Penns Valley

Share our heritage: Salem German Reformed Church

The Salem German Reformed Church along Route 45 in Gregg Township is pictured in 1959.
The Salem German Reformed Church along Route 45 in Gregg Township is pictured in 1959. Photo provided

Today’s photo is from Jimmy Brown, of Spring Mills. It features the Salem German Reformed Church (now Salem UCC), which sits along Route 45 in Gregg Township. The church, pictured above in 1959, has Civil War ties.

According to Brown, who is a lifelong Civil War re-enactor, the church was built in 1859 and the Rev. Edmonds was the first to preach there.

Edmonds, Brown wrote, enlisted in the Union Army at the start of the Civil War. He served in the 148th, PVI, as a second lieutenant. The Rev. had an illness while he and his company guarded the railroad not too far from Baltimore, Md. Because of the illness, he returned to Centre County and continued preaching until April 1863. Then Edmonds was drafted back into the Union Army and served a second time during the war. This time, he was a commander at the rank of captain in the 184th, VPI. He commanded a company of soldiers from Penns Valley. This company served until the war ended in 1865 and was engaged in several battles. They had suffered many casualties. The Rev. Edmonds did survive the war and died in December 1918.

Around 1902, the Salem German Reformed Church was renovated. The structure became one story instead of two stories and a Sunday school room was added. Over time, the church saw many more changes, including the addition of a kitchen and restrooms.


Each Monday, the Centre Daily Times will publish an installment in our “Share our Heritage” series, featuring photos from Centre County’s past. Readers are welcome to submit photos to the CDT by mail, in person or by email at