The Giant Salt City 1200ft Beneath Detroit

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Inside Salt CityPhoto: via atlasobscura

Detroit’s salt mines are like an underground city within the city. It is a massive expanse of 1,500 acres and over 100 miles of roads right under everyone’s feet. It stretches from Dearborn, located in the northwest of Detroit’s metropolitan area, and known to automobile lovers as Henry Ford’s birthplace, via Melvindale to Allen Park in the southwest.

Salt City LayoutPhoto: John D. Nystuen

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Detroit Salt City ShaftPhoto: via detroitsalt

The Detroit Salt and Manufacturing Company operated the mine until 1983 but then falling salt prices forced the mine to stop production. In its heyday in the 1920s, 1940s and ‘50s, the mine was open to the public with guided tours – a popular educational trip for school classes. Today, the entrance to the mine at 12841 Sanders Street is only for delivery trucks and public tours have not been conducted since the 1980s. As the following images suggest, a mine visit must’ve been quite something.

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