Tuesday, December 4, 2012

St. Clair Itself

One of the things I want to get back to is featuring different aspects of Michigan.  I looked at my history for the past 3 or 4 months and I have pretty much exclusively focused on ships.  While I like ships, this was not intended to be a water blog.  I want it to be mostly about Michigan and my travels beyond.  I will still take pictures of ships but I would really like to get back to what I was doing.  I think that is what made this blog what it is.
 One of the things that I really like doing is finding out about different aspects of the state and the above picture gives me that opportunity.

Salt mining used to be huge in Michigan and I think there are still some pretty extensive salt mines in the area.  If I remember correctly, the city of Detroit is built over or near a salt mine.  Apparently, there is also a salt mine near St. Clair and the above factory is a result of that.

In 1886, the Diamond Crystal Salt company was formed after John and Louis Alberger along with Charles Moore and Horace Williams patented a new process for making salt.  They located their factory in St. Clair Michigan.  This particular process made it possible to make unique facets for the salt crystals.  This gave their salt an advantage over other salts.

In 1997, the company was bought by Cargill but the above plant is the only one in the US that uses that method for salt.  This salt is prized in the restaurant industry for its higher volume and lower sodium content.
 It's the holiday season, so the tree is out.  I imagine if I were there a little earlier, I would have gotten lights on it.
St. Clair itself was originally named Palmer after Thomas Palmer in 1828.  It later was renamed after the River, which was named because French Explorer Rene Robert Cavelier entered Lake St. Clair on Aug 12, 1679 which is the feast day of Saint Clare of Assissi.  Some people think it was named after Robert Sinclair, a British officer who purchased land nearby.  Then in 1764, he built Fort Sinclair which was later abandoned twenty years later.

So St. Clair like many Michigan towns have both a French and British influence.

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