We are a 7th Generation salt making family business. William Dickinson began producing salt in the Kanawha Valley of Virginia in 1817. The region grew to be the largest salt making area of the country. The ancient Iapetus Ocean lies deep below the Appalachian Mountains. This brine was coming to the surface in springs. Large animals congregated near the springs, followed by Native Americans, and then European settlers. The brine was boiled down, using timber, then coal, to produce the salt crystals. Most of the salt traveled down the Kanawha River, to the Ohio River and on to “Porkopolis” or Cincinnati.
Today siblings, Nancy Bruns and Lewis Payne, have revived the industry, but use only the power of the sun to evaporate the brine. The salt is sold to restaurants, retailers and consumers around the world.
The facility is open for tours and shopping. The shop contains a carefully curated collection of Appalachian products.