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Watkins Salt Well #1

  • Clute Park 517 E 4th St
    Watkins Glen, NY 14891

Salt, the only rock we eat! Salt mining has been and remains a major industry in the southern Finger Lakes region. Rock salt or Halite, that is salt caught in the earth and harvested from deep underground is part of the geology of our region. 400 million years ago a vast and shallow ancient sea covered the southern Finger Lakes region. Thousands of years of evaporation left salty deposits that became trapped in layers of sediment.

Stop in to Clute Park and see the derrick of well #1 of the Watkins Salt Company drilled in 1898, to reach the salt deposits. Today owned by Cargill just, across the inlet on lake Seneca from the old salt well, they are still collecting salt by injecting steam into a well in order to make a salty brine that can be pumped back up to be dried, concentrated and formed into shapes for specific tasks Salt pellets or blocks for water softeners, to end up on our tables or even on our roads in the winter to keep us safe.

Points of InspirationWatkins Salt Well #1 is part of the Points of Inspiration Science & Technology Trail. For more information and stops on the trail, visit