Hidalgo: Hidalgo Viejo (Old Hidalgo) Historic District
The Hidalgo Viejo Historic District (also known as “Old Hidalgo”) is comprised of six buildings from the late 19th century. This cluster of historic structures represents the community that developed along the north bank of the Rio Grande River that was founded on 18th century Spanish settlements. In fact, the settlement, known as the Spanish Nuevo Santandar Colony, may have begun as early as 1779. The buildings include the old Hidalgo County Courthouse and jail, built in 1886 to replace the originals destroyed by flooding. Both the courthouse and jail are constructed of handmade brick by mason Juan Rios from Reynosa, Mexico. The courthouse was once capped with a wooden cupola, lost in a fire in 1910. Nearby are the Post Office, built in 1839 and featuring a “tipichil” roof (a type of caliche concrete), and the Rodriquez Store, a two-story brick construction built in 1890. The Odell Store and the Rodriguez Pioneer House complete the district.