History of the Cayuga Rock Salt Mine
Salt Mine History at Portland Point
In 1915, John Clute organized the Rock Salt Corporation on Portland Point in Lansing. In 1916, the shaft was sunk to -1,500 feet, but the salt was of poor quality. By 1918 the mine was still not producing well and was shut down.
In 1921, Frank L. Bolton and John W. Shannon bought the mine and further sank the shaft to -2,000 feet to a better vein of salt which was 99% pure. The operation was managed by Frank Bolton, and then his wife Lucie when he died.
The Cayuga Rock Salt company managed the Cayuga Mine until 1970 when Cargill purchased the mining rights. Cargill modernized the mine with new beltlines for salt haulage, ventilation updates, a new shaft, and new diesel powered equipment.
Currently, the mine is advancing north up Cayuga Lake and is approximately a mile past Taughannock Point. The salt is mainly sold in the road deicing market, but is also sold under the Diamond Crystal name as residential deicing salt.
Salt Mine Management
Shawn Wilczynski returned to the Cayuga Mine in 2013 as its mine manager. With nearly 20 years of experience with Cargill’s 3 mining operations, Shawn brings excellence to the operation through his leadership in engineering, management and community involvement. Shawn’s efforts continue the high safety standards which the Cayuga Mine is known for, and new safety records are the result.
Shawn is originally from South Dakota and is a proud husband and father. He spent six years in the U.S. Department of Navy Nuclear Power Program. Shawn is very active in organizations focused on the growth and prosperity of the Lansing community. He serves on the Board of the Science Center and the Lansing Corporate Development Committee, which raises money to support technology in Lansing schools. Shawn also has a passion for employee personal development. Since returning as mine manager, the volunteer rate for employees supporting the local communities has improved from 50% to 67%, with significant contributions to many local charities.
Shawn Wilcyznski, Mine Manager
Cargill Deicing Technology