Historic Places plaque on the church image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, July 3, 2020
5. National Register of Historic Places plaque on the church
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 4, 2020. It was originally submitted on March 27, 2017, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 247 times since then and 64 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 4, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.   3, 4. submitted on March 27, 2017, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.   5. submitted on July 4, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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Nov. 29, 2020