Possibly the most important non-residential structure in Salado was Salado College, which was built in 1861. It now exists only as ruins on a hill just south of the creek. The building originally stood two stories tall, with the main entrance facing south. The west wall and the northeast comer of the east wall are all that survived amid piles of stone rubble that remained from the last fire. Examination of the remains, however, reveals a surprising sophistication in the construction of the stone walls, which were once plastered with a lime mortar and scored to emulate smooth, precise ashlar courses. In 1890, the structure became the Thomas Arnold High School and remained until 1918. It was abandoned in 1924 after the third fire. (RTHL)
The Salado Museum building was one of the first buildings in Salado and was home to many different businesses. In 1959 it became the Central Texas Area Museum founded by Lucile A Robertson. A merger around 2012 between the Salado College Foundation and the Central Texas Area Museum created the Salado Museum and College Park. Today the Salado Museum and College Park continues to promote the history of Salado and the pioneers who settled here. As well as preserving the Salado College ruins and the history of the Salado College. The Museum hosts the Annual Scottish Gathering and Highland Games each November.
Visit www.saladomuseum.org for more information.
Stagecoach Inn begun its existence in 1860 on one of the first lots sold in Salado. Thomas Jefferson Eubanks built the Salado House Hotel to serve travelers along the stagecoach route. This landmark hotel has gone through many hands throughout the years and was once known as the Buckles Hotel. When known as the Shady Villa Hotel its entrepreneurial owner, Dion Van Bibber and wife Ruth, purchased the property in 1943. It was first known for its old fashioned restaurant where waitresses recited the daily menu. In 1960, it became a destination resort when the modern motel complex and club were added. The complex was recently renovated and opened. (RTHL & NRHP)
The Stagecoach Inn log cabin was built two miles west of this site on a ranch in the 1800s. In the 1930s a family lived in it when working on the ranch. In 1934, it was given to the owners of the Stagecoach Inn who used it as a restaurant. At that time the cabin was on Highway 81, right in front of the cabin. Meals were 35 cents and consisted of “depression food” served family style. The menu was fried fish/chicken, black-eyed peas and other homemade dishes. Through the years it has been used as a variety of shops. When the Dion Van Bibber owned the Inn, it was his office. In the 1980s, the cabin was a gift shop. The current owners do not have plans for its use. (SHSL)
The Barbee-Berry Mercantile Building, built around 1870 housed one of the earliest mercantile businesses and commercial buildings that remain from Salado's earliest years. It is two stories and exhibits fine masonry craftsmanship in its construction. Though the building has been adapted for continued use, it remains an intact example of 19th-century commercial architecture. In the Salado Creek flood of 1921, the store was flooded with five feet of water, washing away all the merchandise. (NRHP) This is also the site of the old Salado First State Bank that was built from rock taken from the Vickrey-Berry home on Main Street.
This is the site of the old Salado First State Bank that was built from rock taken from the Vickrey-Berry home on Main Street. After the bank closed, the building was abandoned. In 1962, a former New York model, Grace Rosanky Jones, purchased the old bank building and began renovation for what later became a celebrated upscale dress shop named Grace Jones. It offered the finest in fashion from New York, Paris, and Milan, attracting customers from throughout the United States. Today, it is a retail shop. (SHSL)
Gushing limestone springs, abundant fish, flowers and trees have made the banks of Salado Creek a good home site. Indians camped beside stream; Spanish explorers names it. The first Anglo-American settler was Archibald Willingham in 1851 built a log cabin. The College and town of Salado were built on creek in 1860. The creek once had 8 mills, thus was the county industrial center. Chisholm Cattle Trail crossed it, as did Dallas--San Antonio stage line. The 35 - mile creek is one of many which rise at the Balcones Fault - an outstanding North American region of springs. ( RTHL)
The Guest and Sanford grain storage property was purchased for $200 in 1957. Earl Guest and Paul Sanford built a grain storage building on the property in 1958 to store government grain purchased from local farmers. The grain storage building was built with a tin exterior and wooden planks on the inside walls. It had an aeration system to stabilize moisture and heat. The interior lumber is all original. The building’s capacity was 2,250,000 lbs. of grain. The building was renovated for use as a theater (Silver Spur). And, again renovated for the Barrow Brewing Co., serving excellent craft beer. (SHSL)
