March 6, 2017
This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
Today’s story is about some men who had tried boring for coal near where the Union
Pacific shops once stood in Junction City in the spring of 1873. A vein of high impregnated salt brine was found 290 feet below the ground’s surface. An analysis showed that one gallon of this brine made three and a half pounds of salt. A salt production operation was begun almost immediately using the evaporation process. This business was managed by Mr. C. R. Adams. Two engines were at work on the site. One pumped brine from the old well into the pans and the other ran the drilling machinery in the new well. The new well was down about 45 feet and was sinking at a rate of 8 to 10 feet per day. This 6 inch well was said to furnish an immense amount of brine and was sure to make Junction City one of the saltiest spots on earth. The newspaper observed to their readers that “Grumblers who were eternally talking about the opportunities to be found in towns down the line on the new railroads, or the “booming Solomon Valley” are advised to open their eyes and look at what Junction City has to offer.” We think this is good advice even today!!!