Salem County, New Jersey
Salem County is a county located in the U.S. state of New Jersey. As of the 2000 Census, the population was 64,285. Its county seat is Salem. This county is considered part of the Delaware Valley area.
The Old Salem County Courthouse, situated on the same block as the Salem County Courthouse, serves as the court for Salem City. It is the oldest active courthouse in New Jersey and is tied for being the second oldest courthouse in continuous use in the United States, the others being King William County Courthouse (1725) and Hanover County Courthouse (1735) in Virginia. The present courthouse was built in 1735 during the reign of King George II using locally manufactured bricks. The building was enlarged in 1817 and enlarged and remodeled in 1908. Its distinctive bell tower is essentially unchanged and the original bell sits in the courtroom. The courthouse was the scene of the "treason trials" of 1778, wherein suspected Loyalists were put on trial for having allegedly aided the British during the Salem Raid in February and March of that same year. Four men were convicted and sentenced to death for treason; however, they were pardoned by Governor William Livingston and exiled from New Jersey. The courthouse is also the site of the legend of Colonel Robert Gibbon Johnson proving the edibility of the tomato. Before 1820, Americans often assumed tomatoes were poisonous. In 1820, Colonel Johnson, according to legend, stood upon the courthouse steps and ate tomatoes in front of a large amazed crowd assembled to watch him do so.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 965 km² (373 sq mi). 875 km² (338 sq mi) of it is land and 90 km² (35 sq mi) of it (9.31%) is water.
The terrain is almost uniformly flat coastal plain, with minimal relief. The highest elevation in the county has never been determined with any specificity, but is likely one of seven low rises in Upper Pittsgrove Township that exceed 160 feet (48.7 m) in elevation. Sea level is the lowest point.
The following municipalities are located in Salem County. The municipality type is listed in parentheses after the name, except where the type is included as part of the name. Other, unincorporated areas in the county are listed below their parent municipality (or municipalities, as the case may be). Most of these areas are census-designated places that have been created by the United States Census Bureau for enumeration purposes within a Township. Other communities and enclaves that exist within a municipality are marked as non-CDP next to the name.