A historic photograph of people standing around a body of water

Photo courtesy the University of Texas at San Antonio Institute of Texan Cultures

The impulse to get away from the grind of daily life is not a new one. This circa 1905 photo shows a group of well-dressed picnickers gathered on Salado Creek in southeastern Bexar County. Salado Creek is an intermittent stream that meanders for 38 miles. Rising in northern Bexar County, it runs almost due south through eastern San Antonio before emptying into the San Antonio River. It has been known as Salado Creek since about 1716, when Friar Isidro Félix Espinosa noted its salty waters—salado means “salty” in Spanish—in his diaries of an expedition led by Captain Domingo Ramón. Prior to that, it had been a favored campsite for Native American tribes since the late Pleistocene era. Salado Creek was also the site of the Battle of Rosillo Creek in 1813 and the Battle of Salado Creek in 1842. But none of that likely mattered to these folks: They probably just wanted to catch a catfish or two for lunch.

Know of any fascinating vintage Texas photographs? Send copies or ideas to [email protected].

From the July 2023 issue

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