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The Salt Vats.

Salt Museum

Field review by the editors.

Liverpool, New York

This small lakeside museum, run by Onondaga County Parks, still carries the faint fetid odor of a salt marsh on a breezeless summer day. The exhibits are housed in a building constructed from portions of some of the old salt warehouses. Plainly presented displays trace the history of salt extraction in Liverpool (nearby Syracuse is known as "Salt City"). The romance of "White Gold" turns out to be pretty dull as no mining was involved; just boiling big kettles of Onondaga Lake brine.

The museum centerpiece and best exhibit is of the "boiling block" -- a floor with a dozen sunken kettles next to which are posed cardboard cutout men with big wooden ladles. "The task of the salt boiler was grim," reads accompanying text. "Injury or death could result from burns from a scalding splash of brine or a fall into the boiling kettle."

Salt Museum

Onondaga Lake Pkwy., Liverpool, NY
Near I-90, Rt. 370/Onondaga Parkway on the shore of Onondaga Lake.
Mid-May - early Oct. Sa-Su 1-6 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
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