Texas T Party 2021 Day 3 Temple Texas

The day started with a steady rain pouring on us. While we decided to take the modern vehicle many hardy souls took their Model T’s. The first destination of the day was Salado, Texas.

While workers were tearing down an old house in Salado in 1986 they came upon a log cabin that appeared to be quite ancient. Some serious research followed. It took a few years to piece the story together that the house had originally been built by Benjamin Bowles (or Boles) around 1835, making the oldest known structure in Salado.
The Boles cabin was carefully relocated to it’s current location behind the Salado city hall building.
We took a wrong turn in Salado and ended up behind one of the historic mansions, the Barton House built in 1866. The main house is of course noteworthy but we liked this sketchy outbuilding perched as it was on a very steep and un – level back yard area.
All over Salado are buildings that are either from the Texas pre – statehood period or from the early statehood and civil war era. One magnificent ruin is the old Salado College / High School building.
The college is famous as the first that had co – ed classes in the United States. The college was officially chartered in 1860 by the Texas Legislature. It operated from February 1860 until 1884 as a college.
The Texas Legislature did not renew the college’s accreditation in 1880 so it continued as a non – accredited entity until it went out of business in 1884.
A private all boys high school eventually occupied the building beginning in 1890.
Next to the ruins of the building are a water well and pump that has been in place since civil war days. It still works!
The building Was destroyed by fire several times in its history. So often that arson was suspected but never proven.
The building burned down in May 1901, October 1901, and finally in 1924.
Today the part of the stone structure remains but little else is standing.
Part of the 1871 expansion addition remains. This is perhaps the best image of the structure as it appeared in its heyday.
Just down 1-35 a few miles is the town of Jarrell, Texas. Jarrell has been continuously occupied since the 1860’s. Right next to the I-35 service road is this restored Socony / Mobil gas station from the 1940’s. While this was not officially part of the Texas T Party tour we felt it was worthy of inclusion here since we visited it today.