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.