Detroit's Salt Mine














If you doubt that metro detroiters are “the salt of the earth,” just look down — about 1,200 feet. In the city’s cellar are more than 1,400 acres of a salt mine, remnants of what was a sea millions of years ago. The men wearing headlamps here are using pickaxes to hack at salt rocks. The mineshaft’s opening is on Sanders Street on the west side of Detroit, and the maze runs beneath Dearborn’s Rouge complex, Melvindale, and Allen Park. Opened in 1896, the mine was operated for years by the International Salt Mine Co. until 1983, when it closed. But the mine reopened in 1997, when the Detroit Salt Co. assumed ownership, supplying Michigan and other states with rock salt to melt hazardous ice on winter roadways. In 1940, Detroit became the first major city to use rock salt to control snow and ice.

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Web Exclusive: Meeting the Beatles

Fifty years ago, a Detroit-area teenager won a contest to meet The Beatles.

Rocking in Style

John Varvatos and Alice Cooper talk about their musical and fashion influences — and Detroit’s comeback

Well-Versed in Classics

DSO oboe player tools around town in a rare pair of turquoise 1962 Lincoln Continentals

All Dressed Up & Ready ...

Cobo Center is still a work in progress, but Auto Show visitors will notice a host of improvements

One Night Only: Steven Spielberg and John Williams at the DSO

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. The Makings of the Shinola Hotel
    When the Detroit brand’s first foray into hospitality opens its doors, it’ll offer customers...
  2. My Two Christmases
    An Armenian-Iranian, Detroit-based writer reflects on transposing the holiday across continents
  3. New Year’s Eve, Brooklyn Style
    Tips for celebrating 2019 from the pros at Brooklyn Outdoor
  4. Main Review: SheWolf
    Born in Detroit but inspired by Rome, SheWolf takes diners on a culinary journey
  5. Comeback Catering
    Dish, in Detroit, pushes through hard times with consistently delicious food
  6. Meet the Makers: Tait Design Co.
    How an after-work hobby ascended to a booming business
  7. The Art of Gifting
    Metro Detroit tastemakers from all walks of life offer a glimpse of what’s on their holiday...
  8. Precious Metals
    Layering necklaces, stacking rings, and placing bangle upon glitzy bangle: a definitive guide to...
  9. Food Recipe: Braised Beef Brisket
    Chef Aaron Lowen, of Empire Kitchen & Cocktails, shares one of his favorite holiday recipes
  10. An Hour with ... Ricki Friedman
    Founder, Break the Weight