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SANTA ROSA, TEXAS

Cameron County, Texas Gulf Coast

FM 506 and Highway 107
6 Miles N of La Feria
About 4 miles W of Harlingen
About 25 Miles E of Edinburg

33 Miles NE of Brownsville
Population: 5,612 (2010) 2,833 (2000)

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Santa Rosa TX Water Tower Cotton Gin
Santa Rosa Water Tower & Cotton Gin
Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, February 2008
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History in a Pecan Shell

Charles Stillman established the Santa Rosa Ranch in the 1860s. It is from the ranch that the town takes its name. A post office operated on the ranch three years before the Civil War. The ranch became a stop for cotton wagons on their way to Mexico during the civil war.

Development of the town began in earnest in 1913. The community was granted its second post office in 1927 sixty years after the opening of the first facility.

A water district set up an irrigation system and in the early 1920s the community built a brick school, replacing the frame building they had been using.

The Southern Pacific built a depot in 1927 and the following year a highway connected Santa Rosa to La Feria.

The population at the depths of the Great Depression was around 400, declining to 224 By the mid 1940s. It grew to over 1,500 in the 1960s and for the 1990 census the figure was 2,223.
Santa Rosa TX Cotton Gin
Cotton Gin
Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, February 2008
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Santa Rosa TX Rio Theatre
The former Rio Theatre
Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, February 2008
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Old Rio Theatre sign
Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, February 2008
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