2000 Census - 3,028
Grand Saline Texas History:
The original community located on the site was known as Jordan’s Saline. In 1873, the Texas and Pacific Railway built a line though the community. Samuel Q. Richardson donated fifty acres for the townsite, platted the townsite, opened a general store, and established the Lone Star Salt Company. The railroad depot was named Grand Saline. The Grand Saline post office was established in 1874. In 1876, Richardson gave the railroad the rights to the townsite and the salt company. Richardson drilled the original 350 deep salt well. In 1875 the salt works was leased to a St. Louis company. Morton Salt Company began drilling in the area after 1890. Grand Saline incorporated in 1895, dis-incorporated in 1898, and reincorporated in 1900. By 1900, the Texas Short Line Railroad completed its line from Grand Saline to Alba. During its early years, Grand Saline’s economy was largely based on the salt mines, poultry, timber, dairy goods and cotton. By 1911, the town had 2,500 residents. In 1920, Morton Salt purchased all the independent salt mines. After the 1929 Van, Texas oil field discovery 12 oil services and supply companies and five lumberyards were established in Grand Saline. The population declined during the Great Depression and again after the Morton Salt labor strike in 1943. In 1953, the Grand Saline Industrial Foundation was established to attract new industries to the area. Between 1976 and 1978 the United States government under President Jimmy Carter considered filling the local salt mines with crude oil from Saudi Arabia or Nigeria but did not take action. Numerous small fishing lakes, including the 56 acre Grand Saline Lake, are located in the Grand Saline area.Grand Saline is located at the intersection of SH 110 and U.S. 80, 64 miles southeast of Dallas, 33.7 miles southeast of Terrell, 44 miles southeast of Quinlan, 32.5 miles southeast of East Tawakoni and Lake Tawakoni, 22 miles southeast of Emory and Lake Fork, 26 miles southeast of Lake Texoma, 18 miles southeast of Wills Point, 10.8 miles southeast of Edgewood, 43 miles southwest of Sulphur Springs, 39 miles southwest of Winnsboro, 23 miles southwest of Quitman, 13 miles west of Mineola, 46 miles northwest of Gladewater and Lake Gladewater, 38 miles northwest of Tyler, 34 miles northwest of Chandler and Lake Palestine, 31 miles northwest of Hawkins and Lake Hawkins, 25 miles northwest of Lindale and Tyler State Park, 24 miles northwest of Edom, 12 miles northwest of Van, 17.6 miles north of Ben Wheeler, 41 miles northeast of Athens, 37 miles northeast of Mabank and the Cedar Creek Reservoir, and 17 miles northeast of Canton, Texas.
Historic City of Grand Saline, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“The large saline deposit was a major source of salt in Texas during the Civil War. Salt was first obtained by the Indians. In 1854, works were built Sam Richardson, the owner in 1861, went to war and left his wife to run the works until the Confederate government took over production. Because salt was considered a strategic industry, salt workers were exempt from army service for a time and many wells were sunk to obtain the more than 10,000 pounds of salt made daily for the civilians and army west of the Mississippi River. Mule-powered pumps drew the brine from the wells. Gum logs, hollowed out and pinned together formed a pipeline to huge iron evaporating kettles. Salt was then sacked, purchased and hauled away on horseback, in wagons and oxcarts. During the Civil War, the demand for salt, the only known way to preserve meat, increased to supply the southern army. Meat was salted, smoked and then packed in salt for the long, hot trips to army camps. Horses and mules used by cavalry, artillery, and quartermaster units required the vital mineral, too. Salt also preserved hides for making shoes, harnesses and saddles. When the Confederate government levied a meat tithe on farmers, the demand for salt increased and often cattle and cotton were exchanged for salt which itself became a medium of exchange. When salt became scarce, women dug up smokehouse floors to extract salt from the soil, and other Civil War salt works were operated along the coast and in other east, central and west Texas counties.” The marker is located at the intersection of US 80 and FM 857 in Kleer Park.
Salt Palace Museum:
This modern one story building is constructed entirely of salt blocks. It has been rebuilt on the same site at least three times. The museum features salt mining artifacts and exhibits depicting the history of Grand Saline. While no salt mine tours are offered, the museum shows a video of the salt mines. Kids love to lick the walls. The salt crystal located outside the museum is several feet tall. The Morton Salt mines are located one mile south of the Salt Palace. Open Tue-Sat, 8:30am-5pm. Admission is free. (903) 962-5631. The museum is located at 100 W. Garland Avenue (U.S. 80) at SH 110 (Main Street). Great Reviews
Grand Saline Public Library & Historic 1923 Depot:
The restored Texas and Pacific Train Depot houses the library, civic meeting rooms and the senior center. The library provides traditional library programs, children, youth and adult programs, summer programs, public access computers with internet connections, and free Wi-Fi. Open Tue-Fri, 9am-5pm. (903) 962-5516. 201 E. Pacific Street.