The George Washington Baines House was built in 1867 when he came to Salado to be the Baptist pastor. His second wife, Cynthia, daughter Annie Melisa and son, Taliaferro lived with Rev. Baines. He died in Belton in 1882 and is buried in the Salado cemetery. The house represents an original construction in the Greek Revival mode with some characteristics of Victorian architecture due to later modification in the 19thcentury. The property has been restored to its middle 19th-century condition and served as one of the bed-and-breakfast buildings. (RTHL , NRHP)
This graveyard, a 2.5-acre site given by E. S. C. Robertson, is the final resting place for many prominent Salado residents. Many of the grave sites have Texas Historical Commission Markers. The earliest marked burial site is 1856. Oral tradition indicates there were others buried there prior to then, but those earlier burials are not marked or documented. Stones throughout this section of the graveyard mark old burial sites since carved markers were not readily available. Marble was used as a common marker in later years since it was easy to carve and was imported from other states. (THC)
Salado has one of the last Cattle Dipping Vats in Texas. The need for dipping vats arose from cattle dying from protozoa (ticks) carried on the backs of longhorns that swam the Rio Grande from Mexico. In1888 the cause of “Texas Fever” was discovered. In 1889, a solution to dip cattle in a lime/sulfur mixture was discovered. In 1892, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture stopped the shipment of cattle from Texas. This devastated the cattle industry. To combat the ticks, vats were built that were 30 ft. long, 2.5 ft. wide and 7 ft. deep. Beaumont Crude was put in the vats until a refined mixture of arsenic. soda and pine tar was developed and used until 1980. Many vats were destroyed by people opposed to dipping cattle. (SHSL)
The Maj. A. J. Rose House was built in 1870. The home is made of wood-frame with an ell-shaped plan in the Greek Revival style. Maj. Rose built this house for his wife Sarah and their eleven children. The house was built on a large amount of land at the east end of Salado. It remained in the Rose family well into the 1960s. He died in 1903 and his wife in 1900. ( RTHL, NRHP )
The Salado United Methodist Church was built in 1890 and portrays the popular Carpenter Gothic Revival style of that time. The congregation was originally formed in 1854 by a circuit rider at Pecan Grove but didn’t have a building before this one. The stained glass windows have been added throughout the years. The building was moved to an new location on Royal Street in 2005 to make room for a new sanctuary and offices/classrooms. Because of its historic significance, the building was kept in its original form and restored. Today it is used for special occasions. The original site of the church was on Thomas Arnold Rd. ( RTHL)
Built in 1871, the house is named for its two most prominent occupants: John Hendrickson and William J. Caskey. John Hendrickson was a stone mason active in building the first Texas State Capitol in 1853, Salado College, Barton House, Twelve Oaks, and Salado’s cable suspension foot bridge.
In 1882 William Caskey and wife moved to Salado for their children’s education at Salado College. William was active in establishing Thomas Arnold High School, a member of the Salado Grange #1, and a Mason. First Baptist Church used this building as their parsonage. until 1924. It was completely restored. (NRHP)
Dr. Benjamin B. McKie and wife Eva built this Greek Revival residence of limestone blocks quarried from a site near the creek. “Whiskey Jack” Hendrickson constructed the house. The original plan had fifteen rooms, six fireplaces and walls twenty-two inches thick. It was built when he returned from the Civil War so his son and daughter could attend Salado College. Dr. McKie practiced medicine until his death in 1883. The name “Twelve Oaks” comes from the many large oak trees surrounding the house. The house has been completely restored. ( RTHL , NRHP)
On this site in 1861 - 65 the William R. Alexander Distillery met a wartime need in Texas when Governor Lubbock closed all Texas distilleries, to save grain. Army calls for medicinal liquor (for opiate and stimulant purposes) soon caused him to order a few, including Alexander’s, re-opened. In drastic medical shortages, Texans throughout the Civil War gave such help as they could. Bandages, sewing silk, lint, polk weed, peach bark, barilla and other home medical aids went to various military units. ( RTHL )
