Salt Brook

See, I will climb into ditches for you. That's how much I like you.

I kept reading all this historical stuff about the “Salt Brook.” It’s the namesake of the Salt Box Museum [see bottom of this post] and the Salt Brook Elementary School. It’s used as a landmark in historical texts I’m reading. The Wikipedia article is a little vague on its exact whereabouts, and Google doesn’t identify it on maps.

But I think I found it!

Apparently I’ve been seeing it all over the place; I had no idea that this concrete-sided ditch was the same body of water that’s been here for hundreds of years.

If you follow the water away from the roads, you’ll eventually find natural stretches that have NOT been lined with concrete. (But they have been reinforced by rocks encased in chickenwire.)

Anecdotally, “the brook got its name when the locals dumped their salt into the brook to keep it out of the hands of advancing British soldiers during the Revolutionary War (Wikipedia).”

This makes no sense to me. Wasn’t salt still a valuable commodity in those times? What would have been the consequence of British soldiers taking townsfolks’ salt? Would it have been that bad? Why salt and nothing else? Why dump it in a brook and fowl up your own water supply? Was that the point? Why not bury it in the backyard instead?


* EDIT: apparently the Salt Box Museum got its name because it looks like a type of salt box people used to use. The fact that there’s a Salt Brook may actually have little to do with the Salt Box Museum.


Union County. (2011). “11. New Providence: Salt Box Museum, 1350 Springfield Avenue.” Four Centuries in a Weekend: 2011 Historic Sites Tour; A Journey Through Union County’s History. [PDF Brochure.]

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7 Responses to “Salt Brook”

  1. I know you don’t like *me* well enough to climb into a ditch for, so I’m glad there are enough other folks out there that made this worth your while. My thanks to them. 🙂

    I’m always a sucker for green life fighting through vast acres of poured, manmade grayness, which seems to be another mini-specialty of yours.


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