Windsor salt mine

Windsor salt mine

The Windsor Salt Mine currently operates two locations in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. The first is on 200 Morton Drive in Windsor, and was established in 1955 and is officially owned by The Canadian Salt Company, Limited. At this location, there are currently 250 employees, and the location earns roughly $75-99 million a year. They produce road and mining salt [ Scott’s Directories, 2007 Manufacturer 50th Anniversary Edition (2007, Toronto, Division Big Directories) pg 2-876] The second location is the Windsor Facility of the Canadian Salt Company, and it is located at 30 Prospect Ave. in Windsor. This facility employs 110 people and estimates their sales at $25-50 million a year. It was established much earlier than the first, in 1893. Their main products are salt used for human consumption, water softening and agriculture . [ Scott’s Directories, 2007 Manufacturer 50th Anniversary Edition (2007, Toronto, Division Big Directories) pg 2-876] In 1995, Canadian Salt mined 2.5 tonnes out of the Windsor mine, 85% of which went to deicing highways, and the rest for manufacturing caustic soda and chlorine, as well as the manufacturing of pulp and paper and the treatment of water. [Windsor Business Magazine (1998, Windsor) pg. 16]

History

The Windsor Salt Mine has a long and interesting history. In the early days of Canada’s European settlement, trappers used to bring shiploads of salt with them, both for personal uses such as curing hides and salting meat, as well as trading with the First Nations peoples. [Windsor Daily Star, (April 24, 1954, Windsor) Pg and Author Unknown] In 1860, the salt industry in the area was begun in Michigan, by the Saginaw Salt and Lumber Company. They began to produce salt in limited production, as their main industry was lumber. [Windsor Daily Star, (April 24, 1954, Windsor) Pg and Author Unknown] In roughly 1890, William Van Horne, president of the Canadian Pacific Railway("CPR"), realized the potential of the region. [Windsor Daily Star, (April 24, 1954, Windsor) Pg and Author Unknown] The company sunk a test well on CPR’s land in Windsor and found salt in 1891. [Windsor Daily Star, (April 24, 1954, Windsor) Pg and Author Unknown] The test well was supervised by E.G Henderson, the civil engineer who supervised the CPR’s London to Windsor Line. He would become the plant manager of the Windsor Salt mine, which was built and operational in 1893. [Windsor Daily Star, (April 24, 1954, Windsor) Pg and Author Unknown] One reason for the CPR’s interest in the Windsor Salt Mine is attributed to a desire to enable the company to haul freight [ Garden Gateway to Canada, Morrison (Essex County Historical Association, 1954) pg160] , in order to compete with other railroad companies, such as the Grand Trunk Railway. From the beginning Windsor’s mine has been unique in Canada, using a vacuum pan technique that is utilized in the U.S., but not in Canada. [ Windsor Daily Star, (April 24, 1954, Windsor) Pg and Author Unknown] Perhaps this is a tangible symbol of the close connection between the two nations in the border area.

Financial Issues

The Windsor Salt Mine had a somewhat rocky start, with a financial crisis in 1897. [Windsor Daily Star, (April 24, 1954, Windsor) Pg and Author Unknown] However, by 1910, the Canadian Salt Company, as it was known as since 1901, was doing well enough financially to purchase the Saginaw Lumber and Salt Company. [Windsor Daily Star, (April 24, 1954, Windsor) Pg and Author Unknown] Shortly before 1928, The Canadian Salt Company moved its operation to Sandwich and shut down its older plant. [Windsor Daily Star, (April 24, 1954, Windsor) Pg and Author Unknown] In 1928, the mine changed hands again and was purchased by Canadian Industry Limited. [Windsor Daily Star, (April 24, 1954, Windsor) Pg and Author Unknown] In 1941, Neepawa Salt Company in Manitoba merged with Canadian Industry Limited. [Windsor Daily Star, (April 24, 1954, Windsor) Pg and Author Unknown] However, Canadian Industry withdrew from salt manufacturing in 1951, and Windsor, Neepawa, and a mine in Alberta were incorporated by H.R. Milner under the name Canadian Salt Company. [Windsor Daily Star, (April 24, 1954, Windsor) Pg and Author Unknown] Then in 1952, the Morton Salt Company of Chicago purchased a large interest in the company and a subsidiary, the Canadian Rock Salt Company was established. [Windsor Daily Star, (April 24, 1954, Windsor) Pg and Author Unknown] In 1954, Canadian Industry Limited left Windsor, leaving Morton and the Canadian Rock Salt Company in Windsor. [Windsor Daily Star, (April 24, 1954, Windsor) Pg and Author Unknown]

In 1954, a sinkhole appeared in the area over the mine, leading to thousands of dollars worth of damage. [Windsor Daily Star, Jack Kent (February 22 1954, Windsor)] This also lead to the public fearing for its safety. [Windsor Daily Star, Jack Kent (February 22 1954, Windsor)] The Windsor Mine engineers assured the public that the area was safe, and spent weeks cleaning up the mess. 50,000 yards of fill were needed overall and 18-hour work days were also required. [Windsor Daily Star (February 22 1954, Windsor)]


=References=

Bibliography

Scott’s Directories 2007 Ontario Manufacturer’s 50th Anniversary Edition ( Division big Directories, Toronto Ontario) 2007

Garden Gateway to Canada, Morrison, F. Neil (Essex County Historical Association, Essex county, Canada) 1954

Windsor Business Magazine, (Windsor Ontario) November 1998

Windsor Daily Star (Windsor, Ontario) April 24 1954

Windsor Daily Star, Jack Kent (Windsor Ontario) February 22 1954

Windsor Daily Star, (windsor Ontario) February 22 1954


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