Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Salt Palace

It's been a somewhat quiet week here on the home front and very rainy, but we have managed a little sightseeing.  I've been dragging Sid around to the little towns he grew up around and forcing him to be a tourist. He says it's giving him a whole new perspective on places in which he spent a good portion of his childhood!

Grand Saline (meaning "large salt") is a tiny little town of about 3200 people best known as the "saltiest town in Texas" and the site of the largest and highest-quality salt deposit in the country (owned by none other than Morton Salt).  The town was named for the large salt deposits found to the south of town in the 1800s; deposits are so large that it's estimated that they could supply the entire world's need for salt for the next 20,000 years!

The plant is one of the largest employers in the county.

This plant produces the majority of table salt used in this country.

Surprisingly, they also produce all the iconic packaging on site.

The plant no longer gives tours, but you can visit the Salt Palace to take a virtual tour and learn about the salt industry.  Originally constructed by proud residents of the city in 1936, the building resembled the Alamo.

Photograph of original Salt Palace

But, exposed to the East Texas rain, the building gradually melted away (yes, I said melted!) and had to be rebuilt.  Again, the second building suffered the same sad fate and, with the third iteration, while not "palatial" by any stretch of the imagination, the city figured out a way to protect it's creation.

Current "Salt Palace" in Grand Saline, TX

It is, in fact, constructed of rock salt chunks (ask me how I can be sure!) and houses a little museum full of all things salt related.
Outside the museum sits a huge hunk of rock salt

A little off the beaten path, but worth the detour, the drive to Grand Saline was beautiful.  There has been so much rain down here that every little depression in the ground is filled with water and the multiple lakes are filled to capacity.  And, while the bluebonnets are on their way out, the sides of the roads are filled with other wildflowers in white, yellow and purple and everywhere you look is lush and green.

Until next time...

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1 comment:

Jason Sutliff said...

Don't forget Syracuse is "[The] Salt City"!! ;^)

Travel safe, folks.

Love you,

JRS