Monday, February 24, 2014

Other Trams: Mt Graham Lumber Tram


There is a small group of trams built around the Salt Tram era that were comparable in their audacity. The Mt. Graham Lumber Tram is one of them. Read about the Mt. Graham Lumber Tram of 1923 by clicking here.

The Mt. Graham Lumber Tram facts:

Year/Date Started:
Year/Date Completed:
Designed By:
Built by (Company):

Tramway Specifications
Tram Powered by: xxx
Length of Tramway:
Total Ascent: xxx
Total Descent: xxx

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Document 007 (Doc-007): Report to the Salt Co. Stockholders, Sept. 1912

Friends of the SALT TRAM 
Document Title: Report of J. A. Goodman,  Eastern Director, to the Stockholders of the Saline Valley Salt Co., After His Investigation In September 1912 Illustrated. 28 page document (9 pages with text only, 8 pages with photo and caption only, 11 blank pages). Our copy is missing the back page (page 27 and 28), which we believe to blank, but we will never known unless another copy is unearthed. Most of the blank pages are blank because (with a few exceptions) they are located on the backside of a photo page which uses higher quality paper than the text pages.

By: J. A. Goodman, Eastern Director. Who is J. A. Goodman? Mr. Goodman played a prominent role in the management and promotion of the Salt Tram and is named in many documents. Here is what we know (by date):

Director: The June 23, 1911 edition of the Inyo Independent lists him as a "Director" of the Saline Valley Salt Co.

Eastern Director: This document (Doc-007) identifies him as the "Eastern Director" of the Saline Valley Salt Co. Sept. 1912.

President: The May 6, 1920 Saline Valley Salt Co. Stock Certificate, number 135, 250 shares, par value $1.00, issued to E. B. Houseal, signed by J. A. Goodman, President.

Document Photos: All 8 photos have photographer credits, as follows: 

• J. A. Goodman: 6 photos (author of the report document).
• W. H. Leffingwell: 1 photo. Leffingwell was the American Society of Civil Engineering - Chief Engineer in 1917, Chief Engineer of the Mono Power Company in 1911, Sales Agent for Saline Valley Salt in 1910. Date of Leffingwell's photo is unknown, but likely prior to Sept. 1912. Indicates the photo is of the Salt Fields 6 miles away from an elevation of 6,000 feet. This 6,000 foot elevation corresponds with the elevation of Control Station 2 - so we assume this is where he took his photo.
• "Constructing Engineer": 1 photo. Note that this is the exact same photo that we bought as a postcard on eBay that was attributed to A. A. Forbes. It has the classic white text annotation which was generally written onto the negative of the photo, but no A. A. Forbes name on it. This leads us to believe that this photo was NOT taken by A. A. Forbes. Note that it also identifies the photo as having been taken "last summer" (which would be Summer 1911), and that "work has now been completed" [on the section of the tram line shown in the photo].

Sample pages: I selected 2 random pages from this 28 page document. One sample below contains a representative random photo (8 of the 17 pages in the document are photos and captions only). The other is a representative random text page (9 of the 17 pages in the document are text only). The document itself is 4.75" wide by 6.25" tall. See sample pages below (click to enlarge).

Source: Out of nowhere (in February 2014), Ms. C. C. of California (identity not disclosed; name - email - address are in the Salt Tram investigation database) sent me an email indicating that she had this document, and oh, would be be interested in getting our hands on it? Uh - hell, yeah! She described it, and I was pretty sure that we had seen this one before. But what the heck! Sure, we'd love to have it. We told her we would we scan it, then donate it to the Eastern California Museum. Well, we've scanned it, and next time we are in Indie, we will make the donation in C. C.'s name to the Museum. Here's the email correspondence with Ms. C. C.:
On Feb 12, 2014, at 9:32 AM, C. C. wrote: Good Day, I have just found an old Stockholders Report of the Saline Valley Salt Co. by J.A. Goodman, Eatern Director after his investigation in September 1912.  It has some illustrations.  The booklet's cover is not in the best of shape but the contents and photos are still good.  I was going through some of my grandfather's things and found this.  I didn't see a stockholder's certificate to go with it but hope to in the future. Would you like to have this article?  
On Feb 12, 2014, at 11:12 AM, C. C. wrote: Do you have an address I can send this to?  I didn't see one on your web page. My grandfather did not own any stock at that time.  He was only 3 years old.  It could have been his father, Al Tallman, but I am not sure.  My brother has a lot of documents in Washington State but I won't be up there until June.  I will check for them at that time. ---C. C.
On Feb 14, 2014: Received envelope in the mail from C. C. with the note "I hope this helps you with your research". [Yes, C. C. it does!].
On Feb 20, 2014, at 4:04 PM, C. C. wrote: Hello Mr Waag, Thanks for the information.  I am glad it was of use to you.  I will be going to Washington in June and will try to find other similar information for you.  There isn't anyone left in the family that would have memory of my Grandfather. I hope to find more at my brother's place.          ---C. C.
Synopsis of Document: Report author J. A. Goodman was definitely a "Salt Tram Man", and obviously, the primary purpose of this document was propaganda on the part of Saline Valley Salt Co. Management. Clearly, the Salt Tram construction was WAY behind schedule at this point, and somebody had to be a cheerleader for the stockholders to convince them to keep their shares. Management of the Salt Co. had a vested interest in keeping stock prices high, as they were all heavily invested stockholders in the venture.

