Salem County Historical Society
83 Market Street
Salem, NJ 08079
I came across this little ‘gem’ when walking around downtown Salem, New Jersey on my Christmas break. This historical society put some of the musty ones I have visited to shame. It is so beautifully set up and maintained. It also has some great exhibitions and was so nicely decorated for the Christmas holidays. It is a ‘must-see’ when visiting Southern New Jersey.
The Salem County Historical Society is housed in three interconnected historic houses, the centerpiece of which is the Alexander Grant Mansion (1721).
The Society maintains extensive museum and library collections related to the region’s heritage. Our exceptional collection includes furniture, paintings, textiles, glass, china, silver, documents, tools and other family heirlooms. This collection enables us to graphically convey to visitors an understanding of the work, play, society and lifestyles of local inhabitants from generations past.
The Society’s campus houses three other buildings: the Stone Barn, the John Jones Law Office ( a hexagonal structure housing New Jersey’s first law office) and the Log Cabin Educational Center.
The Society utilizes its rich museum to present engaging and informative exhibits. Our museum features several ongoing exhibits including The Keeping Room, A Legacy fro Salem County and The Stone Barn. These displays showcase some of the Society’s treasures including fine and decorative arts, Wistar glass and signature quilts.
In addition to our semi-permanent exhibits, the Society features large special exhibits that change every two years. These exhibits take a closer look at specific events or aspects of Salem County history. Check the Society website to get information about current exhibits. The Society has also opened more rooms for small exhibits that rotate and change periodically.
Research Library and Special Collections
Thousands of researchers make their own connections to Salem County with the help of the Society’s research library. Historians and family researcher trace their ancestors through time with the help of our library’s comprehensive collection of resources, thus helping to bring people closer to Southern New Jersey’s distinctive heritage.
The library’s holdings of family records, manuscripts, deeds and church histories serve scores of genealogical and historical researchers with primary documents.
Resources & Records:
*Census, Church and Cemetery
*Published family histories and family files
*Rare manuscripts and subject files
*Birth, marriages and death resources
*Newspapers on microfilm
*Online access to Ancestry.com
*Recorded and unrecorded deeds
*Diaries and journals
*Historical publications about county, state, military, ethnic and industrial history, as well as topics of local interest such as glass, brick houses and agriculture
*Unique house and church files
The Society publications an award-winning Quarterly Newsletter featuring Society news, events and scholarly articles. Our bookstore features books and periodicals on Salem County topics from many local authors. Publications are available to purchase on our website and at the Historical Society.
The Society brings history to life for hundreds of children every year, providing hands-on lessons about life in 18th and 19th century Salem County. Utilizing current exhibits and permanent collections, children are introduced to the region’s rich heritage through presentations and hands-on activities.
These programs complement school lessons for traditional and homeschooled groups. All of our education programs meet state curriculum standards for Social Studies, Language Arts, Visual and Performing Arts and Mathematics, grades 4-12.
The Society offers educational programs based on the American Revolution, the Civil War, life in the colonial past, which has students identify objects from the past and modern equivalents. The Society also offers educational programming based on the current exhibits. These programs are available at the Historical Society and the programs on the Revolution, Civil War and “History’s Mysteries” can be presented offsite upon request.
Please check the education section of our website to learn more about these programs. Field trips and group tours can be scheduled by contacting the Society at (856) 935-5004.
Programs and Special Events
The Society has an active calendar with many diverse programs. From our Quarterly Meetings to the popular John S. Rock Memorial Lecture series to genealogical workshops, there is something for everyone.
The Society also sponsors events such as the highly regarded Open House Tour which opens Salem County’s historic homes and churches to the public every spring. In the fall, the Society sponsors the Walking Ghost Tour, an evening of spirits and stories in historic Salem.
Visit our website http://www.salemcountyhistoricalsociety.com or our Facebook Page for upcoming events.
Why become a member of the Salem County Historical Society?
The mission of the Salem County Historical Society is to seek, document, preserve, interpret and perpetuate Salem County’s heritage and to enhance the awareness and appreciation of that heritage through research, collections, functions, exhibits, educational programs and publications, for the benefit of future generations and for the betterment of the community.
The Society offers a wide variety of programming and services that are unduplicated regionally. These programs are presented at locations around the county and are designed to reach and serve a wide range of audiences. This includes guided tours, school lessons on site, outreach programs and our Open House in Fenwick’s Colony tour and Quarterly Meetings. Most programs are free and all are open to the public.
Salem County’s history and the evidence of it that is all around us in the origins and architecture of its buildings, is one of its greatest assets and should be a source of pride for all of us. The growing number of visitors using the Society’s research library, museum displays and public programs is testimony to the increasing interest of the general public in enjoying Salem County’s history.
*Receive our award winning quarterly newsletter
*Free admission to our library and museum
*Discounted copies and services in the library
*Discounts on Society events and programs
The funds needed to operate the facility and to maintain and improve the level of services provided by the Society, come in part from annual membership dues. If you are not already a member, please consider a membership. You may join online at http://www.salemcountyhistoricalsociety.com or stop by and visit the Society.
Volunteers play a crucial role in the Society’s operation and overall success. The Society welcomes individuals with varying backgrounds and interests to contribute to our overall mission of preserving and caring for the history of Salem County. Please contact us to learn more about volunteer opportunities.
The Salem County Historical Society strives to make all of our programs accessible to the public. Our library and museum exhibits are wheelchair accessible. Persons requiring special services should contact the Society in advance of your visit. Group visits are welcome and available by reservation.
The Society’s programs are made possible in part by funds from the Salem County Cultural and Heritage Commission, the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution and our generous Corporate Sponsors. If you are interested in corporate sponsorship please call the Society.
Museum & Library Admission: $5.00 per person
From the Delaware Memorial Bridge:
Take the Route 40 exit and immediately bear right onto County Route 540. Follow 540 to Route 45 south, which becomes Market Street in Salem City.
From NJ Turnpike and I-295: Take Route 40 exit, proceed across overpass and go straight onto County Route 540. Follow 540 to Route 45 south, which becomes Market Street in Salem County.
Disclaimer: This information was taken directly from the Salem County Historical Society pamphlet and membership forms. It really is a nice place to visit and take about an hour to visit the galleries. Please call the above numbers for more information.