Located on a segment of the historic caliche road between Corpus Christi and Laredo, La Rosita is another South Texas ranching community originally settled by families from Mier, Mexico. Founded by Cecilio Valerio in the 1830s, the deed to La Rosita became official in 1871 after Cecilio and his two sons were awarded land for their service in the Union Army during the Civil War.
Organized with no particular spatial hierarchy, the Valerio family compound is the nexus of the settlement. The narrow, hipped-roof, wood-framed Valerio Filling Station (c. 1920) —typical of its type—provided gas to travelers until 1940, when vehicular traffic moved north to the new TX 44. Immediately to the northwest, a large structure built of limestone rubble briefly served as the Valerio General Store (1932), replacing an earlier one that functioned as a trading center for area ranchers. The 1932 store, with a flat-roofed section capped by a stepped parapet, and a one-story gabled wing at its front, is the most distinctive landmark in the compound. In typical borderlands tradition, its front gable is emblazoned with the owner's name and date of construction: “4 de Abril, A. Valerio y Hijos, Rosita, Tex. 1932” (“April 4, A. Valerio and Sons, Rosita, Tex. 1932”). After its closure in 1934 due to the state highway bypass, La Rosita began its slow decline with the move of Valerio family members to nearby towns in search of employment.
Other Valerio family buildings include the c. 1900 and 1926 dwellings of Felipe Valerio, a 1904 detached kitchen with cooking chimney, and a family cemetery to the north of the compound.