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.”
Welcome To Salado, Texas where history is still alive.
Early settlers who came to the Salado area found fertile land and abundant springs. It was here that residents built houses, churches, a school, and businesses, including gristmills, hotels, stores, and a distillery. It is to them we owe a debt of gratitude for their vision, hard work, spirit and fortitude in carving the village of Salado out of the limestone and flowing springs we see today. Most of these accomplishments were possible due to the generosity of E. S. C. Robertson’s donation of land in support of the “college.”
Many people who move to Salado say they love its history and that this history is what makes the village unique. These people are right: Salado’s historical significance has been acknowledged by the State of Texas as follows:
* 41 Registered Texas Historic Landmarks marked with a plaque or a medallion. These include people, places, cemeteries, and mills.
* 7 National Registry of Historic Places designations. Additionally, some of the Landmarks also have a NRHP designation or marker.
* 4 Texas Historic Cemeteries.
* 8 water-driven grist mills along 9 miles of Salado Creek. Only 2 are still standing and one site is marked. All have Landmark designations marked with a medallion or plaque.
This is a lot of markers recognizing people and places of historical significance in Salado. Most historic buildings are still standing for you to see. They will be described in this web site.
How We Got to Where We are Today.
The first permanent Anglo-American settler to live in Salado was Archibald Willingham in 1850. 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. The town was founded directly as a result of the establishment of the Salado College. 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 in 1924 and the ruins preserved as the Salado College Park. Many of the historic homes and buildings of Salado are still an important part of this thriving, active, historic, village that you can see during a visit to Salado.
PO Box 251, Salado, TX 76571, US