Despite the progagandist nature of the document, it does yield significant value as research material. We assume, unless proven otherwise, that Mr. Goodman did indeed visit the Salt Tram with other stockholders, and was accompanied by White Smith in Sept. 1912. We also assume that the photos attributed to Mr. Goodman were taken on this same trip. Since we are able to identify all the locations shown in the photos, this gives us a snapshot into the progress of the Salt Tram up to that date. In addition, there are other significant Salt Tram dates and statements of fact that were heretofore unknown to us, thus making this contemporaneous report a valuable research asset.

Just one example of the Propaganda!: Around April 1910, the Saline Valley Salt Co. ran ads in numerous Owens Valley newspapers inviting residents to invest in the Salt Tram. These extensive ads went on to indicate that the ENTIRE tramway would be complete and operational by October 1910! Fast forward almost 2 YEARS later (Sept. 1912) and it's still not done. Doc-007 optimistically states on page 6 that "in my judgment, it [the Salt Tram] will be in full operation on or about January 15, 1913. The Salt Tram transported its first bucket of Salt from the Salt Lake to the Discharge Station on July 2, 1913 - 168 days or almost 6 months later than J. A. Goodman's estimate of January 15. So at the time of this report, Goodman was estimating that the Salt Tram would begin operation in 4 months, but it was actually almost 10 months before the first bucket of Salt was transported - a HUGE discrepancy, and just one more in a series of missed deadlines for building the tramway and associated facilities. 

You can get your own personal copy of this Document: We are so impressed with the awesomeness of this 28-page document that we plan on printing it and making it available to our many Salt Tram followers. We plan to add explanatory annotations on all the blank pages of the document. We plan to sell it at our cost of $10 including shipping. At the same time, we plan on donating some of the copies to the Eastern California Museum so that they can sell them as a small fundraiser, which will generate some interest and funds for the "Friends of the Saline Valley Salt Tram" group. You can find out more about ordering this amazing document by clicking here.

Document Condition: This document arrived in "fair" condition, with a detached front cover, and missing page 27 and 28 (the back cover), which we believe to be blank. The internal pages are in good condition, though the 2 staple binding is rapidly failing.

Information Rating: Out of a scale of 1, 2, or 3, with 1 = the best information, 2 = marginal, and 3 = worthless or nearly so, Doc-007 is definitely a 1! Yeah!

Key Information: We have reviewed this document and have taken extensive notes regarding research questions, and what we have learned from it. We have added those notes to this booklet in the form of extensive annotations - you don't want to miss it!

***************click to go to Salt Tram Home***************

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Friends of the Saline Valley Salt Tram

Above (please click to enlarge): Brian poses at one of the "small" Salt Tram Towers - one of the few that remain standing on the Owens Valley (west) side of the tramline. This gives you some ideas of the grandeur of the Salt Tram.

The goal of the Waag Brothers (Tim and Brian) is to preserve as much of Salt Tram history as possible. This can be divided into two general areas: (1) the Salt Tram historical sites, and (2) historical documents and records. In both of these areas, information and artifacts are disappearing rapidly.

We are motivated to rediscover the efforts of the builders, owners, operators and investors in the Saline Valley Salt Co. and its Amazing Salt Tram in order to give proper recognition to their hopes, dreams and abundant sweat from an era that is rapidly fading from our memories. 

You can help! We are actively seeking out any information you might have about the Saline Valley Salt Co., the Salt Tram, and the mining of Salt in Saline Valley between 1903 and the 1950's. This information would include (but is not limited to) documents, photos, articles, stories, artifacts, etc. If you can help us out, please email us at - Thank-you!

