place we call Texas is so full of amazing and forgotten locations
that the historian and writer will never, in a lifetime, know them
This happened to me recently when I came across a town that I had
never heard of - Saluria, Texas. I've probably been near this
place many times and never knew that it was once a thriving port on
the Gulf of Mexico.
According to The Handbook of Texas, Saluria was located on
the eastern end of Matagorda Island, in Calhoun
County. It was founded in 1847 by Alexander Somerville, James
Power, and Milford P. Norton. In March of that year, Saluria was designated
as a port of entry.
By 1848 the town had a post office and in 1852 the federal government
built a lighthouse nearby. With the start of the Civil War, many federal
troops were located in Texas, and on April 25, 1861, 500 of them surrendered
to Confederate forces. But as was the practice back then they were
paroled and allowed to sail to New York.
In 1862, fearing invasion by Union troops, the Confederates abandoned
the place and moved inland. After the war, Saluria began to prosper
and by 1869 it seemed to be doing well. However, like many towns on
the gulf coast, it was eventually done in by several hurricanes.
Although they tried to rebuild, all that was left of the community
in 1904 was a rural school and by 1936 even that had been abandoned.
In a piece entitled Union Occupation of Saluria by Pat Parsons,
we can find more interesting information about the place. It seems
that in the 1850 census, there were 120 "free people" and 44 slaves
living in Saluria. Warehouses were built along the wharves and ships
from the famous Morgan Ship Line often docked there.
According to Parsons, there were carpenters, sailors, attorneys, and
one doctor doing business in the town. People came to Saluria from
Ireland, England, as well as, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Maine - just
to name a few.
Activity at Saluria during the Civil War is very interesting to read
about and Pat Parsons has documented it very well. I suggest that
the reader searches for Union Occupation of Saluria online
to get more information about the old town.
Saluria is just another one of those places in the Lone Star State
that have been forgotten to the passage of time - there are many more
of them out there waiting to be rediscovered.