Salado is a village in Bell County, Texas, United States. Salado was first incorporated in 1867 for the sole purpose of building a bridge across Salado Creek. In 2000 the citizens of Salado voted in favor of re-incorporation, before which point it was a census-designated place (CDP). The population of the village was 2,126 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Killeen–Temple–Fort Hood Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The town is home to the Stagecoach Inn, the oldest continuously running hotel in Texas.
Welcome sign in Salado, Texas
Location of Salado, Texas
|Coordinates: 30°57′19″N 97°32′5″W|
Archaeological evidence of a paleolithic Native American settlement dating back about 15,500 years, the Buttermilk Creek Complex, has been unearthed in Salado.
The first record of white settlers in the area occurs in 1834 however by 1836 the pioneer settlers abandoned area due to frequent Indian attacks and the invasion by General Santa Anna and the Mexican Army. The first permanent Anglo-American settler at Salado was Archibald Willingham in 1850. In 1852, the Salado Post Office was established. In 1859, the Salado College Joint Stock Company was created by Col. Elijah Sterling Clack Robertsonwho donated 320 acres north and south of the springs to be broken into lots and form the village of Salado. With the proceeds of the sale going to form Salado College. The college would operate from 1860-1885 and from 1895 to 1913 the former college building was occupied by the Thomas Arnold High School.
From 1866 till 1885, the famous Chisholm Trail cattle drives passed through this area, with the Stagecoach Inn being one of the stops. In 1867, Salado incorporated to build a bridge across Salado Creek. By 1884 the Salado had a population of 900, 7 churches, 14 stores, 2 hotels, 2 blacksmiths, and 3 cotton gins. However after the railroads bypassed Salado to the North and South trade moved away from the town and population began to dwindle, hitting 400 by 1914 and down to 200 by 1950.
There are 19 Salado locations listed in the National Register of Historical Places including the George Washington Baines House.
Salado is located in south-central Bell County at . Interstate 35 runs through the village, leading north 9 miles (14 km) to Belton, the county seat, and south 23 miles (37 km) to Georgetown.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 2.2 square miles (5.7 km2), of which 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 2.10%, is water.
Salado is located along the Balcones Fault, which causes the emergence of surface waters. The fault line is also a demarcation line for some species' natural ranges. For example, the California Fan Palm, Washingtonia filifera, occurs strictly west of Salado or the Balcones Fault.
Salado Creek was selected as the first Texas Natural Landmark.
The Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) is headquartered in the Salado Civic Center in downtown Salado.