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Cover for Sutherland Springs, Texas

Sutherland Springs, Texas

Saratoga on the Cibolo (Texas Local Series #2)

Richard B. McCaslin


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Winner of the San Antonio Conservation Society Award

In Sutherland Springs, Texas, Richard B. McCaslin explores the rise and fall of this rural community near San Antonio primarily through the lens of its aspirations to become a resort spa town, because of its mineral water springs, around the turn of the twentieth century. Texas real estate developers, initially more interested in oil, brought Sutherland Springs to its peak as a resort in the early twentieth century, but failed to transform the farming settlement into a resort town. The decline in water tables during the late twentieth century reduced the mineral water flows, and the town faded. Sutherland Springs’s history thus provides great insights into the importance of water in shaping settlement.

Beyond the story of resort spa aspirations lies a history of the community and its people itself.
McCaslin provides a complete history of Sutherland Springs from early settlement through Civil War and into the twentieth century, its agricultural and oil-drilling exploits alongside its mineral water appeal, as well as a complete community history of the various settlers and owners of the springs/hotel.

Praise For Sutherland Springs, Texas: Saratoga on the Cibolo (Texas Local Series #2)

“This is a well written and clear description of the struggle of a single town in Texas history trying to grow and thrive in very difficult circumstances, such as poor transportation and insignificant location.”—Anne Sutherland, author of We Cousins: The Robertsons, the Sutherlands, and the Making of Texas
Sutherland Springs, Texas, will be recognized for its thorough research and scholarship. It may well end up being kind of an anchor in a handful of academic studies of place in Texas. I was gripped by the devastating reality of the Civil War and the account of the history of the Mustang Grays; this chapter is strong because it anchors in broader, national scholarship a small, Texas locale.”—M.J. Morgan, author of Border Sanctuary and Land of Big Rivers

"Researched with scholarly precision, yet thoroughly accessible to readers of all backgrounds. . . . Highly recommended."--Midwest Book Review

"[A] superb history of the Sutherland Springs community in Wilson County, Texas. . . . [McCaslin] prepared a masterful study of the life and death of a Texas community that places its history solidly within the contexts of both regional and national events. . . . Sutherland Springs will stand for years as a model of how best to approach writing monographs in state and local history."--Southwestern Historical Quarterly Review

"[A] fine local history . . . there was a time when Sutherland Springs was a well-known resort destination with a promising future."--Central Texas Studies

"[McCaslin's] attention to the craft of history is exquisite. The writing is polished, and the research is deep. This is a well-crafted volume, one that any scholar writing the history of a town or small city would do well to emulate."--West Texas Historical Review

University of North Texas Press, 9781574416732, 320pp.

Publication Date: February 23, 2017

About the Author

RICHARD B. McCASLIN, TSHA Endowed Professor of Texas History at the University of North Texas, is the author of Tainted Breeze: The Great Hanging at Gainesville, Texas, October 1862; Lee in the Shadow of Washington; and Fighting Stock: John S. “Rip” Ford in Texas.