TABLE SALT WELLS
- Grant Recipient
Industry & Commerce
- Salt Point Natural Area, Lansing, NY 14882, USA
- 42.5399318, -76.5485431
Friends of Salt Point Limited
TABLE SALT WELLS
InscriptionTABLE SALT WELLS
FROM 1891-1962, CAYUGA LAKE
SALT CO. PUMPED BRINE FROM
WELLS HERE TO PRODUCE REFINED
SALT FOR FOOD & COOKING.
PLANT DEMOLISHED 1964.
WILLIAM G. POMEROY FOUNDATION 2020
From 1891 to 1962, the Cayuga Lake Salt Company produced refined salt from brine pumped from wells drilled on the east shore of Cayuga Lake, near the mouth of Salmon Creek in the hamlet of Ludlowville, located in the town of Lansing in Tompkins County, New York. The Cayuga Lake Salt Company was incorporated in August 1891 by Royal V. Lamberson, John A. Clute, Luther B. Van Kirk, Arthur Oliver, and Warren W. Clute, all of Warsaw, New York, “to drill wells, pump brine, mine, manufacture and sell salt” (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, August 17, 1891). The company erected a plant and warehouses on the shores of the lake, conveniently positioned for both boat and rail shipment of the salt. According to the 1894 Landmarks of Tompkins County, the company quickly grew to employ around 100 people, producing 1,000 barrels a day.
On March 1, 1907, the Ithaca Daily Journal ran an article on “The Salt Fields of Cayuga Lake.” The article recounted how the Cayuga Lake Salt Company and the salt industry on Cayuga Lake came to fruition:
“In 1891 the pioneer well drilling along the shores of Cayuga Lake was begun in earnest. Boring to the depth of 1,420 feet Mr. Lamberson’s enterprise was rewarded by striking a vein of salt which proved to be 28 feet in thickness. Three feet of limestone was then passed through when another vein o’ salt 70 feet in thickness was found. Drilling was then discontinued.”
The Ithaca Daily Journal article continued, noting the current state of the Cayuga Lake Salt Company, which had been acquired by the International Salt Company in 1904, and was operating as a branch of the larger corporation:
“… the works have been entirely renovated and a new system of multiple effect vacuum pans took the place of the old system of vaporizing. The plant now has a capacity of 400 tons a day output. Last summer the large storage part of the building caved in and the building has been partially repaired. The work of rebuilding will be continued as soon as possible in the spring and with the increased storage capacity it is expected 20,000 tons of salt can be placed in the building. The company now has six wells into the depths of the earth.”
Due to cost saving measures, the International Salt Company closed the Ludlowville plant in 1962, and the abandoned buildings were demolished shortly after in 1964. As of 2022, the location of the former plant has been repurposed as Salt Point Natural Area, with walking trails featuring local trees and wildflowers and scenic views of Cayuga Lake.