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Texas | Columns | Lone Star Diary

Memories of old Saluria

by Murray Montgomery
Murray Montgomery
This place we call Texas is so full of amazing and forgotten locations that the historian and writer will never, in a lifetime, know them all.

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.

Murray Montgomery
Lone Star Diary May 18, 2020 Column


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