Crossing the Salado Creek has always been a challenge for early day residents of Salado and a daily challenge for students attending Salado College. Crossing was done be stepping across the creek on strategically places rocks. Then came logs chained to those rocks to keep the feet dry when crossing, however, heavy rains washed the logs away. In 1868 enough money was raised for a wire cable suspension foot-bridge which served the people for thirty years. Then in 1892 the county built an iron wagon-foot bridge. After a flood destroyed it, a duplicate bridge was built which was also destroyed. Finally, in 1922 the current concrete bridge was completed with reinforced steel set into the rock bed. Creek flooding has been over the bridge many times since then. ( RTHL )
The First Baptist Church congregation was formed in Salado in 1864. In 1878, the First Baptist Church built a two-story wooden structure that was shared by the local Masonic Lodge 296, AF&AM. The land was donated by O.T.Tyler who lived next door. In the original building, the Baptists met on the first floor and the Masons met on the second floor. The second floor was literally sawed off and moved to Church St. where the Masonic Lodge 296 now meets. The lower half was torn down. Two other markers are at the church: Louisa Adeline (Addie) Barton, missionary to Mexico: and Kate and Zachary Taylor, missionaries to Brazil. ( RTHL
The mill that created the most attention in Salado was the Davis Mill, constructed in 1864 by William A. Davis, it was the first stone mill with carding machine in this vicinity. A sawmill and gin were added in 1866. With its French burrs, Leffel water wheel, and silk bolt from Galveston, the mill produced flour for local homes. Widows did not pay a
Davis’ deed allowed him to build a dam that would not create an overflow of springs along the creek. So he built a dam that caused the springs to overflow the creek and prevented free use of the springs for drinking water. After many complaints about the height of the dam being 8 to 10 inches over creek level, Mr. Davis refused to lower the dam. He was sued in Bell County Court. After a verdict favoring Mr. Davis was overturned upon appeal to the Texas Supreme Court, another trial ruled in favor of the citizens request to lower the dam.
The Davis House, built ca. 1874 on Main Street, has developed from an original , double-pen log structure into the almost random plan of today. It even incorporated a small frame store that was moved up the hill from the creek and attached in 1900. Another addition was completed in 1920. One of the mantels has a carved star placed on it that is original to the house. Today it is a coffee shop. (NRHP))
The Anderson House, built in 1860 on eight acres, four of which still remain with the house. The home is in the Greek Revival style even though some of the design details and proportions are not typically those of the Greek Revival style as seen in Texas. James Anderson built the house for his wife Elizabeth and fourteen children. The first sale of the house was in 1864 for the sum of $2,000 Confederate notes. Adjacent to the house is a native limestone building also built in 1860. It has had many uses in the past including only saloon. ( RTHL , NRHP )
In 1860, the historic Rock Building was built as part of the James B. Anderson home next door. It was built of hand cut limestone. The fireplace, ceiling rafters and front doors are original. The side room was added in 1985 of old lumber. It was first used by Anderson as his office when he was Justice of the Peace. Over the years the building has been used as a variety of stores, law office, bootmaker, stagecoach stop, livery stable, and only saloon ever in Salado. In 1882, the building was leased for a saloon. When the ladies of the community found out they felt the moral, cultural, and religious foundations of Salado would be eroded. The men did not see a saloon that way and did nothing. The ladies developed a strategy and two at a time sat in front of the saloon when it opened knitting all day. The result was no one entered the saloon. The owner was so angry he packed up and moved to Holland where he opened the “Salado Saloon” out of spite for what the ladies of Salado did to him. (RTHL with house next door)
The Tyler House, built in 1857 is located on Main Street across from the Anderson House. When built it was used as a boarding house. It is in the Greek Revival style in its overall form and facade. Judge Orville T. Tyler, wife Caroline, three sons and two daughters moved to this house in 1864 so their children could attend Salado College. This was their home for 20 years. The originally detached kitchen was later joined to the main structure around 1935. Its original floor plan was restored. (RTHL, NRHP)
Built in 1878, this building is the top half of the original First Baptist Church. The church met on the first floor and the lodge met on the second floor. It was sawed off and moved to Church St. where it is Masonic Lodge 296 AF&AM. The lodge was formed June 13, 1867 and has been active ever since. (NRHP, SHSL)
