The town of Salem, South Carolina is not large; its population was 126 people in the U.S. Census of 2000. However, the people of Salem are proud of their hometown and it is known locally as the “Diamond of the Upstate.” Although Salem existed as a community in the late 19th Century, it was only officially chartered in 1951. The newly incorporated town was officially named Salem, which means “City of Peace.” The name came from the last syllable of the name of the biblical city of Jerusalem.
Salem is also known for its close proximity to two man-made lakes, Lake Jocassee and Lake Keowee. Both lakes are known for their superior recreational opportunities as well as their natural beauty. Both lakes are also known as excellent spots for all manner of water sports including fishing, boating, swimming and more. Lake Jocassee is also known as a fishing location for catching both small mouth bass and trophy trout, the capture of which is unique in South Carolina’s lakes. This unusual feature of Lake Jocassee is because the temperature of the mountain streams that feed the lake generate colder waters than in other South Carolina lakes. Because of the clarity of those mountain waters, and the subsequent clarity of the lake’s water, scuba diving is also a popular activity in Lake Jocassee.
Also nearby Salem is Devil’s Fork State Park. The park offers visitors twenty cabins and villas to rent. There is also hiking, camping, geocaching, canoe and kayak rentals, picnicking, as well as playground equipment in the park.