Salem was founded in 1802, and the first charter was granted in 1806 to "The Town of Salem in the County of Botetourt." The present charter was granted by the General Assembly in 1968, upon petition of the now City of Salem, to reflect the necessary change since Salem has become a City. The City owns and operates its water system, electric distribution system, and sewerage system. The rates for these services compare favorably with the surrounding territory and the State as a whole. Situated in the Shenandoah Valley between the Allegheny and Blue Ridge Mountains on the Roanoke River, Salem possesses all the beauty and grandeur that nature can bestow.