By the late 1800’s, many companies were drilling for salt throughout the world. Between 1878 and 1895, over 35 mining companies were formed in New York’s Wyoming and Livingston Counties alone. In 1884, the first shaft salt mine was constructed in Livingston County at a cost of $600,000. Previously, all other facilities in the area were wells that extracted brine, which was then evaporated to obtain the salt. The shaft salt mine increased production capacity and efficiency.
The extraction of salt in Western New York covers a vast geographic region. Mine shafts that were formerly operating in the hamlets of Retsof, Greigsville, and Cuylerville were eventually all connected underground, comprising an area even larger than the island of Manhattan. In 1994, due to a flooding of this network, the Retsof mine was closed and salt mining was no longer an industry in the region.
That changed in 1997, when the American Rock Salt Company was established with the vision of creating a new mine and tapping into the underground salt reserves that had been left undisturbed. After securing the required permits and purchasing 10,000 acres of mineral rights and 200 acres of surface property, American Rock Salt broke ground in 1998 for a new mine, ten miles away from all previous mining sites. Construction of the mine at Hampton Corners took more than three years. American Rock Salt built the mine using traditional techniques that have proven over time to be the best approach for safety and success.
The American Rock Salt mine is the first successful salt mine to be built in the United States in over forty years.