The Armstrong-Adams House, built ca. 1868, is modest in size. Nevertheless, it is a fine example of Greek Revival architecture. The home is named for the elder doctor David Armstrong and wife, Julia, who built it, between 1869 and 1872. The second occupant of the home was Dr. D. G. Adams. Over the years it has been home to several doctors and serves as a dental office today. The house has undergone extensive renovations over the years but retains its historic footprint. ( RTHL , NRHP)
Built in 1872, by Edward R.A. Buckles, he resided in the house one year before selling it in 1873 to Col. Nimrod Norton and wife Mary. Col. Nimrod and partners donated pink granite for the exterior of the state capitol. He in turn, sold the house in 1882 to John and Kate Alma Orgain who were both prominent educators at Salado College and Thomas Arnold H.S. The house is now a B&B. (RTHL, SHSL)
The Levi Tenney House, was built in 1860 by the first president of Salado College. It is one story and is quite modest in size. Nevertheless, it is a fine example of the Greek Revival style of symmetry and proportions. It has been added on in the back. The family lived in the house for about a year before Levi was released from his position at the college. (NRHP)
Built in 1866 by Dr. Welborn Barton this two-story native stone house for his wife Louisa and ten children. He and his wife ran a busy medical practice from the house. It was on 22 acres of land purchased from E.S.C.Robertson for $50. After Barton’s death in 1883, Louisa provided room and board for students to supplement her income. She died in 1920. The house consists of two full floors and a cellar, constructed into a hillside. It is now a fine restaurant. ( RTHL , NRHP)
Dodd’s Creek Lenticular Truss Bridge. One of many patented truss designs developed in the mid- to late-19th century, this 87-foot lenticular truss bridge features a curved top and bottom chord which forms a lens shape. This bridge originally was located across Cowhouse Creek and later was moved to Dodd's Creek. In 1990 the Texas Historical Commission and the Texas Department of Transportation recognized the bridge as a historically significant engineering structure. The Dodd's Creek bridge was moved to this site (Campbell Branch) in 1997 to improve the flow of traffic, protect pedestrians and enhance the Salado Historic District. ( RTHL)
Founded in March 1859, this Church of Christ congregation first met in a brush arbor on the north bank of Salado Creek. The first two elders were James Anderson and J.W. Vickrey, both of whom were instrumental in the organization of Salado College. A frame sanctuary, erected on North Main Street in 1875 was destroyed by fire in 1908. A second frame structure served the congregation until 1961, when it was replaced by a brick sanctuary. A new building was erected in 1988. This church has served the people of Salado for over a century. ( RTHL, SHSL)
The Vickrey House was built in 1885 by Granville N. Vickrey for his family. He was a prominent merchant, builder, cattleman. He owned a grocery store and several farms in the area. The house is an example of Second Empire construction. This Victorian style was less common in Texas, and it is unusual to find a Mansard roof on this small, ell-plan house. This is the only example of Victorian architecture in Salado. The house is now an antique shop. ( NRHP)
The site of the Hamblen homestead is now the site of the administrative offices of Salado Independent School District and Civic Center. A house was built on this site by William & Alice Hamblen in 1868. William was a trustee of Salado College for 20 years. After William died, Alice Hamblen donated the family homestead and 4.6 acres for the site of a new public school in 1924. The home was torn down for the school building that now stands in its place. It was used as a school until 1969. The Hamblen family cemetery is located behind the school. ( RTHL )
In 1919, the stockholders of the old college property voted unanimously to donate the grounds and buildings for use by Salado Public Schools. The ageing facility served the public school system until 1924, when a third fire destroyed the building, as discussed earlier. The community was in desperate need of a modern schoolhouse. Alice Joy Hamblen, the widow of William K. Hamblen, came to the rescue with a generous donation. The donation included the old Hamblen family home, demolished to make room for the new brick facility that was constructed in 1924. After many years of use as a school, in 1979 it ceased to be used as a public school. The community restored the building and used it as Salado's Civic Center. Today it houses the offices of the school district. The building is located at Main Street and Van Bibber Lane. (SHSL)