Salt Springs Park

by James H. Peters

Saline's Salt Springs
These springs and flats attracted animals like Mammoth, Mastodon, Muskox and Bison who made their way to the rich salt springs to add minerals to their diet. This concentration of game provided excellent hunting for the people living there. Their culture flourished long before the arrival of the Pottawatomie, French Explorers and European Settlers.

Paleo Indians inhabited this area after the glaciers retreated 12,000 years ago. They hunted, farmed, raised families and built burial mounds because the salt springs were here. The Pottawatomie came to the springs around 500 years ago and traded salt with neighboring tribes. Later came the French around 1634 and they named the area Saline. U.S. Troops were stationed here during Indian uprisings and the War of 1812. A flour mill, salt mine and even a horse race track were all located in the salt springs area. The salt springs location is where Saline started. Most of the salt springs land has since been developed but a small 15 acre city owned parcel still remains undeveloped.

This parcel of land has recently been established by the City of Saline as a new Salt Springs City Park. The park is part of the Saline River Valley and will offer a nature/history walking trail along the beautiful Saline River. This park will help visitors connect with the early and prehistoric history of the Saline area by imparting the environmental education of a unique nature feature (salt springs) not found anywhere within a large surrounding area. The city is presently seeking grants and funding to help with trail development and other park needs such as fence, gates and signage.

This project has won the support of many including the Saline City Council, The Saline Parks Commission, The Saline Area Historical Society, The Saline Planning Commission, The Saline Historic District Commission, The Saline River Greenway Alliance and the Huron Valley Archaeological Society.