Become a Friend of the Saline Valley Salt Tram: All you have to do to become a friend of the Salt Tram is send us an email at and say you want to be a "Friend of the Salt Tram" - that's it - it's free! You will get occasional updates on what new things we have recently learned about the Salt Tram, where we may be giving our next presentation, and when we might be visiting the tram next - that's it. You might be asked to make a tax-deductible donation to help us purchase a Salt Tram document or artifact for the Eastern California Museum, but making a donation is entirely up to you! Note that we never give out your email to anyone, or use it for any other purpose than furthering Salt Tram preservation and research.

Danger! (PLEASE READ): Climbing around on the tramway is dangerous because its really old and definitely unsafe, so don't even think about it. Shoot, just getting to it requires some perilous hiking, and if you don't believe me, just take a look at the Zig Zag Access Trail (or what's left of it). Plus, climbing on it weakens it and endangers your life. 

Do Not Vandalize, Steal or Disturb: Note that the Saline Valley Salt Tram is on the National Register of Historic Places and should be treated with the respect that it deserves. You can read about its listing on the Register by clicking here and also by clicking hereThere is little that remains of the tram, but what does is of great historic value, and should not be disturbed in any way. Heck, its probably against the law to move parts of the tram around, and certainly a crime to take home some of the few bits of it that remain (though you'd have to ask your friendly local BLM agent for details). So please treat it with the respect it deserves, so that future generations can enjoy whats left, without you messing it up. Really. Please. 
February 2014: Recently spoke with a Death Valley National Park Official about site stewardship of the portion of the Salt Tram that lies in DVNP. We were told that there currently is no site steward program at DVNP. However, they are interesting in doing an outing to the Salt Tram with the "Friends of the Saline Valley Salt Tram" group, and discussing possible stabilization efforts with us. 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Git Yer Salt Tram T-shirts - While They Last!

Salt Tram T-Shirts All Sold Out! 
Putting in an order for More - Stay Tuned!
Just send an email to with your emailing address and will let you know when the next batch has been printed and ready! We are making some small changes to the one color front, but no changes to the back. New look for the front below (light tan instead of white, larger front logo that is higher up on the shirt).

You can mail back payment in the envelope we send with the shirt! Note that we sell them at our cost, and as soon as these are sold out, we'll be ordering a new batch - this time with more long sleeve shirts, which have been more popular than we expected!

First Batch of Shirts (below):

The New Batch - coming soon (below). Color didn't quite come out right in the photo below - I did it in photoshop, but the real shirt will be light tan. Get your orders in now by emailing Tim at

The Back of the Shirt will stay the same (below):
Above: Tim and Tracy model the awesome, unique and one-of-a-kind Saline Valley Salt Tram T-shirts, with a reproduction of the Corporate Seal art that was taken off the original Salt Tram stock certificate. Get one just in time for Christmas, or whatever! Have fun and enjoy your shirt!

Visiting the Saline Valley Salt Tram

Above: the famous Salt Tram Zig Zag Trail - photo taken by Miles O. Bolser in 1913 - the first year of tramway operation.  (photo courtesy Eastern California Museum). Note that this trail has rockslided out and no longer exists! Click to enlarge.

David Hill of Ventura was the first of many Salt Tram researchers. He did his research back in the 1960's and 1970's. We asked Mr. Hill  how he found out about the Salt Tram, and he said it was through the Eastern California Museum in Independence, Calif. Apparently, at that time, they sponsored monthly “field trips”, one of which went to the Salt Tram. David regularly attended these outings, and so he first visited the Salt Tram in the 1960's. 

Danger! (PLEASE READ): Climbing around on the tramway is dangerous because its really old and definitely unsafe, so don't even think about it. Shoot, just getting to it requires some perilous hiking, and if you don't believe me, just take a look at the Zig Zag Access Trail (or what's left of it - not much). Plus, climbing on it weakens it and endangers your life. 

Do Not Vandalize, Steal or Disturb: Note that the Saline Valley Salt Tram is on the National Register of Historic Places and should be treated with the respect that it deserves. You can read about it's listing on the Register by clicking here and also by clicking hereThere is little that remains of the tram, but what does has protection status, and cannot be disturbed in any way. Heck, its probably against the law to move parts of the tram around, and certainly a crime to take home some of the few bits of it that remain (though you'd have to ask your friendly local agent for details). So please treat it with the respect it deserves, so that future generations can enjoy whats left, without you messing it up. Really. Please.

