Destination Texas: Grand Saline has the only building in North America made of salt

Destination Texas

GRAND SALINE, Texas (KETK) – One good reason to visit Grand Saline is the Salt Palace.

The Salt Palace is a building constructed of metal and salt.

“It used to be completely made of salt,” Kay Barber, a docent at the Salt Palace said.

The Highway 80 side and part of the front side are made of salt.

The building is a tiny treasure in a town that revolved around the mineral. The city was built on a massive salt dome.

“The Caddo Indians found the salt in 800 AD, so there has been some kind of salt production here ever since then,” Barber said.

The salt found on the top of the ground led to Morton Salt opening an underground mine years later.

“There’s a lot of salt mines all over the country all over the world, but this is the largest and one of the most pure,” Barber said.

The mine was one of the area’s largest employers and with an estimated 3 trillion tons left to mine, the city was set for at least another 20,000 years.

“The salt made Grand Saline,” Barber said.

At the entrance of the building, there is a huge salt rock that came straight from the mine in Grand Saline. The rock was placed there in 2005 and it was actually twice the size of what it is now.

Weathering and erosion has worn it down over time.

Downtown Palace has served as an attraction in Van Zandt County since 1993 filled with different pieces of the region’s history.

“We have a display for Chris Tomlin, the Christian singer-song writer (because) he’s from here,” Barber said.

She also mentioned that Wiley Post, a famous aviator, and the first man to solo around the world, is also from Grand Saline.

The museum also presents Morton Salt memorabilia. Barber said that the little salt girl has been on the box since 1914.

“We have people come in here from all over the world, and they’re amazed at salt,” Barber added.

The sodium chloride treasure was not just a rare destination for the state, but for the whole country.

“This is the only building in North America made of salt,” Barber said.

The Salt Palace is open Monday though Saturday from 9 a.m.-4p.m. and the price of admission is free.

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