The village of Salina is forgotten to history, even though there are several people and buildings there. Salina was located at the south end of the east side of the Saginaw River in the area around Wicks Park. The center of town was in the area where S. Washington Ave. Gallagher and Fordney Streets come together. In 1848 Arron K Penny started a farm in the area, and farmed it for about 10 years, eventually selling the farm to William Gallagher who discovered salt underground and he laid out the village of Salina named for the salt he had found.
To avoid confusion with the town of Saline near Ann Arbor, in 1863, the town was given a post office with the name of Spaulding with prominent businessman Aaron Linton as the postmaster. By 1866 the post office was renamed to South Saginaw and by 1873 the town was consolidated with the City of Saginaw and the post office stopped operating in 1884. ( The Village of Florance was also annexed by the city, you can read about it HERE)
The production of Salt was a bi-product of the sawmills, it was discovered that you could boil the salt brine pumped from underground to produce salt. The sawdust, bark, and scrap wood the sawmills produced was the perfect fuel to boil the brine, and during the mid 1800’s, Michigan was the largest salt producing state in the nation. By the end of the 1800’s the timber in Michigan was harvested and most sawmills had closed, and without a source of fuel, the salt production ended with it.
There is nothing left of the salt production from the town of Salina, but there still is Gallagher Street and Linton Park named after its former residents, and the old Church on the corner of S. Washington and Williamson was the first church in South Saginaw, you can see my post about it HERE
P.S. I wish I had some old photos of the area, I remember going thru there as a kid on S. Washington Ave and the buildings lined up on both sides of the street. I also remember a lot of motorcycles lined up along the street in the summer months. I guess it was a rough neighborhood back in the day and most of it’s gone now.
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