Historical Marker #1642 in Grant's Lick commemorates this Campbell County community's settlement and founding.
In 1793, salt water was discovered in the area by Samuel Bryan, who was a nephew of Daniel Boone. John Grant, also a nephew of the famous frontiersman, owned the land on which the salt water was found and created a profitable business around the mining of salt. Salt licks were natural formations where wildlife often gathered to lick the ground to obtain the mineral. Along with Charles Morgan and John Breckinridge, who also claimed land in the area, a salt drilling effort began in order to manufacture and sell bushels of salt. In July of 1804, Grant, Breckinridge, and James Taylor formed an official partnership in the business.
The process of mining salt was a tedious one. Workers drilled through several feet of mud and sand in a nearby creek bed until they struck rock. The drill needed to descend even further to reach the salt water. Extracted through pipes, the water was pumped by either man or horse power into large salt kettles. Weighing up to ninety pounds, the kettles were boiled in a long trench in the ground. As the water boiled, it evaporated, leaving salt residue behind. Depending on concentration levels, the process required anywhere from 250 to 900 gallons of water to create one bushel of salt.
In order for Grant's endeavor to be successful, nearby roads needed to be developed. All of the men involved in the salt business partnership were influential in the creation of local routes. The entrepreneurs specifically advocated for a road that connected Grant's Lick to Newport and thus the Ohio River. Because of their partnership and common interest in the salt business, the area of Grant's Lick developed into the thriving rural community it is today.