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Texas Brazos Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Salado


THE STREETS OF SALADO

As a welcome break from travel on Interstate 35 between Austin and Waco or as a destination, downtown Salado rewards visitors with art galleries, antiques stores and restaurants in 19th Century limestone buildings and historic residences. Salado’s Main Street saw the dust of cattle headed to market along the Chisholm Trail and served as a well known stopping point for stagecoaches. Wagon wheels carved permanent ruts in the bedrock of Salado Creek, where fish-filled springs lured Native Americans long before Spanish explorers and Anglo-American settlers arrived. The creek itself is a designated Texas Natural Landmark.

The town, platted in 1859, promoted education and culture from the start. Salado College rose on a hill above Main Street. (Stone ruins remain.) The school sponsored a men’s debating group and a women’s society that discussed books, presented plays and raised funds for a circulating library. The first farmers’ Grange in Texas organized in Salado in 1873. Today, visitors can retrace Salado history with a vaudeville show at the Silver Spur Theater in a renovated granary followed by an order of hush puppies at the Stagecoach Inn. The Inn, founded as Shady Villa in 1860, maintains the original frame buildings as a restaurant. .


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Texas in Review - Salado (1957)
Donor: Texas Historical Commission
Sound | 1957
Film courtesy Texas Archive of the Moving Image

This clip, originally aired as part of the August 19, 1957 episode of Texas in Review, gives an overview of the historic town of Salado on the eve of a major highway rerouting that would divert traffic away from the community. Framed as an answer to the question "What can be found on the scenic detour of Old Highway 81," the film highlights the towns attractions. Among the sites included are Salado Creek, the Robertson home - a traditional 22-room plantation mansion and grounds, the ruins of Salado College, and the Statecoach Inn.