The first white colonists in modern-day Salem Township were from Connecticut. Nathan Beach and his son, Josiah, were some of the many settlers who arrived in Salem. The village of Beach Haven is named in their honor. Salem Township is one of the eleven original townships of Luzerne County; it was formed in 1786. The municipality is named after Salem, Connecticut. Mills and farms were constructed throughout the township during its early years. Native American raids were also very common in and around Salem during the 18th century.
The Salem Township Police Department is located in Salem Township which is in the southern part of Luzerne County and bordering Columbia County in Pennsylvania. The police department was established in 1958 with the appointment of Mr. Thomas Denn as a part-time police officer. The department has since grown to a full time police department. Salem Township is made up of residential, commercial and rural areas. Talen Energy Nuclear Power Plant along with Moxie Energy Power are both located in Salem Township along with farming, other manufacturing and small businesses, convenience stores and restaurants. The Berwick Area Middle School along with Salem Elementary schools are also located in the township.