Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Historic town of Salado, TX

About forty miles South of Waco, TX, is the small town of Salado. Rich in history, it is now a favorite spot for shoppers, golfers, and folks just wanting to get away. For centuries before being settled, the area had been a campground for Indian tribes hunting wild game. It is the Spanish, on their way through the area, that gave it the name Salado.

The Stagecoach Inn, built by W. B. Armstrong in the 1860s, and first known as the Shady Villa, welcomed weary travelers as they traversed the Chisholm Trail and Old Military Road that connected a string of forts. With sweeping balconies, porches, and big old trees, the Inn provided a respite for stagecoach travelers, cattle barons, soldiers, and others. Some of the famous travelers were Sam Houston, General Custer, Robert E. Lee's son, Shanghai Pierce, and Charles Goodnight. A few notorious individuals like the James Brothers and Sam Bass also stayed, but hid out in the cave next to the Inn. Unfortunately, the hotel guest register which named these people was stolen in 1944.

In the 1940s, the Inn was purchased and restored by Ruth and Dion Van Bibber. Mrs. Bibber created and prepared the famous recipes still served today. In 1959, Ruth's nephew, William E. Bratton, purchased the Inn and added rooms, and other accommodations. The Inn spreads over a large area with walking trails, fishing pond, swimming pool, tennis courts, and a heated mineral water spa. Morris Foster, a native of Salado, is now the proud owner and continues the traditions that made the Inn famous.

December 23, 1967, my husband and I spent our honeymoon at the Stagecoach Inn and returned to the restaurant on our six months anniversary. This New Years, we returned with family. Though we opted to stay in The Rose Mansion (see my blog post at http://www.thewritersvineyard.blogspot.com/ ), we ate one night at the Stagecoach Inn. The food was as good as I remembered. I had the fruit cup, salad, prime rib, mashed potatoes, squash casserole, and coffee ice cream for dessert.

Salado is now filled with quaint shops, tea rooms, B&Bs, and they have a historic drive. If you're ever in the neighborhood, stop and check it out. At Christmas, they have a wide variety of Christmas decorations. I was fortunate to find a shadow box nativity scene half price. I'd been waiting until one grabbed me, and this one did. Be sure and eat at the Stagecoach Inn.

Thursday I'll be blogging at the http://paranormalromancewriters.blogspot.com/
about staying in the haunted Sallie Suite at the historic Rose Mansion built in 1872.

Please leave me a comment.

Thanks for reading and happy writing. Credit for the data above goes to the Stagecoach Inn, Historic Salado, Texas.



Paty Jager said...

What a fun place, and so great that you can visit it often. I bet it brings to mind lots of great story ideas.

Kathy Otten said...

Sounds like a cool place to visit. Especially thinking about all the people, long dead, who stood in the room you stayed in and went up and down the same stairs, etc. I always do that when I visit a historic place, wonder about those who went before.

Linda LaRoque said...

Hi Paty and Kathy,
So true. The place is choked full of stories just waiting to be written. And, man, if those old walls could talk, wouldn't it be awesome!

Catherine Bybee said...

It sounds wonderful and seems you had a good time.

And the walls can talk Linda. You just need to write the words for them.

Celia Yeary said...

I love Salado and the Stagecoach Inn. I've never stayed the night, but I've shopped and had lunch there more than once. The area is full of wonderful historic things--those we love best. But you have to admit, there's something to be cherished about hot water and elevators. We just returned from 12 days in the interior of Mexico, way down close to the Yucatan Penisula. A couple of our hotels were at least four star, but the other three? More like the Salado Inn in its heyday--really (cold water, unrecognizable food, and all that.) But we had a ball anyway! Celia

Lauri said...

Wow, sounds like a really neat place! And one that's close to your heart.

Author Lynda Coker said...

Loved both your blogs, Linda, and looking forward to next week's also. I've never been to Salado, but it's on my sites-to-see list now. I love historical places and buildings.

Mary Ricksen said...

Gosh Linda, that sounds like the kind of place for me. I like it when you feel like you are stepping back in time. I'd love to go there!

Anne Carrole said...

Love to hear about these Texas places! Thanks for the mini-vacation.

Linda LaRoque said...

Thank you ALL for responding. It's been loads of fun reading your feedback.

So true, Catherine, and I hope to get something written soon.

Celia, at the mansion, the water was the right temperature, it was the room temp that fluctuated. My cousin's room was cold, so they turned up the heat and Larry and I had to sleep with just a sheet and were still hot. By the way -- yes, you can be my sister!

Please do check out the paranormal blog, Linda. It's the 8th so I better get busy and get it written.


Tanya Hanson said...

Oh, I wish I lived close tnough to visit here! It's definitely my kind of place.

We visited New England recently and a ton of historic inns and sites. I too try to imagine the folks who've gone before and what kind of lives and personalities they had.

Chiron said...

Wow, how fascinating!

Like Kathy, I also love to envision the people who stayed over the years. I have a clock over a hundred years old and I imagine it sitting on someone's mantle long, long ago.

How wonderful to stay in such a place and revel in the history!

Thanks so much for an excellent glimpse...

Chiron O'Keefe

Sandy said...

Enjoyed learning about Salado, Linda. Some really interesting history.