The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Salem (Virginia)
SALEM, a town and the county seat of Roanoke co., Virginia, on the Roanoke river and the Atlantic, Mississippi, and Ohio railroad, 145 m. W. by S. of Richmond; pop. in 1870, 1,355, of whom 500 were colored ; in 1875, about 2,000. It is at the head of the valley of Virginia, between the Blue Ridge and Alleghany mountains, and is celebrated for its healthfulness, mild climate, and fine scenery. It is a favorite summer resort. In the immediate vicinity are sulphur and chalybeate springs, and within a radius of 30 m. are seven of the most celebrated mineral springs in Virginia. The Valley railroad, in course of construction, is to terminate here. The town has several hotels, a national bank, two free schools (white and colored), two weekly newspapers, and Baptist, Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, and Presbyterian churches. It is the seat of Roanoke college, Lutheran, founded in 1853, which has beautiful grounds and three fine brick buildings. There are collegiate, normal, and preparatory departments; and select courses may be pursued. The library contains about 13,000 volumes. The college has extensive chemical and philosophical apparatus and a large cabinet of minerals. In 1874-'5 it had 9 instructors and 167 students (84 collegiate, 40 select and normal, and 43 preparatory). The number of alumni in 1875 was 133. The theological seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran church, founded at Lexington, S. C., in 1830, was removed to Salem in 1873.