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Morton Salt Company

Historic Site or District
Henry & O. Stokes, Bahamas National Trust

Bermudians, who came to Inagua via the Turks and Caicos Islands in 1803, established the first permanent settlement on the island and started harvesting salt which was sold to passing ships. Said to be the first corporation in The Bahamas, the Henagua Salt Pond Company (precursor to Morton Salt) was formed in 1848 and the operation still exists today.

The Morton Salt Company's main facility comprises 300,000 acres on Great Inagua and produces about a million pounds of salt per year – the second largest saline operation in North America. This has been Inagua's main industry since the late 1930s, when three American brothers, the Ericksons, came to the island and built a mechanized salt operation. The Morton Salt Company bought the facility from the Erickson brothers in 1954.

Inagua is perfect for salt production because the climate is mostly dry. The sun and wind provide the energy that evaporates the water and produces concentrated brine. Impurities are removed by controlled movement of the brine through reservoirs. The process contributes to the growth of an algal mat on the bottom of the reservoirs and prevents the seawater from drying up. Brine shrimp eat the algae, which helps keep the water clean, and flamingos and other shorebirds eat the shrimp, thus producing an ongoing cycle of man and nature working together.

Accessibility Notes

The site is wheelchair accessible. Tours are by prior arrangement only.

Pet Friendly Notes

Pets are not allowed.

Time Period Represented

Mid-1800's

Hours

Seasons Open

Year Round

Pricing

None for the facility, but visits are usually part of an organized tour.