Salem is a town in Rockingham County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 28,776 at the 2010 census. Salem is a marketing and distributing center north of Boston, with a major amusement attraction, Canobie Lake Park, and a large shopping mall, the Mall at Rockingham Park.
The area was first settled in 1652. As early as 1736, Salem was the "North Parish" of Methuen, Massachusetts, or "Methuen District." In 1741, when the boundary line between Massachusetts and New Hampshire was fixed, the "North Parish" became part of New Hampshire, and was given the name "Salem," taken from nearby Salem, Massachusetts. It was incorporated in 1750 by Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth.
Other features of Salem's tourism history include Rockingham Park Race Track, the first horse race track in New England, and "America's Stonehenge", a curiosity (formerly "Mystery Hill"). A recent attraction in town is the Icenter, a skating arena.
Starting in the 1950s, Salem developed rapidly as part of Greater Boston, with suburban-style residential neighborhoods and a long strip of commercial development along NH Route 28. Recent (c. 2006) commercial construction has continued to focus on Route 28, as well as on the commercial zone off Exit 2 on Interstate 93.