Inland Crystal Salt Company
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This page was last updated on April 13, 2020.
Inland Crystal Salt Company was located on the south shore of Great Salt Lake. They were adjacent to, and served by Salt Lake Garfield & Western. The company was organized in 1884 and incorporated in 1890; its officers were Salt Lake City businessmen, with one vice president representing the Kansas City investors. They were also the same people behind the Salt Lake & Los Angeles Railroad, which became the Salt Lake Garfield & Western in 1916.
The salt beds were about one-half mile east of the famous Saltair resort. The Inland salt refinery was located south of the Saltair resort. The kiln at the Saltair plant was reported as being the largest salt drying kiln in the West until the 1920s. Inland Crystal Salt also had smaller salt beds on the east shore just west of Syracuse, which took its name from the area in New York that mined underground salt.
In 1927, Morton Salt bought Inland Crystal Salt, and its Royal Crystal brand name. The (larger) location on the south shore remained in place until Kennecott expanded its tailing pile in the mid 1990s. In 1918, Morton Salt had developed salt beds and a plant at Burmester further west on the lake's south shore, served by WP, then by UP. It is still there, and very busy shipping products by both rail and by truck. There is also a large plant a bit further west at the station known as Timpie.
Inland Crystal Salt had their own private railroad that served the salt beds -- Inland Railway. Incorporated in 1916 as a subsidiary of the salt company, and sold to Salt Lake & Garfield & Western in 1924 as a spur.
As for the locomotive, it would have been used at the Saltair plant, mostly along the tracks that were among the salt beds, providing access to loading salt into rail cars that were then moved to the processing plant where the salt was kiln-dried, then processed and bagged. The kiln at Saltair was reported as being the largest salt drying kiln in the West until the 1920s.
July 2, 1891
Inland Crystal Salt Company was incorporated in Utah. Capitol stock was held by John Lang and W. B. Clarke of Kansas City (two blocks of 2600 shares each, or 52 percent) and by F. W. Meegan of Salt Lake City (one block of 2600 shares, or 26 percent). (Salt Lake Herald, July 3, 1891, "yesterday") (F. W. Meegan was the manager of the salt works)
January 1, 1892
During 1891, Inland Crystal Salt harvested 75,000 pounds of salt, and shipped 44,000 pounds. It had 60,000 pounds of salt on hand. Inland was the largest shipper of salt in Utah territory and had shipped three-times as much salt as its nearest competitor. Its largest customers were the mills that processed silver ore. (Salt Lake Tribune, January 1, 1892)
May 14, 1898
Inland Crystal Salt company "absorbed" the Intermountain Salt company "this week." (Deseret Evening News, May 14, 1898)
(This was the first of several mergers and buy-outs that continued through into early 1900, as Inland took control of a lareg portion of the salt industry surrounding the Great Salt Lake, as well as salt mines in central Utah.)
July 15, 1927
The entire salt plant at Saltair burned on the morning of July 15, 1927, causing $250,000 in damage and destroying the entire three-story plant. The plant had been in continuous operation since it was built in 1908. (Salt Lake Telegram, July 15, 1927; Salt Lake Tribune, July 16, 1927)
The salt plant of the Inland Crystal Salt company was on the south leg of the wye track where the Salt Lake Garfield & Western served the Saltair resort, at a location called Saltair Junction, where the west end of the Inland Railway connected with SLG&W. The new Royal Crystal Salt company salt plant was about 3.2 miles east of that same wye track, along the SLG&W mainline, at a location called Crystal Junction, where the east end of the Inland Railway connected with SLG&W.
September 23, 1927
Royal Crystal Salt company was incorporated to take over the assets of the former Inland Crystal Salt company. (Salt Lake Telegram, September 25, 1927; Salt Lake Mining Review, September 30, 1927)
November 20, 1927
Inland Crystal Salt company sold all of Section 6 of T1S-R2W to Morton Salt company. Section 6 consisted almost entirely of the Inland company's salt evaporation ponds south of the SLG&W tracks. (Salt Lake Tribune, November 20, 1927)
May 2, 1928
Inland Crystal Salt announced that it would build a new salt processing plant, at a cost of $300,000, to be located at a new location east of the site of the burned plant, and located directly on the railroad line of the Salt Lake, Garfield & Western. (Logan Journal, May 2, 1928, "today")
January 25, 1949
The salt plant of the Royal Crystal Salt company was destroyed by fire. The plant was located three miles east of the Saltair resort. (Ogden Standard Examiner, January 27, 1949)
November 20, 1949
The Royal Crystal Salt company was shown as being a subsidiary of Morton Salt company. (Provo Daily Herald, November 20, 1949)
December 31, 1956
Royal Crystal Salt company, a subsidiary of Morton Salt, was dissolved as a corporation and became a division of Morton Salt. (Salt Lake Tribune, November 20, 1956)
June 13, 1991
Kennecott purchased the 2700 acres of Morton Salt Company near Saltair. To allow Morton Salt to move its Saltair salt plant from the site of Kennecott's planned expanded tailings pond, Kennecott purchased the potash plant of North American Salt company near Grantsville, and traded the Grantsville site for Morton's Saltair site. North American Salt would then move its potash operations to Little Mountain, buying sulfate of potash from Great Salt lake Minerals company, allowing Morton Salt to begin salt and mineral extraction at the Grantsville site. The sale and move was to be completed by September 1991. (St. George Daily Spectrum, June 13, 1991)
March 27, 1916
The following comes from the ICC report in 1923, for a request to participate in interstate commerce (78 ICC 59):
The Inland Railway was incorporated on March 27, 1916, under the laws of the State of Utah. Shortly thereafter it acquired the railway trackage, right of way, rolling stock, and other railway property of the salt company, the consideration being $50,000.
