Lifestyle

The Tiny Texas Town with a Huge Salt Mine Hiding Underneath It

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Have you ever heard of Grand Saline, Texas? No, you haven’t? Well, you’re probably acquainted with the town indirectly.  Most of us have a box of Morton Salt in our pantry. Grand Saline, a tiny Texas municipality, has enough salt underneath it to last us another 20,000 years, and a portion of it finds its way to our tables.

Maybe you’re craving a bit of the briny stuff for your favorite margarita. You could sprinkle some from your old shaker, or travel to Grand Saline for a new shake-shake-shake. Out of Dallas, head east on Highway 80 toward Longview, and about seventy miles later, you’ll find Grand Saline.  You’ll also find a building with a salt wall to lick, and who can resist that?

(Second photo in the featured image: Facebook/Salt Palace Museum)

The Tiny Texas Town with a Huge Salt Mine Hiding Underneath It

Photo: Facebook/Salt Palace Museum

The unique, museum made from saline is a fascinating place to tour.  The current building is comfortable and contains multiple displays and antiquities, but guess what? The original Salt Palace was built in 1936 and shaped like the Alamo!

Inside displays feature the brine industry from as far back as 1845. Exhibitions abound. Do you want to know how the underground salt gets to your table? Mining memorabilia, photographs, and videos provide that information. A German company owns the mine, but the Morton Salt Company operates it.

The Tiny Texas Town with a Huge Salt Mine Hiding Underneath It

Photo: Facebook/Salt Palace Museum

Morton officials oversee the gigantic salt dome sitting 750 feet underneath the town of Grand Saline. Tours are no longer available, but the video shows the visitor how the Morton Salt company excavates the salt from the underground dome and gets it to your table. Although no one knows for sure, many believe this city and area were once part of the Gulf of Mexico. The seas dried and left layers of salt.

Salt mining began in Grand Saline in 1845. Morton Salt came to Grand Saline in 1920, but six years earlier, the famous, Morton Salt Umbrella girl made her first appearance. You’ll see her in the museum. Her latest update in style came in 2014 for her one-hundredth anniversary. The slogan remains the same: When It Rains It Pours.”

If pouring rain melts the Salt Palace in Grand Saline, rest assured, the salt will be replaced and the building re-salted for at least the next 20,000 years.