Hezekiah Sephton, leader of an independent Settler Party of almost 100 families, established this town along the Assegai Bosch River in 1820. One of the inhabitants, Chaplain William Shaw, named the town, Salem (“Peace”). The fine stone churches, historic cottages and village green on which cricket matches have been played since 1844 transport visitors back to the days of yesteryear and add to the town’s “old world” charm.
History And Architecture
The Richard Gush Monolith: A memorial to commemorate the Quaker carpenter, Richard Gush, stands opposite the church. During the Sixth Frontier War, Gush became a hero when he left the safety of the stronghold during a Xhosa raid to pacify the Xhosa impis. After the surprised Xhosas told him that they were hungry, he collected bread to be handed out to them and they departed peacefully.