Salt Palace in 1985.
Salt Palace in 1985.

Salt Palace Museum

Field review by the editors.

Grand Saline, Texas

Grand Saline is an unusual town, sitting on top of a massive lode of natural salt -- estimated at 16,000 feet deep. Civil War era saltworks were used by the Confederates, and the salt industry has never left. The Grand Saline salt dome is estimated to last for another 20,000 years.

The Salt Palace, a small one-story building in downtown Grand Saline, is constructed of local salt blocks. It has been rebuilt on the same site at least three times. The most recent Salt Palace was built in 1993, replacing one built in 1975, which replaced one built in 1960, which replaced the original Salt Palace built for the 1936 Texas Centennial (That one resembled the Alamo). Seems like when the economy goes to hell, someone in town yells "Build a salt palace!"

Behold! Salt.

In 1995 a small museum was created inside the Salt Palace, exhibiting salt mining artifacts and memorabilia. Morton Salt, which owns the actual mines, does not conduct an underground tour, but a museum video shows mining operations.

Every Salt Palace visitors takes home a souvenir salt crystal, perhaps to discourage them from licking the building walls, which is reported to be not all that uncommon.

Salt Palace Museum

Address:
100 West Garland St., Grand Saline, TX
Directions:
65 miles east of Dallas on US Highway 80. Downtown Grand Saline.
Hours:
Tu-Sa 9-5 (Call to verify)
Phone:
903-962-5631
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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July 31, 2014

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