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Welcome To The Salem Club

The 150-year-old Salem Club has a chequered history. It’s one of the few facades in Salem that still retains the old charm of the British Raj.

In 1860, when coffee plantations were established in Yercaud. A handful of Englishman who settled in the hills, wanted a recreation Centre in Salem as they came to Salem from Yercaud very often for business and affliation. The erstwhile zamindar of Salem, G Fredrick Fischer(1805-1867) provided them land in the Centre of Salem, on the way to Yercaud (the corner of the Saradha College Road in Hasthampatti). The Salem Club was thus born in 1870.

The club, incorporated as a company, was exclusively for Englishmen. In 1970, the rules were relaxed to take in Indians as members. Ganapathy, the owner of Imperials Theater, was the first Indian member.

The club had large sheds to park the chariots and coaches in which the Englishmen traveled. The space where the petrol bunk is presently located, adjacent to the club, was the workout area.

The lounge of the club still has a wooden floor with some rare artifacts. An old piano, some old decor and a few aged bar stools will transport the visitors to the days of the British Raj. The old billiards room is still in use. The photographs of the founding members of the club, Wilson and Hover are kept in the room.

The Salem Club has retained the goodies of the past though many changes have been made over the years. Though the old Bar with aged furniture and decors is still in use, there is also an A/C bar. A fitness Centre, tennis court, table tennis board, manicured lawns, children’s play ground and air conditioned rooms give a touch of modernity to the old structure.