• Himrod and Watkins Salt Mines

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

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  by bob_suruncle
 
Wondering if anyone can fill me in on the history of the salt mine at Himrod? I believe it was operated by Morton Salt but dont know when it opened. I understand it closed in the 70's.

Also interested in any historical images of the plants at Watkins for modeling purposes. I plan on heading down there late spring and will try to visit the archives if they are open... unfortunately I generally can only get down there on weekends

any help is appreciated
  by scharnhorst
 
bob_suruncle wrote:Wondering if anyone can fill me in on the history of the salt mine at Himrod? I believe it was operated by Morton Salt but dont know when it opened. I understand it closed in the 70's.

Also interested in any historical images of the plants at Watkins for modeling purposes. I plan on heading down there late spring and will try to visit the archives if they are open... unfortunately I generally can only get down there on weekends

any help is appreciated
I don't know a lot about the Morton Salt Mine in Himrod I don't know when it opened or closed. But The reason why it closed was becouse it was getting to expensive to seperate the Shale out of the salt. They also had a number of problums with cave ins. All this lead to the closeing of the mine shaft.

The two mines in Watkins Glenn, NY are Cargill Salt (former Cayuga Rock Salt) U.S. Salt (former Sterling Salt) U.S. Salt is more visable from a boat on the lake as well as some parts of Cargill. There is Rail Service to both mines You might be able to gain some info in Geneva, NY at the Finger Lakes Railway Yard Office as to when they run trains down there.

  by bwparker1
 
Google always turns up some interesting stuff, even past threads on this board!

http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopi ... sc&start=0

Check this out.

  by bob_suruncle
 
bwparker1 wrote:Google always turns up some interesting stuff, even past threads on this board!

http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopi ... sc&start=0

Check this out.
Yup done lots of googling and am familiar with that thread... but it doesnt say when the mine opened.

big thing I am hoping to find is images of the mines from the 50's for modeling purposes.

  by TB Diamond
 
The mine at Himrod opened in the early 1970s. Will check some photos this weekend and edit this post with more precise info.

Had time this date to go through my photo files. Took a photo of the Himrod salt mine on 04 November 1972. The mine was not yet open but construction was almost finished at the time. In the photo is Alco RS1 number 101 which was the mine switch engine. The unit was black with either yellow or white stripes on at least the long hood end.

The mine was shut down in part due to water quality concerns, if memory serves correctly.

  by TB Diamond
 
Post above updated this date.

  by bob_suruncle
 
TB Diamond wrote:The mine at Himrod opened in the early 1970s. Will check some photos this weekend and edit this post with more precise info.

Had time this date to go through my photo files. Took a photo of the Himrod salt mine on 04 November 1972. The mine was not yet open but construction was almost finished at the time. In the photo is Alco RS1 number 101 which was the mine switch engine. The unit was black with either yellow or white stripes on at least the long hood end.

The mine was shut down in part due to water quality concerns, if memory serves correctly.
Really? I thought it closed in the mid 70's... so it must not have been open for long. I grabbed the following from a post in this thread: http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopi ... sc&start=0

According to on-line information, the mine shafts were built in 1968. Two shafts were sunk, the man shaft for employees which was the smaller structure, and the taller structure which was for bringing up the salt itself. Salt was mined from 1969 to the mid 1970's. This information was written by someone whose father was the underground mine superintendent, Edward Monaghan.


so if it just opened in 72 and closed mid 70's..... they spent a whole pile o money to build it only to shut it down a few years later.

  by TB Diamond
 
Seems that the government, either state or federal, shut the mine down account water quality problems. Am sure that they were not yet shipping salt by rail in late 1972. Very possible that trucks were being used, however. And yes, the mine was not open for very long.

  by scharnhorst
 
There were some people that reported that it was getting to exspensve to seperate the shale that was mixed in with the salt. Together with water quality and the mine being close to a lake that was formed by a glacer millions of years ago these 2 problums would or could have doomed the mine from the vary start? It could be possable that maybe that the shaft(s) were not deep enough to avoid these problums??

  by bob_suruncle
 
okay so the Himrod plant is a bust for me... its too new.

How about the Watkins plants? anyone have pics from the 50's
  by henry6
 
Check Calaroso's ELMRIA BRANCH book and anything pertaining to the PRR's Northern Central.

  by joshuahouse
 
I believe there are also a few postcard sized photos of the Watkins salt plants in the Arcadia book "Around Watkins Glen". (for full disclosure my father is Kirk W. House who is one of the two authors of this book.)

http://www.arcadiapublishing.com/mm5/me ... 0738545252
  by bob_suruncle
 
henry6 wrote:Check Calaroso's ELMRIA BRANCH book and anything pertaining to the PRR's Northern Central.
Yes I have Calaroso's book and that is what is leading me to look for other historical images. I can hypothesize what the plant looked like in the 50's as it probably hasnt changed significantly over the past 50 years but there was a Y out in front of the plant and I would assume some of that metal siding wasnt there back then. I am also familiar with the book Around Watkins Glen which has some very cool images but nothing specifically of the plants especially in the 50's What I am really hoping for is that some fellow railfan may have acquired some photos of the plant from that era or may be aware of someone who has some either as an individual or a society, library, etc

  by 2of3
 
I moved to Himrod in 1980

The salt mine had just closed then (maybe late 1979). They were in the process of polluting the ground water in the general area.

  by CPSD40-2
 
They must have been shipping salt out by rail throughout production as there's a small "yard" just south of the mine, 3 or 4 tracks I believe. I've seen FGLK MOW equipment parked there from time to time.
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