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St. Martin – the land of salt

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Did you know ?

Way before the first settlers arrived on the island, the Arawak indigenous people living on the island called it “Soualiga” – the land of salt.

Launch of the salt economy in St. Martin

During the 16th century, the great era of privateers and pirates, various nations had their sights set on the island’s salt reserves.

The Dutch were first to spot the Great Bay
salt pond. Soon after, the arrival of the first Dutch families marked the beginning of St. Martin’s salt economy.

A precious mineral

Salt was farmed on the French side in the salt marshes of Grand Case, Chevrise, and Quarter d’Orléans. The salt marsh in Grand Case was the biggest on the French side of the island, where production was exported to mainland France, the Caribbean, Canada, and the United States. This precious mineral was used to preserve meat and codfish.

Salt was produced on the island up until 1961.