The photo above is the 1901 graduating class of Thomas Arnold High School
The first permanent Anglo-American settler to live in Salado was Archibald Willingham in 1850. In 1852 a post office was established when a stage line that ran between Waco and Austin began a weekly run, before the town was laid out. The town was founded directly as a result of the establishment of the Salado College. In October of 1859 Col. Elijah Sterling C. Robertson, son of empresario Sterling C. Robertson, offered to donate land north and south of the springs to a corporation to sell stock, build a college, and lay out the land into lots for a town to be called Salado. Salado prospered as an educational, industrial, and agricultural center. At one time a series of eight flour and grist mills were built on Salado Creek. After the railroads bypassed Salado, trade declined, and the college was forced to close. From 1890 to 1913 the former college building was occupied by the Thomas Arnold High School. After a series of fires the school was abandoned and the ruins are now maintained as part of the Salado Museum. Many of the historic homes and buildings of Salado are still an important part of this thriving, active, historic, village.
The Salado Historical Society is dedicated to researching and preserving the history of the area and of the families that helped build this community. Their mission is “To locate, educate, and preserve the history and the historical integrity of the Village of Salado.”
The Salado Historical Society is excited about the first ever “Texas History Days in Salado”, which will happen June 8, 9, & 10. SHS is making plans for an old-fashioned experience that will provide entertainment for kids of all ages. The events will happen on the grounds of the historic cabins that are located on Van Bibber Road behind the Salado Civic Center. There will be tours of the three historic cabins on the premises: the Aikens-Boles Cabin, which is believed to be the oldest structure in Salado; the Denman Cabin, the home of the M. H. Denman family (11 children!); and the Writer's Cabin, where Eustace Hutchens crafted his unique stories of Old Salado. Barry and Barb Starcher, of Salado, will be providing music for guests, using his beautiful, handmade instruments and handcrafters will be demonstrating and teaching sewing, weaving, lace-making, pottery pinch-pots, and many other old-fashioned crafts. Barb has also offered a work of art to raffle off. We will be looking for volunteers to demonstrate home-made ice cream preparation and for roasting marshmallows for s'mores. In addition there will be opportunities to help plant a community vegetable garden. All of the activities will be tied together with storytellers to enhance the family experience. If you would like to make suggestions and/or volunteer please call Sandi Wicker @ 254-760-9655. For more information on the Texas History Days In Salado event go to www.texashistorysalado.com