Saltville is a great place to live or visit. With just over two thousand residents, Saltville has a small town atmosphere and traditional southern customs…except when they break out their mascot – a 12 foot motorized wooly mammoth, dress up in authentic 19th century costumes to reenact parts of the civil war, or when they convene every Monday night for the Saltville Jam Music Session or celebrate the 35-year old Labor Day Festival. Saltville is full of things to see and do!
Saltville’s history is unparalleled by probably any other town in the United States. The town’s unique salt reserves attracted animals to the area during the ice age and the wet, salt marsh environment preserved both bones and plant materials that are well over 14,000 years old. With a steady flow of mastodon and wooly mammoth to the area, ice age man also lived in the area for its good hunting and the salt, which they used to preserve food. During European’s early trips to America, native Americans traded Saltville’s salt for other wares, and then some historians believe the Spanish Conquistadors made an early trek to the Saltville area in the 1550’s – prior to Europeans’ arrival in Jamestown Virginia in 1607! Saltville also played a role in the Civil War by providing salt to the Confederate Army. Although the Union Army was unsuccessful at cutting off Saltville’s salt supply to the Confederates, two battles were fought in Saltville in 1864 which did play a role in the eventual outcome of the war. Saltville’s Museum of the Middle Appalachians, the Saltville Salt Park, and Saltville’s Civil War Battlefields and Fortifications showcase this rich history and are a favorite visit for folks with an interest in history as well as scientists and historians.
Like other Appalachian towns, Saltville is also a picturesque town with breathtaking views, abundant wildlife and rich mountain culture. Outdoor enthusiasts flock to Saltville’s well field’s area – a unique inland salt marsh habitat that is home to a wide range of birds, waterfowl, other wildlife, flora and fauna. The North Fork of the Holston River also runs through Saltville – a favorite spot for small mouth trophy fishing as well as river-based recreational activities.