We discourage anyone from visiting the Salt Tram, as nothing good could possibly come of it (see Danger! Do Not Vandalize - above) - just read this web site instead - its much safer! You can learn about becoming  a "Friend of the Saline Valley Salt Tram" by clicking here. We recently inquired about interest in a guided tour of the Salt Tram, and nobody was - a lot of smart, safe people out there! If you were to foolishly decide you might want to visit the Salt Tram, you could have 3 general options:

(1) End-to-end Salt Tram (hard core) hike. Its a tough multi-day hike to get from one end of the tram to the other. The elevation gains and descents are massive, and trails are largely non-existent, making route-finding difficult and mandatory. Also, there are lots of cliffs and drop-offs, and no cell-phone signal. Along the way, the hiker will encounter the washed out, steep and dangerous "Zig Zag Trail", so this option is severely difficult (rock climbing experience, and use of ropes and climbing harnesses is necessary on this section). 
Above: Massive Tram Station (over 62 feet high). Photo Courtesy of the Eastern California Museum. Note that there are no hardware and cables on this tower - indicating that the tower had just been built with the tram hardware yet to be installed. Click to enlarge.

2) Discharge Station, Secret Wagon Route and on to Cliff's Station. The Salt Tram Discharge Station is quietly located near highway 190 and believe it or not, is still a fascinating site (even though everything burned down in an arson fire in 1949), and may be worthy of an outing. This would be followed by a dayhike along the lower western-most portion of the Salt Tram route, where everything except the concrete foundations of the towers have been salvaged or vandalized. 
Above: Salt Tram Diarist Cliff Patterson poses at Control Station 4, where he worked after building the Salt Tram. This is the only known photo of Cliff to have ever been taken at the Salt Tram. This control station on the west side of the tram line has been heavily pillaged and only concrete foundations too large to remove remain. Photo courtesy of the Fred Patterson family. Click to enlarge.

3) Salt Lake Loading Station, and hike to Control Station 1. This is in Saline Valley and is be considered an overnighter. Consult other sources on the difficulty and dangers of driving in and out of this remote Valley. You can visit the Salt Lake Operations and Tram Loading Station by the Salt Lake which is inside of Death Valley National Park. Note that the lake operations and tramway have been scavenged at this site and nothing is left but concrete foundations of buildings, hidden in the salty mud, as well as a few forlorn, lonely tram towers.

This would be followed by an extremely strenuous, difficult, and optional dayhike along the Salt Tram pack trail - if you can find it. For this option, you would want to camp overnight somewhere in remote Saline Valley. Saline Valley is very hot - Death Valley hot - and should never be visited in the summertime unless you like crazy crazy fireball life-threatening heat.
Above: Salt Tram buckets lined up and waiting at the Loading Station at the Salt Lake. Photo Courtesy of the Eastern California Museum. Click to enlarge.

Final Warning: The goal of visiting the Salt Tram is to appreciate the historical significance and importance of preservation of White Smith's amazing Tramway, as well as an understanding of the Salt Tram's unique history - period. The hazards of viewing and exploring the wild Salt Tram located outdoors in the dangerous dry desert and steep mountains are countless and unpredictable - you have been warned!

3rd Stock Certificate Being Acquired - Dated May 12, 1914

Friends of the SALT TRAM 
Update: Tim donated the May 12, 1914 Stock Certificate to the Eastern California Museum on March 16, 2014. Also donated to the Museum was the 1912 Report to Salt Co. Shareholders that you can read about by clicking here. Thanks to Roberta, Jon, and Heather for all their guidance and general wonderfulness in dealing with "All Things Salt Tram". A photo from the donation:

Update: In order to acquire this stock certificate, we set up the "Friends of the Salt Tram" through the "Friends of the Eastern California Museum". A hearty thanks to Rich White and Elaine Delaney from the FECM group for assisting with this.

We collected $800.00 even for acquiring Salt Tram items, and spent $250 to buy this stock certificate, leaving $550 in the account for future acquisitions. Thanks to all those who contributed. Below is the stock certificate after Tim spent a few hours of photoshop time cleaning it up a bit. This stock certificate can be purchased elsewhere on this website.

