Salt is a natural phenomenon born of thousands of years of silt and mineral drainage from the surrounding hills. The sink, having no natural outlet is a collecting pond. With the warmth of late spring and early summer, the surface water quickly evaporates leaving a skin of salt crystals drying on the surface ready to be skimmed.
In a 1988 article about Elmer Huckaby, Renee Thompson wrote of Elmer’s inspired creation of the Salt Harvester.
“I got this vision of a machine,” which he drafted onto a piece of butcher paper and later presented to the Leslie Salt board of directors in Hayward. Elmer chuckled as he remembered the details, stating that while the directors scoffed at the feasibility of the idea, the presided agreed to provide the $2,000 financing which would allow him to build his salt harvester. With the assistance of a friend, Myrlin Plummer, Elmer build the harvester in nine weeks after gathering parts from “all over the West.” On October 8, 1941, the harvester was born.
If you would like to know more about Elmer Huckaby, the longtime owner/operator of the Hucksalt Salt Company, come on down to the Churchill County Museum.