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 This can be divided into two general areas: (1) the Salt Tram historical sites, and (2) historical documents and records.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. 

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