Update March 29, 2014: While getting ready to do my taxes, I found an envelope that this May 1914 Stock Certificate came in, and was about to throw it away...when, it seemed a little bit...stiff. Fishing around, I found a letter written by Mrs. Dale Marshall (Wayne Marshall's mother, I presume). Way back in 1968, she was inquiring with the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce (and later, the Arizona Corporation Commission) regarding the status of "The Saline Valley Salt Company". Click to enlarge.
It appears that Mrs. Marshall may have believed that the stock certificate could have some value, and without the benefit of the internet, had no idea that it had ceased to exist as a corporate entity long ago. Thanks to Wayne Marshall for both keeping this letter all these years (about 47 years!), but also forwarding it along with the stock certificate.

I shall mail it to Roberta Harlan at the Eastern California Museum so that this letter can live in the same folder as the one where Mrs. Marshall's stock certificate of dubious value resides. They will be reunited for a bit more time.

Apparently, Mrs. Marshall mailed an inquiry to the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce:

And received the reply that she would have to send a buck (yep - un dollare) to the Arizona Corporation Commission who would follow up on her request. There is no sign that she ever mailed in that buck, or got a report back from the Arizona bureaucracy in question. A final image for the ages:

Update March 10, 2014: While photoshopping the stock certificate to get it ready for printing, I discovered some "secret writing" buried in the document. Close examination under a magnifying glass indicated that it said "A. Carlisle & Co. S. F.". Look carefully at the image below - can you find it? Click to enlarge.

Enter Google. A google search revealed it to be the "A. Carlisle & Co." of San Francisco. You can read all about the companies history by clicking here. Here's a brief except from the above link to A. Carlisle & Co of San Francisco:
"A. Carlisle and Company of Nevada got a start in stationery in the Gold Rush Days. By the year 1852, it was already apparent to thousands of fortune-seekers that the treasure of California’s Mother Lode just wasn’t juicy enough to go ’round. Shrewd men and talented men from all parts of the world accepted this bitter fact and turned to other pursuits, finding fortune or fame in California without the help of gold. One so fated was a New York lithographer named Joseph Britton, who in 1852 traded his pick and pan for tools he was better acquainted with and teamed up with a French artist named Jacques Rey, to start a lithographic business in San Francisco. 
Their business was purchased in 1916 by the San Francisco firm of A. Carlisle & Co., Printers & Stationers, and they are therefore regarded as the company’s earliest operating ancestors. A. Carlisle & Co. started in 1878 when a youngster from Maryland named Albert Carlisle went into business for himself at 212 Battery Street, San Francisco, selling stationery supplies."
The bottom line is that this stock certificate art was done by A. Carlisle & Co. before it merged with the lithographers Britton and Rey. It is clear from a close-up examination of the stock certificate that it was drawn by hand, as the art is not symmetric - not even close. I know this because it took me hours to clean this up to get ready for printing!

Didn't find the A. Carlisle & Co. logo? Look a little closer! Click to enlarge.

Update March 1, 2014: We are pleased to announce the acquisition of a Saline Valley Salt Co. stock certificate dated May 12, 1914. The purchase price was $250. Many "Friends of the Salt Tram" members have pledged a donation to purchase the stock certificate. Note that any funds in excess of the $250 purchase price will remain in the "Friends of the Salt Tram" account to fund further purchases.

Please send a check made out to "FECM" and mail it to:
     Tim Waag
     Post Office Box 5060
     San Luis Obispo, CA 93403

Tim will collect all the donations, keep track of who donated what, and mail them all to the FECM. Tim will announce the total contributions and how much (if any) is left over for future Salt Tram acquisitions.

Thanks to everyone for helping with our Salt Tram research, and for helping to acquire the historically valuable document for the Eastern California Museum (ECM) . The stock certificate will be professionally scanned and printed, and for those who made a contribution, you will be mailed a copy of this stock certificate. Thanks to Scootertrash for this excellent idea. Expect it to be sent to you about a month after the donations have been mailed to the ECM.

Friends of the Salt Tram - Donations
Update February 18, 2014: I received an email back from Rich White,  President of the Friends of the Eastern California Museum (FECM). We received permission from his group to collect donations in their name to acquire the Saline Valley Salt Company Stock Certificate. This allows the donors to receipt a tax deductible donation. I will send out an email to all the donors listed below that pledged to make a donation to acquire the stock certificate. 

