There was little settlement of the area we now call Bay County except during the Civil War (1861-1865). This area was, however, a major source of salt. There were hundreds of salt works along the bay where salt was removed by evaporation from the salt water of the bay. Salt was valuable because it was the only way to preserve food.

The St. Andrew Saltworks employed several thousand men. After the war, most people left leaving just a few fishing families. They would catch fish, salt them down, put them in barrels, and take them to the plantations in Alabama and Georgia to sell. Salt was produced by putting sea water in large pots. A fire was built under the pots causing the water to boil until all the water evaporated leaving only the salt in the pot. A replica of the salt works is now located at Lake Caroline and Beach Drive.

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