Soda Lake

Soda Lake (and Little Soda Lake) was first discovered by emigrants traveling to California, but as the water was too salty to drink they were regarded as little more than landmarks along the trail. In 1855, soda was discovered at Little Soda Lake by Asa L. Kenyon of Ragtown. In 1868, he sold his claim to Higgins & Duffy of San Francisco, who organized a company for soda production. Sixty tons of soda were produced per month, with a value of $55-$65 per ton.

In 1875, efforts began to extract soda at Big Soda Lake, though it was only in an experimental phase until 1885. From then until 1893, some 300 to 800 tons of soda were extracted each year. After the turn of the century, rising water levels due to the Newlands Project flooded the then-inactive operation, which to this day lies deep beneath the surface.