Here's what Rich White emailed to me:
"The Friends of the ECM agreed to accept donations for purchase of items for the Museum collection if either Roberta or Jon at the museum has agreed in advance that the item is desirable for the museum collection.  The Stock Certificate meets this requirement.  Checks should be made payable to FECM.  Checks should be mailed to you so you can account for them and then send them to FECM, PO Box 33, Independence, CA  93526.  Thanks for your interest and support of the museum. --Rich White, President, The Friends of the ECM 
Stock Certificate Donation Pledges (so far - how about a few more?): Note that the Stock Certificate Acquisition Cost is $250 plus $20 to ship it Fed Ex - total $270. There are now 17 pledges (see below). Thanks for contributing to saving Saline Valley History.
Above: The May 14, 1914 Saline Valley Stock Certificate arrived via Fed Ex on 2/12/2014. I'm always amazed to be touching a tiny piece of history. Thanks to WM of North Carolina for being so easy to deal with. Next, I will have it professionally scanned and correct the flaws (rips, ink, etc.) with photoshop, then  have 100 copies printed in full color onto similar parchment style paper. Per Scoot's idea, I will mail out a color copy of the stock certificate to everyone who donated towards its purchase, and otherwise sell the rest for $8 each including shipping (same price as the 1st stock certificate). Finally, it will be donated to the Eastern California Museum in Independence, Calif.

Each Pledge below will be marked RECEIVED! when it comes in the mail to me. Brian and I pledge $100 EACH if and only if all the pledges below are received! 

As of 3/25/2014, all 23 Pledges have been collected, totalling $845. This should leave the "Friends of the Salt Tram" with $595 in our "account" with FECM to use for additional Salt Tram-related acquisitions, should they become available.

(1) RECEIVED! Count me in for $25 Tim. Btw - had nice short chat with your wife last weekend when I called you back. Heading for Saline Tuesday / hoping to ride my mtb into the springs via. N pass. We 'll catch up soon. Tim, Heck – I wasn’t even sure I would make it to Saline this year – wife’s work schedule as a nurse.  SO I figured I just ride in alone so I could play it out at the last minute. Regarding the stock cert, I’m now thinking I need to get you the $25 not the FECM.  Or was I right in the first place and we get the dough to you via the FECM in order the take a tax deduction (which is not critical).  Let me know how to pay.  Thanks --AS

(2) RECEIVED!  I'm in. Keep me posted. Put R2 in for $50. -R2

(3) RECEIVED!  I'll be glad to donate a bit toward that certificate. Just let me know the details, and I'll send in a check. Hi, Tim — It (Bradley Gratis font) does look pretty close, doesn't it? By the way, I am happy to send $50 for the stock certificate, but I am still awaiting information from you about where to send the money. --LB

LB posted a follow-up note with the donation: Hi Tim, Congratulations on the great works you do to make history in our area richer! I'm much looking forward to learning more about A. A. Forbes. If it weren't for him, we'd have scant pictorial representation of what native cultures around here looked like. --LB

RECEIVED! Hey Tim and Brian, Count me in for $25. I already have the T-shirt so helping to purchase the Stock Certificate will make me feel like a part owner of this piece a history! I'm also interested in the March [Salt Tram] tour. Hope I can make it. Now why does the comment below make me want to be there all the more!!! "Also note that all participants assume all liability for their participation with the Waag Bros., and that the world is a more dangerous place when you leave your front door. The hazards of viewing and exploring the wild Salt Tram located outdoors in the dangerous desert are countless and unpredictable - you have been warned!" -MM

(5) RECEIVED! Tim,  I think I said a ways back I'd be in for a donation on acquiring a SVSC stock certificate. So you have a 25$ pledge from me. Glad to help --JS

(6) RECEIVED! Tim, get me set up for a donation. --AG

(7) RECEIVED! I can do $25. Just send the details and I'll mail a check. --RH

Re: Eastern California Museum (ECM) Saline Valley Salt Co. stock certificate. Dear Tim, enclosed please find my check for $25 in support of the ECM's acquisition of the stock certificate. I would appreciate an acknowledgment of the donation for tax purposes. Sincerely Yours, --RH. [Note to RH: The donation acknowledgment letter will be sent by the ECM to the name and address on your donation check - unless you request otherwise --Tim W.]

(8) RECEIVED! Please tell me how to send a $25 payment to help purchase this stock certificate. --HBG

RECEIVED! Ok, put me down for $25.00. --SM

RECEIVED! Hi Tim count me in for $30. --CU

(11) RECEIVED! Count me in for $25. Do you want me to mail the check? Or maybe I can drop it next time I'm in the area. -LE

LE posted a follow-up note with the donation: Here's the check I promised for the Stock Certificate - it's amazing they are still around, but lucky for us. We need to have a special display at the Eastern California Museum for all the Salt Tram info that has been found - people are very interested. Next weekend is the big ECM annual meeting - it's been what? 4 years since you did your historic Salt Tram presentation there?

