At Bienville Parish Police Jury’s regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, April 12, local historian Brad Dison proposed a state historical marker for Raborn’s Salt Works near Friendship.
Dison said, “There are three important reasons why Raborn’s Salt Works is a good candidate for a state historical marker and those are the three different periods of activity which happened at the site. The first was the production of salt before, during, and shortly after the Civil War, at which time salt production ceased. The area remained dormant until the late 1920s when the papermill at Hodge began operating. They needed lime for the paper production process and began mining lime at Raborn’s. After a couple of decades, the papermill discontinued their mining operation. The site was dormant again until the 1970s when the U.S. Department of Energy wanted to store nuclear waste at three abandoned salt mines, one of which was Raborn’s Salt Works. Governor Edwin Edwards fought the nuclear waste disposal in the state. Eventually, Edwards agreed to allow the Department of Energy to test the abandoned mines and the Department of Energy agreed not to store nuclear waste in the mines. The Department of Energy tried to break the agreement. Finally, President Ronald Reagan put his foot down for Louisiana and said the federal government would not store nuclear waste in Louisiana if the state objected.”
Following the presentation, the police jury voted unanimously in favor of funding the state historical marker.
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