Salem in Lee County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
Among the earliest settlers were the families of Henry Crowder, Dr. D. W. Floyd, Charles Nelms, W. W. Burt, George Heard, John Askew, Moses Pruitt, and Dr. McCoy. Rev. F. L. Cherry, leading historian of East Alabama’s first 50 years, wrote that the town was laid off in 1836 by Benjamin H. Baker, Dr. Erastus Jones, and B. S. Mangham.
A schoolhouse was built in 1837. Professor Sheppard, the first teacher, was followed by Professor Sanders in 1838. Academies for the girls and boys, Baptist and Methodist Churches and a camp meeting ground were early additions to the community. A stagecoach stop was located on the west side of town. A “Picnic” ground popular for public gatherings probably saw its most exciting day in an 1856 Presidential rally. By 1855, railroad service had been established from Salem to Opelika and Columbus, Georgia.
Local tradition maintains that a district courthouse was built in Salem to serve upper Russell County. The building still stands. When Lee was created on December 5, 1866, Salem became a part of the new county and received the second highest vote
Two and one half miles east of this site is Wacoochee Covered Bridge, the last remaining “Kissin” bridge in Lee County and one of a very few found in Alabama. This one span 75 foot town lattice bridge was built not later than between 1865 and 1880. It has been fully restored by the Lee County Commission.
Erected 1979 by Historic Chattahoochee Commission and the Lee County Historical Society.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Settlements & Settlers.
Location. 32° 35.91′ N, 85° 14.45′ W. Marker is in Salem, Alabama, in Lee County. Marker is at the intersection of U.S. 280 and County Road 633, on the right when traveling east on U.S. 280. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 8671 US Highway 280 East, Salem AL 36874, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Bean's Mill (approx. 7 miles away); Shady Grove Christian Church (approx. 7.3 miles away); Lebanon Methodist Meeting House (approx. 7.6 miles away); Camp Opelika (approx. 7.8 miles away); Thompson Chapel (approx. 8.2 miles Killgore Scholarships / Some Terms of Scholarships (approx. 8.7 miles away); First United Methodist Church (approx. 8.7 miles away); Lee County Courthouse / Lee County Probate Judges (approx. 8.7 miles away).
Regarding Salem, Alabama. The Wacoochee Covered Bridge or better known as the Salem Shotwell Bridge was damaged in 2005. The damaged bridge was removed from its original site and rebuilt at its new home in Opelika’s Municipal Park.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 25, 2018. It was originally submitted on January 21, 2011, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. This page has been viewed 1,730 times since then and 66 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on January 21, 2011, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.