The LDS Church started a co-op in Salem in the late 1860s; it operated largely on the barter system until it was discontinued in 1897. Several small stores were operated for short periods of time. In 1908 the Salem Mercantile Company was started by the James Peter Christensen family, which operated it until 1969. For many years the "Merc" used the barter system and issued scrip. In 1946 Melvin R. Hanks started another grocery business on Main Street. Later continued by two sons, this family business also thrived. There were a number of service stations along U.S. Highway 91, and a motel. Through the years the town also had a drugstore, barber shop, and a saloon. A few businesses are still clustered along the highway.
The LDS Provo Stake served Pond Town's religious needs until Salem Ward was created in 1877. A red brick church was completed in 1898, remodeled in 1938, and replaced in 1972. The one ward was divided in 1956, and currently there is a local LDS stake with seven wards.
Education was always important to the settlers, and parents made arrangements for their children to be taught, first in homes and then in a log schoolroom. Several small buildings were used for school, church, and public meetings until the church meetinghouse was built in 1898; it was followed by a new brick school built in 1907.