Live the History!
There are hundreds of special artifacts on display at the Salem Historical Museum. These objects --legacies of yesteryear-- give life to the past, making history more than just words on a printed page.
Our regularly scheduled tours from May through October feature the many rooms in the Shell and Pearce Buildings. We offer tours in Freedom Hall and Dale Shaffer Research Library upon request or by appointment.
In 2023, tours are starting at the Schell Building at 208 South Broadway Ave.
Groups can customize their tours based on their interests. Scroll down for detailed description of the displays in each building.
~Salem Historical Society Members Tour Free~
Adult (18 yrs and older) $6
Child (ages 5-17) $3
Children under 5 Free
Groups of 10 or more receive $1 /person discount
We love to have you stop in during open hours, M-W-Th, 9-noon, but we cannot guarantee tours based on accessibility of docents and time allotment. Please call ahead to let us know you are coming and the areas of the museum you would like to see. We normally won't start a tour after 11 am.
Tours in the Schell Building are on the street level only where you will see:
Revolving exhibits that change periodically. The seasonal display for 2023 features Salem China - its history and its china.
The Wirsching Room diplays Wirsching family artifacts, their German heritage, and the Wirsching Organ Company. There is also a room dedicated to Ed and Gerri Sullivan - their life and their art.
A General Store with artifacts and signs from local businesses
The Heritage Room with artifacts from the Quakers, the Romanians, and Strotter Brown.
The beautiful Heritage Garden (outside) with vintage plants, a fountain, and an outhouse.
Two levels of period rooms are on display to capture an earlier time in Salem.
On the first floor is a Kitchen, Dining Room, Victorian Parlor, Doctor's Office with Reception Area. The old meeting room added to the back of this house now displays the music and sports of Salem.
The second floor has a Toy Room, Clothing/Sewing Room, Bedroom, Bath, and a 1-room School.
Displays are in the lower level , street level, and second floor to display humanity causes and struggles. In Freedom Hall you will see artifacts on the Abolitionist Movement, our Country's Wars, WCTU Movement (Prohibition), Women's Rights Movement, and skills such as Farming, Blacksmithing, Barrel Making, and Weaving.
The lower level has displays of our Firemen and Policemen as well as a Barber Shop.
Our newest building houses the Industrial Exhibits. Salem is home to many successful industries that were known around the world. Some of these are Mullins, Bliss, Deming Pump, Salem China, Theiss Aviation, Hunt Valve, Whirsching Pipe Organs, Salem Nail & Wire, American Standard, Woodruff Stoves, and many others.
Our meeting room and gift shop are on the lower level of the Research Library, and the library and offices are on the upper level.