History of Salinas
Salinas' earliest inhabitants were small tribes of Native Americans who were largely undisturbed during the Spanish era. It wasn't until Mexico gained independence from Spain in 1822 that outside settlers began to arrive in Salinas. Named for a nearby salt marsh, Salinas became the seat of Monterey County in 1872 and incorporated in 1874.
In the mid-1800s, Salinas' agricultural industry began to grow. In 1867, several local businessmen laid-out a town plan and enticed the Southern Pacific Railroad to build its tracks through Salinas City.
Agriculture continued as the area's major industry and by the end of World War I, the "green gold" growing in the fields helped make Salinas one of the wealthiest cities (per capita) in the United States. Today, "The Salad Bowl of the World" fuels a $2 billion agriculture industry which supplies 80% of the country's lettuce and artichokes, along
with many other crops.