Salado is rich in history, character and legend. The community grew up around a flowing spring fed creek that provided a welcome oasis for early Central Texas visitors.
The Village of Salado was founded at the Old Military Road crossing of Salado Creek in 1859. It developed both as an industrial and agricultural center with a gristmill within the town limits and 7 other mills within 9 miles on Salado Creek.
Originally an Overland Stage and Pony Express Stop on the Old Chisholm Trail, Salado welcomed such Texas luminaries as General Robert E. Lee, General George Custer and Sam Houston. The stage line also brought outlaws to Salado. The James Brothers and Sam Bass are rumored to have been a few of the more infamouse visitors.
The Chisholm Trail came right up Main Street, and the stage lines that served Central Texas included Salado amonth their stops. A wire cable suspension bridge, the first bridge built in the county, was built here in 1869 and stood until the great flood of 1900. Salado Creek has always been a mighty force in the history of this area and it was designated the first recorded Natural Landmark in Texas in 1966.
The revitalization of Salado began in the 1940s as the fame of the dining room Stagecoach Inn spread. It continued with the founding of the Central Texas Area Museum in 1959 and the construction of the first new residential area, Mill Creek, in 1960. The many shops catering to visitors have led to the popularity of Salado. Today Salado has approximately 130 businesses of many kinds, adding to the charm of this small village.