(12) RECEIVED! Hi Tim, We will donate $25 or if you need $50 to close the gap, we can do that also. Let us know when you have the process set up through the Friends of the ESM. Thanks for preserving this bit of history of the Saline Salt Tram for all of us to enjoy. --BS and DS

(13) RECEIVED! Put me down for $50.  Check is in the mail, internet banking from RoK is cool! --MD

(14) RECEIVED! Tim - count me in for $25 --BW.

RECEIVED! Tim, Count me in for $25. Sincerely, --BR

RECEIVED! Awesome!!!! I am thinking that 25 dollar donors will get a color copy?? You guys need to have stand by cash in the event another comes available. Should check be sent directly to museum?? Great find!! --SW

(17) RECEIVED! Put me down for $20. --MA

(18) RECEIVED! Hi Tim, Great to hear from you. Another great find. Put me down for a $50.00 donation towards the purchase of the stock certificate. 
Best regards, --BS

BS posted a follow-up note with the donation: Hi Tim, Enclosed is my check to go towards the purchase of the SVSC stock certificate. Thanks again for all you continue to do for this great project. Best Regards, --BS

(19) Brian and I pledge $100 EACH if and only if all the pledges above are received! 

The Salt Tram is truly one of the most amazing engineering feats in the greater Death Valley area. Put me down for a $100 donation - let's save as much of the history of this jaw-dropping contraption as possible! Heck, put me down for $100! --Brian Waag, E. Clampus Waagus.

(20) Brian and I pledge $100 EACH if and only if all the pledges above are received! 

Well Bro, if you're in for $100, then so am I! Who wouldn't want to contribute to this worthwhile cause  - preserving a historic document from the Salt Tram era that is more than 100 years old! Yeah, a dollar for each year that the stock certificate is old (May 1914 - March 2014 - almost 100 years, anyways). --Tim Waag, E. Clampus Waagus.

(21) RECEIVED! Hi Tim, Here is my $25 towards the stock certificate. Be great to have a copy - put me on the list. See you in Ridgecrest on 3/18/2014. --GB

(22) RECEIVED! Hey Tim, Thanks for all your efforts regarding the Salt Tram. Still would love to hike down the West side, if ever that comes up. --FD aka FF

(23) RECEIVED! Received $50 cash at the Ridgecrest HSUMD meeting from --JK

Sunday, February 8, 2014: The 3rd known Saline Valley Salt Company Stock Certificate was found in December, 2013, and is in the process of being acquired for the Eastern California Museum in Independence, California. If you are interested in making a donation to the Friends of the Eastern California Museum in order to fund the purchase of the important piece of Salt Tram History, please email us, and we will get that set up - thank-you.

This newest Stock Certificate is dated May 12, 1914, and the 125 shares were sold to Alvis Workman of North Carolina. This makes it the earliest dated certificate of the three that we have acquired for the museum. It also appears to be in much better condition than the 2nd certificate, which was dated September 25, 1914. The front and back of the stock certificate appear below (click to enlarge):

