Known as "Summer Spring" by the Indians, and "Pond Town" by early settlers, Salem, in Utah County, was finally named after the birthplace of Lyman Curtis to honor his contributions to the community.
The Indians appreciated the fact that the local springs bubbled up through sandy soil in a tree-shaded hollow, even in summer. In the spring of 1851 David Fairbanks and David Crockett discovered this same precious asset. Fairbanks had been assigned to Peteetneet Creek (Payson), where he was to become LDS bishop of the town. The two men continued to explore the area and found a large, clear stream flowing through a hollow. They realized that by damning the stream they could conserve the water that flowed out into swamplands. They soon moved their families and built the first dam, assisted by others from Payson who needed additional farmland. Some crops were harvested that year.
Winter and the threat of hostile Indians caused the families to return to Peteetneet, but "Pond Town" had a beginning with the dammed springs. In 1852 the two founders built a second and more secure dam, but by the next year the families had moved to Peteetneet and the new settlement was abandoned.