Working in the Salt Ponds
WHEN THE PONDS AROUND YOU were first built, producing salt by solar evaporation required intense labor and a lot of time. Workers had to move seawater from San Francisco Bay (only 2.5% salt content) through a series of evaporation ponds to concentrate the salt to the point of crystallization. This sea water to salt process took almost five years.
IN THE LATE 1800s laborers used shovels,wheelbarrows, and carts to move the crystalized salt out of the evaporation ponds. In later years mechanized equipment and narrow-gauge railways helped speed up the harvesting process.
Would you work for less than $1.35 a day?
In 1901 Japanese immigrants made up most of the Oliver Salt Company's
harvest time employees. Segregated treatment, harsh working conditions and the
Company's reluctance to raise wages to $1.35 a day (around $3 an hour today)
led many of these workers to find higher paid employment in agriculture.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Asian Americans • Industry & Commerce.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Riches from Seawater and Sun (within shouting distance of this marker); First County Courthouse (approx. 2.9 miles away); Site of the Nation’s First Successful Beet Sugar Factory (approx. 3.4 miles away); Flight 93 Memorial (approx. 3.4 miles away); The McConaghy Estate (approx. 4 miles away); Hayward Public Library (approx. 4.7 miles away); Rancho San Lorenzo (approx. 4.7 miles away); The Palmtag Building (approx. 4.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hayward.
More about this marker. The marker is located at the far end of the observation platform at the former salt works in the Eden Landing Ecological Reserve. Distance to the marker from the trailhead parking lot to the marker is about 3/4ths of a mile along a smooth level path.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 8, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 7, 2021, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 31 times since then. Photos: 1. submitted on June 7, 2021, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. 2. submitted on June 8, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. 3, 4. submitted on June 7, 2021, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.