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Cape Cod The Salt Industry

At one time there were several hundred salt manufactories on the Cape. It all started when Capt. John “Sleepy” Sears constructed the first salt evaporation vat in Dennis.

Like most inventors he was laughed at and people called his project “Sears Folly.” Various inventions were made and the business grew so profitable that hundreds of salt plants sprang up.

The salt evaporated from the sea water, once sold for eight dollars a bushel on Cape Cod and much more elsewhere It took three hundred and fifty gallons of sea water to yield one bushel of salt.

The decline soon came, partly due to the increased value of pine necessary to the building of vats and the fact that salt mines had been discovered further West.

Many owners of barns or sheds built from the ruins of the salt plants could be heard complaining because no nail would last long in those salt-soaked boards.

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Cape Cod
Posted by Cape Cod - (website) on 08/21/06
Categories: History
Keywords: history


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