Salty Ruins on Long Island

Salt flat with gate just visible in background

Salt flat with gate just visible in background

Once the site of extensive salt works operation run by Diamond Crystal, the abandoned ruins stretch for miles. Large flats created to harvest sea salt- the original flavor no doubt- sit in various phases of flooded. After the salt operation closed down, a shrimp farm attempted to make a go; but alas no luck. When Diamond closed the site down, thousands became jobless; not good for family income in the already limited job market.

A bit of Long Island history: originally called Yuma by the original settlers, the Lucayan Indians, Long Island was rechristened Fernandina by Christopher Columbus when he arrived in 1492. After the Indians (40-50 thousand lived on the island when Columbus arrived) were carried away as slaves to Hispaniola and Cuba, no permanent settlement existed until the Loyalists arrived from the Carolinas and Virginia in the mid-1700s. A good read on this is the historical fiction novel, Wind from the Carolinas by Robert Wilder.

The Spanish would use Long Island as a jump-off to cross the Atlantic along the Tropic of Cancer. The ruins of the churches they built can be found throughout the island.

In addition to tourism, straw work, farming and fishing sustain the local people. The population has plunged dramatically to less than 3,000, from 7,000 in the 1970s.

Tug still tied to its dock- the water now replaced by sand

Tug still tied to its dock- the water now replaced by sand

One of many buildings, this appeared to be main living quarters

One of many buildings, this appeared to be main living quarters

This only bit of color amid the living quarters ruins felt very odd

This only bit of color amid the living quarters ruins felt very odd

Maybe an old Chevy truck? Seen better days for sure

Maybe an old Chevy truck? Seen better days for sure

 

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