Bon Secour Salt Factory Drawing by Hazel and Richard Brough from the book “Food, Fun, and Fable.”

Alabama Civil War Site: Bon Secour Salt Works

Bon Secour Salt Works

BALDWIN COUNTY MAIN PAGE
Baldwin County Alabama contributed to the Confederate Civil War activities through production of salt from the Bon Secour Salt Works which went into production in early 1863. The salt production facility was was comprised of long open sheds with a brick firebox running down the center of the shed. Iron containers positioned along the fire box and were heated by a fire and as the hot air traveled through a fire box, it boiled the brine solution in the pots leaving the salt to be collected. The brine was taken from pits dug into the area’s salt marshlands. 
In September, 1864, Union troops proceeded to Bon Secour to destroy the salt works. Captain C.W. Stone of the 6th Michigan Volunteers recorded that forces under his command destroyed 990 of the iron vats and hauled away 30,000 feet of lumber. In his official report, Captain Stone mentioned that his forces burned all that was left behind at Bon Secour including

“a number of buildings having been constructed by the Confederate forces as quarters for soldiers, the place being known as Camp Anderson.”

 

On September 8, 1864, a combined army-navy raiding party led by Acting Volunteer Lieutenant George Wiggin, USN, left the Fort Morgan anchorage at 7:00 a.m. Wiggin commanded three naval gunboats, the USS Tritonia, the USS Rodolph, and the USS Stockdale and one army transport, the steamer Planter, which had two barges in tow.

Swift-Coles-Historic-Home

Swift-Coles Historic House

Swift-Coles Historic House
 17424 Swift Coles Lane
Bon Secour AL 36511
(251) 949-9550
This 1882 Tidewater Mansion is located on the Bon Secour River and was the home of the Charles Swift Family.  It was purchased in 1976 by Nick Cole who restored the home to it original beauty.  The property is now owned and operated by the Baldwin County Historic Development Commission.  This beautiful 16 room mansion and grounds take you back in time to the twentieth century and life along the river. This 6000 sq ft home began in 1882 as a simple four-room structure in the bend of the  Bon Secour River.  In 1898, Charles & Susan Swift bought the house and brought their growing family here to begin a sawmill and lumber business that continues in south Alabama to this day.  They built a sawmill on the river east of the house, and although it burned in 1913, their business continued to expand.  Eleven of their children grew to adulthood here, and the house was enlarged in 1902 and in 1908. 

   In 1976, the home was purchased by Nicholas Coles.  An entrepreneur and antiques collector, he made this his home until his death in 2007. Open Tuesday and Friday from 10 am to 4 pm.  Last tour start at 3 pm.