Salt Springs / Saline
The City of Saline took its name from the natural feature of salt springs in this area. During the Paleozoic Era, between 600 and 230 million years ago, Michigan's Lower Peninsula was covered by sea water. When the sea receded, it left behind salt and other minerals. The bones of mastodons and other ancient animals have been discovered near salt springs in this area, leading some to believe that they needed salt in their diet. Native peoples once lived in a village at one of the springs. They hunted animals attracted to the salt and produced salt using an evaporation process.
Saline is located in an area once claimed by France. When eighteenth century mapmakers recorded this area, they named the rive "Saline," the French word for salt marsh. Joseph Francis surveyed this area in 1819. Orange Risdon noted the salt springs in the surrounding area on his 1825 plat of the military road between Detroit and Chicago (later US-12). According to early county histories, in 1826 Leonard Miller became the first Euro-American to settle here. The community officially became known as "Saline" in 1832. It became a village in 1866 and a city in 1931.