The past forty years have seen great change in the face and pace of the city. Paved roads and a general greening of the area, thanks to a pressurized irrigation system, have enhanced the city's appearance. New homes and schools have been built; old homes and city hall are being remodeled. Farming, largely mechanized, is concentrated upon the production of livestock feed. Truck transport has replaced rail service since the Thistle flood of 1983-84 wiped out the railroad, and moves the SUFCO mine output of some 3,000,000 tons of coal annually. In 130 years Salina has changed from a settlement of thirty families whose hard-scrabble economy was based on farming and livestock to a small city of 2,000 with an economy based on coal mining, trucking, farming, and livestock.
See: Inez Merrill, Salina--Thru the Years (1947); and Salina History Committee, Salina (1963).
Maurine Crane and Warren Ottley