The village and post office of New Salem is situated a little northwest of the center of New Scotland, at the foot of the Helderberg mountains, on the old Beaverdam road, which later became the Albany and New Scotland Plank Road. The mountain just west of the village is 1,700 feet high, and over it the road passed to the Town of Berne. Settlement was made on the site as early as 1770, about which date Seth Price, Christian Brady, a family of Van Valkenbergs, and perhaps a few others came in. These were soon followed by John Stalker, John Wamp (or Wemple), Obadiah Cooper, Benjamin Van Zandy, a family of Crousiers, and others. Alexander Stather built a large house in 1807 for a tavern. Johannes Markle kept a lye house a half a mile south of New Salem as early as 1792. The little village began to grow around 1806; new dwellings, a church, and a tannery, operated by Beriah Chesbrough, were built. When bark gave out the tannery was converted to a saw mill.