panorama of Salem City, New Jersey

Salem City is the county seat of Salem, New Jersey, the state’s most rural and least populated county. With only 64,000 county residents the area is rich in agriculture and open space.

Located in the southwestern most corner of the state, an hour away from New Jersey shore points, Salem City is a quick commute to Delaware and within an hour of Philadelphia. Founded in 1675 by Quaker John Fenwick as the first English speaking colony in New Jersey, Salem City is rich in history and local color.

With a population of slightly more than 5,000 people, the town has a slower way of life than most New Jersey cites, and is all about family and community.

Salem NJ CourthouseThe City boasts the second oldest courthouse in the United States and the oldest courthouse in continuous use in New Jersey, which according to legend, the brave Colonel Robert Gibbon Johnson stood on the front steps of in 1820 and ate a basket of tomatoes in front of hundreds of townspeople to prove they were not poisonous.

Our annual 10 mile cow run commemorates the nation’s first “cattle drive” in honor of General “Mad” Anthony Wayne who accepted the dangerous and critical mission of crossing the Delaware River into Salem and retrieving 150 head of cattle and other food supplies and driving them through enemy territory to the starving soldiers at Valley Forge.

Salem City also played a critical role in the Underground Railroad. The Goodwin Sisters House, operated by Abigail and Elizabeth who worked with escaped slave Amy Reckless, was constructed in 1821, and is among the state’s best-documented Underground Railroad stations and still stands today.


Salem City High School recently began offering the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program to students in the 11th and 12th grade. The International Baccalaureate Program is an intensive diploma program developed in Switzerland designed to be internationally recognized. Some colleges will waive the general education requirements upon entrance for students who have completed the full diploma.

Salem City High School also has an Advanced Placement courses including Project Lead The Way, Engineering in conjunction with Rowan University. The Advanced Placement program was developed in the United States to help high school students prepare for college by taking advanced courses. Most colleges give credit for Advanced Placement exams.

Forman Scholars Program

In 2014, Dr. Forman S. Acton bequeathed a $30 million dollar endowment for the benefit of Salem City high school students who might not otherwise be able to afford college. Graduates of Salem City High School are eligible to receive scholarships of $10,000 per year, renewable annually up to $40,000 for college tuition for students with high academic achievement and family need.

The Foundation also helps families to start saving for college through its new Acorn Fund, a 529 college savings account. The fund provides the first deposit for Salem City children to begin their savings plan.

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Visit the Salem City government website.