SALTIEST TOWN IN TEXAS
What makes Grand Saline the saltiest town in Texas? A plentitude of salt, of course. Just south of the community the top of one the largest salt deposits in the country lies four hundred feet below the surface. In fact, scientists estimate the depth of the mound to be approximately 20,000 feet, enough salt to provide seasoning for thousands of years. Although the area had been supplying salt to humans for centuries the giant mound wasn’t discovered until 1920 when Morton Salt dominated the salt manufacturing business around Grand Saline and began drilling. By the 1930’s, Morton was producing almost 500 tons of salt each day and by 1980 had produced almost half a million tons of salt. Today, Morton’s Kleer Salt Mine employs hundreds of area residents.
Explore Grand Saline’s salt heritage at the unusual Salt Palace where a visitor center, composed entirely of salt blocks, offers an overview of local salt history as well as the history of northern Van Zandt County. Today’s Salt Palace is actually the third permutation in the Palace’s seventy-plus year history. The first, a salt replica of the Alamo, was built for the 1936 Texas centennial and dissolved after an exposure to several years’ worth of rain. Its replacement suffered a similar fate. Capitalizing on the old saying “third time’s a charm”, together with a salt/mortar mix and a protective roof, the Salt Palace of today has survived intact since 1993. In celebration of its salty heritage, Grand Saline, a Texas Main Street City, also hosts a Salt Festival each year.