At the site of a salt lick for animals a salt well was drilled during the early 18ty century. The well, located on the New London Road, east of Lexington on the banks of Town Creek, a branch of Stucker Creek, was drilled to an unbelievable depth of 420 feet in 1815 by General William McFarland, using a horse driven invention of his own design.
The brine, which was very strong, was then taken, and boiled down in huge iron kettles with crystals averaging 3 to 4 bushels per 100 gallons of brine. The salt was then sold for $2.00 per bushel throughout the southeastern part of the State for several years.
The evidence of this pioneer industry is still visible on the creek. Some say the actual well is present but covered for your safety. Today, a strong salt vein still runs through this area of the State preventing many landowners from using water wells for drinking water.
South on the B & O Railroad, approximately one mile from Lexington, a salt quarry existed which mined salt for several years. The site has grown over to such an extent today it is difficult to locate the actual area.
For more information on General William McFarland or the Scott County Salt Well and Mine visit the Scott County Heritage Center and Museum located at 1050 South Main Street in Scottsburg, IN 47170. Or call them at (812) 752-1050 and you can visit them online too at www.scottcountyheritagemuseum.org.