Grant's Lick Salt Works
The County of Campbell runs back into the country quite a distance, and the uppermost portion being thickly settled a goodly portion of the to-day, people of at least the lower end of the county wonder why so many settlers chose a so-far-back locality for their homes. Col. Jim Caldwell, from away up, was in town Monday, and in reply to a question relative to it very soon explained why the upper end was so early and so thickly settled. The great attraction of the county in the beginning of the present century was the Salt Works at Grant’s Lick, to which pack wagons from as far a distance as even Lexington, this State, for salt. The works had a reputation all over the country at that time. The entire business of Cincinnati, Newport and Covington was nothing compared with the salt business at Grant’s Lick. So great was the attraction that when Jim’s Grandfather, Wm. Caldwell, in 1805 flat-boated down the Ohio with his family for a residence “in Kentucky opposite Cincinnati,” he didn’t stop at the mouth of the Licking-Newport and vicinity, but immediately worked his way up the Licking and bought a large tract of land about 1 ½ miles below where now is Butler. Alexander Caldwell, father of the present Jim, was five years old when he arrived here; and in 1825 he bought the large place on which our Col. Jim now lives. The great salt works were established by a Mr. Grant, hence the name “Grant’s Lick,” by which it is yet known. It had formerly been known as “Deer Lick,” owing to the habit of deer from all parts of the surrounding country going there to lick salt. Mr. Benjamin Gosney, grandfather of the present Alexander Bus. Gosney (who busses more girls that any other man in the country, excepting probably Tomaso McDonaldo) got the works and ran them for a good many years after Grant’s salt administration The works were capable of turning out 60 barrels a day, yet many from long distances were often compelled to wait several days for their turn, during which time life at Grant’s Lick did not weaken on their account.
From the Kentucky State Journal, published in Newport, April 15, 1890.