In The Pines With Dana Goolsby

East Texans Hold Their Breath Through Salmon

East Texans Hold Their Breath Through Salmon- Salmon, Texas lies on the Missouri Pacific Line, along U.S. Highway 287 and State Highway 19. Before the area came to be known as Salmon, the area was commonly referred to as Byron Switch. In 1902, a post office was opened in the general store built, owned, and operated by Meredith D. Salmon. Salmon became the first postmaster and namesake of the small community, located near the Houston and Anderson county line. By 1914, the small town is estimated to have had had approximately 100 residents, three general stores, a cotton gin, a sawmill, as well as telephone service. Population estimates range from 10 to 100 as the town grew and declined on a roller coaster existence. 

Area residents who commonly traveled along U.S. Highway 287 formed an unusual habit of holding their breath through the ghost town. Area residents have been holding their breath through Salmon since the late Fifties. Many deep breaths have been taken and held through Salmon, as generations continue to pass along a little trick that reveals just how small Salmon is.

“Salmon is so small you can hold your breath through the whole town,” locals used to say just before they took a deep breath as the vehicle neared the Salmon sign.

One deep breath will carry you through the little community with ease. There are several small communities in East Texas that one could hold their breath through, or even bat an eye and miss entirely.

Today a replica of the early general store and post office can be seen from the highway in Salmon. The replica was built by a descendant of Meredith D. Salmon.

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