El Sal Del Rey: A Historic Landmark Weslaco Museum Volunteer to Discuss Historical Significance of the Salt Lake

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Joe Vidales returns for another Sunday Speaker Series presentation.
Joe Vidales returns for another Sunday Speaker Series presentation.

Texas Border Business

Edinburg, Texas — When people talk about salt lakes, they may think of the salt lake in Utah. However, many miles southeast of Utah near Edinburg, a salt lake known as El Sal del Rey holds a rich history of trade, settlers and mineral rights. Joe Vidales, a Weslaco museum volunteer and local historian, will discuss the historical significance of this salt lake during “El Sal del Rey,” a Sunday Speaker Series presentation, Jan. 13 at 2 p.m. at the Museum of South Texas History.

According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, “El Sal Del Rey was acquired in 1992 for inclusion in the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge. The land was purchased to protect the main geologic feature, a 530-acre salt lake, and its surrounding Tamaulipan thornscrub and grasslands.”

Besides its beautiful landscape, there’s an interesting history attached to it. Vidales will explain how native people used the salt lake to hunt, trade and collect salt for treating hides and preserving meat, and Spanish explorers and settlers traded or sold salt to the southern areas of Nuevo Santander and Europe—a commodity that was taxed by the Spanish king. Decades later, salt also became an important part of the U.S. Civil War. Learn more about the importance of this historic South Texas landmark during Vidales’ presentation.

Sunday Speaker Series is included in the fee for regular museum admission. FRIENDS of the MOSTHistory are admitted free as a benefit of FRIENDship and must present their FRIENDship card at the Admissions Desk.   

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