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When Mexico yielded title to the land north of the Rio Grande River in 1848, it reinforced the American belief in Manifest Destiny. In 1873, the Gulf Colorado and Santa Fe Railway began building a new route to ship freight and passengers between the port of Galveston and Denver, Colorado. Railroad executives and businessmen took the opportunity to establish new towns along the route. Here in Galveston County, the towns of Alta Loma , Algoa , and Arcadia can trace their history to the GC&SF Railroad.

Although each community had its own primary schools for their children, the citizens chose to consolidate the schools in order to establish a first-rate high school. In 1928, these three communities formed the first consolidated school district in the county and named the high school Santa Fe, after the railroad that linked their towns. Eventually, in 1978, the town of Santa Fe was incorporated. The transition from three towns into one came smoothly, since children in the communities had attended high school together for about 50 years.


 First Graduating Class of Santa Fe High School, 1929 L to R:
Rufus Polinard, Charles Palmo, Selma Wilson, Margarita Saunders, Daura Palmo, Charles Solie
Courtesy of the Santa Fe Area Historical Foundation
  Original Santa Fe High School Band, 1952-53
Courtesy of the Santa Fe Area Historical Foundation