Until the 1940s the Lake Grassmere lake bed was a large, flat expanse that was generally a dustbowl in summer and a muddy puddle in winter. During the Second World War it was used as a bombing range, and an aerodrome was also located there. The viaduct visible in this southward-looking view is the main trunk railway. The first salt-making ponds were created by bulldozing the clay of the lake bed into stopbanks.
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Reference: Jensen Reid, Salt for New Zealand. Lake Grassmere: Dominion Salt Ltd., [1976?]
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