October 22, 2010
Salt making was an enterprise existing in Arkansas since the time of prehistoric Native Americans, who produced salt for both personal use and trade. The best known frontier salt works were located in southwestern Arkansas. Local production was common until cheap, commercially produced salt from outside the state became readily available just before the Civil War. Local production once again briefly grew due to shortages caused by the war but virtually ceased after the war. The key to early salt production was a large iron kettle, such as the one shown here in Sevier County, used to boil the brine to extract the salt.