We also paid a visit to J.Q. Dickinson Saltworks just outside Charleston, WV. It was a beautiful day - and not even too hot. There wasn't as much activity to see as there had been at Blenko but it all depends what time of day you get there and what day it is, I guess because there are several different stages to the whole process.
This is salt that is made from an underground sea! I've copied a brief bit of the history of the place from their website at jdqsalt.com if you would like to learn more about them and the process, salts, etc.
"Our Dickinson ancestors first drilled for brine in 1817, using a hollowed-out tree trunk for piping, and established our family farm along the Kanawha River a few years after. By the 1850s, there were hundreds of wells along the river producing more than three million bushels of salt per year, making Kanawha Valley the largest salt producing region of the United States. In 1851, “The Great Kanawha Salt” was awarded “The Best Salt in The World” at the World’s Fair in London. "
And it is descendants of the Dickinson family who have reopened the works and are building a business which now ships across the country and even internationally.
We were given a nice tour of the facility but I never even thought about taking a picture until the last thing she showed and explained to us, so that will be the first picture. This was in a very hot greenhouse-type structure where the salt goes through its final "curing" process in large beds. It reminded me very much of when I toured a place where they made Parmesan cheese. The crystals are raked daily as they continue to form and the water level decreases until finally only crystals are left (which are in a fairly square shape). Then the one picture I took shows the "sorting" process which I found unbelievable. They pour the crystals into a wooden trough and scrape them towards the person inspecting them. She demonstrated this and very easily picked out three crystals to show us which once she had them in the tweezers I did see a minuscule particle of dark matter - certainly no bigger than the head of a pin. Can't imagine how on earth you would ever train your eyes to catch that.
Anyway, here are the pictures and most of them are of the grounds which were lovely with some absolutely wonderful trees.
Their shop - and being in West Virginia they offer a ramp flavored salt. :)
Now the grounds...
- Mary Lynne
- West Virginia
- When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!
P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).
I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.