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SANTA MARIA, TEXAS

Cameron County, Texas Gulf Coast
Highway 281 and Farm Road 2556
12 miles SW of Harlingen
About 25 miles W of Brownsville

Population: 846 (2000)

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Chapel at Santa Maria, Texas
The chapel at Santa Maria
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2004
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History in a Pecan Shell

The area was included in the José de Escandón colony in the 1750s. In 1777 the land was awarded to Rosa María Hinojosa de Ballí. A chapel was built by the Oblate Fathers in 1824.

A post office was opened in 1878 and by 1880 the town was a stage stop and supported two schools. Four years later the estimated population was 500, but just two years later it had fallen to a mere 100 persons. In 1913 the San Benito and Rio Grande Valley Railway came through and made the town a stop.

Although the post office was closed in 1921 - it reopened in 1925. By 1931 the town had increased to 320 people who shopped at 16 stores. The population has see-sawed beween a low of 100 and a high of 281 from the 30s through the 70s. A colonia developed and by 1976 it had an estimated 776 people living there. By the mid 80s the colonia had increased to over 1,000 residents living on 25 acres. Santa Maria proper still reports a population estimate of around 200.

Santa Maria Points of Interest

Photos courtesy Ken Rudine
Our Lady Of Visitation Santa Maria TX
Our Lady Of Visitation in Santa Maria
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Our Lady Of Visitation deatail, Santa Maria TX
Our Lady Of Visitation architectural details
Our Lady Of Visitation plaque, Santa Maria TX
Our Lady Of Visitation plaque
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Longoria Cemetery Tombstones Santa Maria TX
Longoria Cemetery Tombstones
Longoria Cemetery , Santa Maria TX
Longoria Cemetery scene
Longoria Cemetery historical marker, Santa Maria TX
Longoria Cemetery marker
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Santa Maria  Cougars, water tower, TX
Santa Maria water tower
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Rancho De Santa Maria Historical Marker, Texas
Rancho De Santa Maria Historical Marker
Photos courtesy Ken Rudine , February 2008


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This page last modified: February 20, 2008