An antique metal cauldron was discovered in the mud at
Museum Director Tamara Allen thought it was a cauldron used to concentrate salt by evaporating seawater.
Last week, Chasing Shadows asked readers for information and we got a reply from historian Joshua Goodman at the State Archives of Florida. We are grateful to Mr. Goodman for answering our question.
“Several of us here at the State Library and Archives were very intrigued by your recent story in the Apalachicola Times about the suspected saltmaking vessel from Alligator Point, and we’d like to contribute,” Goodman wrote. “First off – the object is almost certainly a salt kettle. If the rust were to be removed, it would look almost identical to a kettle on display at the state museum in Cedar Key farther on down the coast. We’ve put our heads together and come up with several resources to assist Tamara Allen at the
Goodman said an old standby concerning saltmaking during the Civil War in
A good recent treatment of the subject, including the latest major research, can be found in Robert Taylor’s “Rebel Storehouse:
Florida Memory, the digital arm of the State Archives, has several good resources available, including a history of Civil War saltmaking written as part of the Federal Writers Project in
Goodman sent us a map drawn by Col. George Washington Scott during the Civil War depicting the
“He indicates the location of salt works throughout the region, including near Alligator Point,” said Goodman. “While he does not place any markings right on the point where the kettle was found, that should come as no surprise. These maps were approximate at best, and salt works were often moved from time to time to escape harassment by the ships of the Union blockade.” By Lois Swoboda