The majority of the total number of shares of both kinds are held in the name of Heber J. Grant, trustee, in trust for the beneficial interest of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
The Inland Railway owned and operated, according to its annual report for the year ended December 31, 1919, 3.06 miles of single or main track and 2.14 miles of yard track and sidings. The tracks are laid with 60-pound rails, and are said to be in such condition as to permit the operation of standard equipment and locomotives. It owned one locomotive, 22 box cars of 40,000 pounds capacity, and 6 gondola cars of 60,000 pounds capacity. These cars never leave the rails of the Inland and are used exclusively in carrying salt from the harvesting ponds to the refinery. It has no mail, express, or passenger business and does not handle less-than-carload shipments. Such shipments consigned to the salt company are unloaded from cars of the Garfield at Saltair Junction. The Inland serves no shippers other than the salt company. Its entire outbound traffic consists of salt shipped by the salt company and its inbound traffic of coal, machinery, and supplies consigned to the salt company.
Of the 7,500 shares of stock of the Salt Lake, Garfield & Western all but four are held by Joseph Nelson, its president and general manager, and the Saltair Beach Company. Of the 4,150 shares of the Saltair Beach Company, Nelson holds all but 36 shares. The shares of both companies held by Nelson are deposited with the Zion's Savings Bank & Trust Company as collateral for loans made to the Garfield. A large part of the stock of the bank is held in trust for the church.
June 18, 1918
The Inland Railway made its annual report to the Utah Public Utilities Commission, reporting that it had one locomotive, 22 box cars and four flat cars. The engine traveled 5,361 miles during the year, hauling a total of 54,143 tons of revenue freight. Operating revenue was $26,723.35, while operating expense was $16,373.06. (Salt Lake Herald Republican, June 18, 1918)
April 9, 1920
The Inland Railway made its annual report to the Utah Public Utilities Commission, reporting that it had one locomotive, 26 cars. Total revenue freight was 45,415 tons. Total operating revenue was $22,226.44. Total operating expense was 24,622.98. Total operating mileage was 5.20 miles, including side tracks. (Salt Lake Herald Republican, April 9, 1920)
SL,G&W and the Inland Railway received Utah PSC approval to increase rates. "Inland Railway little more than an industry track, operated to facilitate the movement of salt to the market, no outlet, but merely connects the industries it serves with the SL,G&W." Balance sheet for the Inland Railway shows $6,840.00 investment in steam locomotives and $10,000.00 in capital stock. (Public Service Commission of Utah, Case 135)
March 5, 1923
The federal Interstate Commerce Commission found that the connecting Inland Railway was not a common carrier for the purposes of interstate commerce, but was instead a plant facility of the salt company. The Inland Railway was fully controlled by stock ownership by the Inland Crystal Salt company since its incorporation in 1916. (ICC Finance Docket 11362; Submitted February 17, 1923; Decided March 5, 1923; reported in 78 ICC 59)
The ICC printed report provides extensive review of the history and operations of Inland Railway, the Inland Crystal Salt company, and the connecting Salt Lake, Garfield & Western railway, along with summary of the salt business served by SLG&W.
September 26, 1924
All of the assets and property of the Inland Railway was transferred to its parent company, Inland Crystal Salt Company. Both companies were fully owned and controlled by the LDS church. The Utah Public Utilities Commission was asked for permission for the sale and transfer, but stated that it did not have jurisdiction over plant facilities. Then in October, the company asked the District Court for permission to dissolve its corporation, having sold all of its assets. (Salt Lake Tribune, September 26, 1924; October 24, 1924)
Locomotives and Equipment
Records of the Baldwin Locomotive Works show that Inland Railway owned a Baldwin 0-6-0ST saddle-tank locomotive, Inland Railway No. 2, Baldwin serial 42167, built in June 1915. It was Baldwin class 6-26D-106; 44-inch drivers, 16x24 cylinders, and 98,000 pounds operating weight. (Information courtesy of Joseph Strapac, email dated November 14, 2014)