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.