Salt Palace - Grand Saline Museum
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; the salt industry has since boomed right up to the present day.
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 the original Salt Palace constructed for the 1936 Texas Centennial. Seems like when the economy goes to hell, someone in town yells "Build a salt palace!"
In the 1990s 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 videotape 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.