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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Hayward in Alameda County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Got Salt? Without it, No Civilization or Ice Cream!

 
 
Got Salt? Without it, No Civilization or Ice Cream! Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, June 6, 2021
1. Got Salt? Without it, No Civilization or Ice Cream! Marker
Inscription.  
Salt is an important compound. Our lives depend on it and the economy of many cultures thrive on its trade. Salt harvesting has a long history in the Bay Area, beginning with the Ohlone Indians. Early salt production included gathering salt from natural salt pannes (shallow ponds), and burning marsh plants, which were then mixed with water creating a brine, which was evaporated over campfires.

The demand for salt by the hide and tallow industry prompted the first salt farmer, John Johnson, to buy land near Eden Landing. In 1853 he scraped up 25 tons of salt, the first commercially produced salt in the San Francisco Bay Area. Johnson received $35 per ton for that first harvest, a tidy sum for the time.

Soon, salt making became big business and many small family-operated companies sprang up. Over the years they were consolidated into larger companies. Today one remains in the Bay Area-Cargill Salt, Newark.

(photo captions:)

1) Jessen Landing: An artist's rendering of the Jessen family salt farm, typical of such operations in the Eden Landing area of Hayward in the late 1800s.

2) Salt Collecting: Workers collected the salt by hand and moved it to the processing plant in wheelbarrows along movable wooden walkways, circa 1900.

3) Modern Harvesting: Technological advances allowed for increased salt production

Got Salt? Without it, No Civilization or Ice Cream! Marker - wide view image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, June 6, 2021
2. Got Salt? Without it, No Civilization or Ice Cream! Marker - wide view
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through the use of powered harvesting and collecting machinery, circa 1920.

4) Salt Gathering: After the water had evaporated, workers gathered the salt into small piles by hand, circa 1900.

5) Archimedes Screw: Wind powered Archimedes screws moved water from the Bay and into and out of each evaporation pond in succession, until the salt was harvested. Notice the young boy playing in the slough, circa 1900.


 
Erected by East Bay Regional Parks District.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1853.
 
Location. 37° 37.288′ N, 122° 7.388′ W. Marker is in Hayward, California, in Alameda County. Marker can be reached from Eden Landing Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Hayward CA 94545, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Riches from Seawater and Sun (approx. 0.6 miles away); Working in the Salt Ponds (approx. 0.6 miles away); First County Courthouse (approx. 2.9 miles away); Site of the Nation’s First Successful Beet Sugar Factory (approx. 3.2 miles away); Flight 93 Memorial (approx. 3.3 miles away); The McConaghy Estate (approx. 3.4 miles away); Hayward Public Library (approx. 4 miles away); Rancho San Lorenzo (approx. 4.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hayward.
 
More about this marker. The marker is located on a raised observation area about 30 yards from the Eden Landing Ecological Reserve parking lot.

 
Ruins of Oliver Salt Works image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, June 6, 2021
3. Ruins of Oliver Salt Works
These particular ruins are a little over half a mile further out on the trail from the marker.
Ruins of Oliver Salt Works image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, June 6, 2021
4. Ruins of Oliver Salt Works
These ruins are about half a mile further out on the trail away from the marker.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 13, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 13, 2021, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 68 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 13, 2021, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.

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Dec. 1, 2021