Note that on the 2nd and 3rd Salt Company Stock Certificates, in addition to the corporate stamp on the certificate, they have the corporate logo in gold. The stamped version of the logo was used to create our Salt Tram t-shirts, which you can buy by clicking here. Here is a closeup of the logo in gold, followed by the Salt Tram logo that is on the back of our T-shirts. Note that the gold embossed logo is more clear than the original stamped one that we saw, and that instead of a diamond at the bottom of the logo, it can clearly be seen that there is a 6-pointed star instead. Also, it now becomes clear that the lower middle salt pile is one large pile, instead of 2 piles that we merged together - sort-of. Oh well, nobody's perfect!
Below are excerpts from the email that we received from W. M. of North Carolina, the possessor of this stock certificate. He gives some background on the provenance as part of an email that he sent us below:
This stock certificate was issued to Alvis Workman.  He was the brother of my great aunt's husband, William Workman (W. W. Workman).  From our existing family history research, we know Alvis was born on Feb. 12, 1847 in Orange County, NC.  He died in 1920.  My great aunt, Sallie, was married to Alvis' younger brother, William.  William was born in 1852 - also in Orange County.  William survived Alvis and his wife, Susan and other brothers.  So that is why I assume it was inherited by my great Uncle William.  I never knew him since he died in 1926.  But I did know my great aunt Sallie B. Workman who married William in 1902 and who died in 1967 (May-December wedding, second marriage for William).  My mom looked after Aunt Sallie (who lived in Kernersville, NC) in her later years.  I got the stock certificate from my mom who got it from my Aunt Sallie.  That is the provenance I have. 
The certificate is the same style with the raised gold seal as the one you obtained in 2013.  It is for 125 shares.  It is signed by Fred and White Smith as well.  The certificate number is 2063 which is higher than the one you have (2034) but this one is dated as noted on May 12, 1914, not quite 100 years ago.  I assume certificates were printed and sold as they found buyers.  The number "125" is handwritten.  The signatures appear very similar but not exactly as the one you found.  The quality appears to me to be in better shape than the one you show.  It also has a tri-fold.  My guess they did not routinely use larger envelopes then.  
 I do not know if you are interested in buying this certificate or not.  I would consider selling it.  If you are interested, let me know what you would consider a fair price for this earlier document.  It could be the third and earliest known certificate you have! 
Sounds like your upcoming trip in March of 2014 will be very interesting! Thanks for the work you have done to help preserve this history. 
     ---W. M., North Carolina
Below are excerpts from the 2nd email that we received from W. M. of North Carolina, the possessor of this stock certificate. He gives additional background on the provenance as part of an email that he sent us below:
I have some additional provenance on the Saline Valley Salt Company certificate that I obtained from a cousin, including a possible connection to Tennessee.  The stock certificate trail appears to be: Alvis Workman to William Workman to his wife, Sallie Bull Workman, to my mother, Stella Bull Marshall, to me, Wayne Marshall.  Here is the sequence of who knew who, when, as best as we can determine going backwards from today.  
My mother was Stella Bull Marshall (Mrs. Dale Marshall).  Her father, James Robert Bull, had a sister, Sallie Bull and a brother John Franklin Bull (there were 7 additional siblings).  Sallie, my great aunt, was born Jan. 7, 1880, married William W. Workman on Jan 1, 1902 (his second marriage, her first) and died Jan 19, 1967.  They had no children.
William W. Workman, born in Orange County, NC on Sep. 2, 1852 married my great Aunt Sallie in Guilford County (my current residence county) in 1902 and died May 29, 1926.. William and Sallie moved to Norfolk, VA after their marriage and lived there until his death.  He appeared to be a man of means from pictures of them and their clothes 
William was the younger brother of Alvis Franklin Workman. Alvis, who was born on Feb 12, 1847, married Susan Hall (who was born Sep 9, 1845, died Oct. 10, 1914).  Alvis died Mar 11, 1920.  They had no children. 
My great uncle John (born Mar 19, 1885, met and married his wife, Sarah Dinkle on June 17, 1907 in Washington County, TN (Johnson City, TN).  They lived there many years before moving to Norfolk, VA where my great Aunt Sallie lived with her husband, William W. Workman.  My assumption is my great Uncle John's new home in Johnson City and the family of John's wife, Sarah, daughter of Calvin and Annie Gammon Dinkle, was the "Tennessee connection" to Alvis through my great Uncle William Workman and my great Aunt Sallie.  
I also know through another old deed passed on to me the same way that William Workman, living in Norfolk, VA, bought a lot in Elkmont Park in Knox County, TN dated October 9, 1914.  
In 1968,after my Mom, Stella, got possession of the stock certificate, she attempted unsuccessfully to find information about the Saline Valley Salt Company incorporation from officials in Arizona.  I will send that information with the certificate.  
Hope all continues to go well for you!  I will send the stock certificate soon. Sincerely, ---W. M., North Carolina
Cool Font for the Saline Valley Salt Company Stock Certificate: We thought the font on the stock certificate was very unique, so we were determined to find out what it was. Tah-dah! Liz B. hit the nail on the head, determining that it was the "Bradley" font. Upon further searching, it would appear to be the "Bradley Gratis" font, as shown below:
Thanks as always  for the support from Roberta Harlan, Jon Klusmire and Heather Todd at the Eastern California Museum, as well as Rich White from the Friends of the Eastern California Museum! Also, thanks in advance to those who have offered to chip in some cash to purchase the certificate. Last time (when we bought the 2nd stock certificate), the price was very reasonable, so I just made the purchase myself. That time, I asked you to keep that cash ready, should a more expensive Saline Valley Salt Company artifact become available - well, that time is now! We hope to hear from you.