• Mission San Jose

    El Camino Real de los Tejas

    National Historic Trail TX,LA

Places To Go in Texas

Historic sites and interpretive facilities on El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail in Texas (west to east) for you to visit:

(updated May 20, 2014)

 

Treviño-Uribe Rancho

Location: at the corner of Treviño and Uribe streets, in the northwestern part of San Ygnacio

Telephone: (956) 765-5784 (River Pierce Foundation)

Hours: closed to the public

Historical Significance: The Treviño-Uribe Rancho is a fortified home in San Ygnacio. Jesus Treviño, the town's founder, built this home in 1830 (the same year that the community was settled), safeguarding family and neighbors during frequent Indian raids. The house became known as Fort Treviño. Later Blas Maria Uribe, his son-in-law, built the loop-holed fort. In 1851, he had a native stone made into a polished sundial and set into the north wall of the fort. The home was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 and became a National Historic Landmark in 1998.

Available Facilities: none

Exhibits: none

To learn more: www.riverpierce.org/

Villa Antigua Border Heritage Museum

Location: 810 Zaragoza Street (near Santa Ursula Avenue), Laredo

Telephone: (956) 727-0977

Email: heritage@webbheritage.org

Hours: Tuesday through Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Call for admission price.

Historical Significance: This restored two-story brick building was once home to two early Laredo merchant families. With its size and pivotal location on the banks of the Rio Grande, this Italianate-style residence is representative of the grand houses that populated the San Agustín District in the early 20th century. The home was abandoned for many years and survived numerous fires and initiatives aimed at demolishing it. In 2002, Webb County and its Heritage Foundation acquired the home and undertook its historic rehabilitation.

Available Facilities/Exhibits: This museum showcases the region's history, culture, industry, and populations through a series of changing exhibits and educational seminars.

To learn more: www.webbheritage.org/index_files/22BHM.htm

Republic of the Rio Grande Museum

Location: 1005 Zaragoza Street (near San Agustin Avenue), Laredo

Telephone: (956) 727-0977

Email: heritage@webbheritage.org

Hours: Tuesday through Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Call for admission price.

Historical Significance: This museum is housed in one of Laredo's oldest structures, located on San Agustín Plaza in downtown Laredo. The museum is a Mexican vernacular structure, constructed in 1830 with an 1860 addition. It was once the home of Bartolomé García, prominent rancher and mayor of Laredo. According to tradition, in 1840 the structure served as the capitol of the Republic of the Río Grande. The museum is considered a historic house museum, which features displays re-creating an authentic 1830 home in Laredo. Along with its neighbors, San Agustín Cathedral and La Posada Hotel, the museum forms a triangle of the most visited historic landmarks in the city.

Available Facilities: This museum hosts guided tours for school age children and adults year-round. The museum also provides presentations on local history and preservation to schools, civic organizations, and visitors.

To learn more: www.webbheritage.org/index_files/21RRG.htm

Cabeza Creek Crossing

Location: five miles west of Goliad

Telephone: private property

Hours: closed to the public

Historical Significance: Part of a National Historic District, this is a gravel bar ford that may have been associated with the Bexar-La Bahia Road. Artifacts recorded for the site are American Indian, most likely prehistoric but could also be protohistoric or historic. Swales stretch on both sides of the crossing.

Available Facilities/Exhibits: none

To learn more: www.elcaminorealdelostejas.org/news/132

Nuestro Señora de Rosario Mission (Mission Rosario)

Location: four miles west of Goliad, just southwest of where US Highway 59 crosses the San Antonio River

Telephone: (361) 645-3405 (Goliad State Park and Historic Site)

Hours: This site is still being studied and can be visited only by appointment.

Historical Significance: This mission was established in November 1754 in an attempt to make peace with the various Karankawan tribes who did not get along with the other Indians at existing missions. The sites was virtually abandoned by 1781, reopened in 1789, abandoned again in 1804, and formally closed in 1807. In 1935 the mission, by now a ruin, was given to the Goliad State Park Commission; it was transferred to the state in 1971. It is currently managed as a state archeological monument.

Available Facilities: none

Exhibits: historical marker along the road adjacent to the site

To learn more: www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/goliad/goliad-area-historic-sites

Nuestro Señora del Espíritu Santo de Zuñiga Mission (Mission Espíritu Santo)

Location: 108 Park Road 6, just west of US highways 77 and 183 and State Highway 239, ¾ mile south of Goliad

Telephone: (361) 645-3405

Hours: Seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call for admission price.

Historical Significance: The Spanish established this mission at this site in 1749. It was the fourth mission with this name; the previous three having been established in Victoria (and possibly Jackson) counties. This mission was the first large cattle ranch in Texas, supplying its own needs and those of Spanish colonial settlements as far away as Louisiana. The Franciscan priests closed the mission in 1830. The Civilian Conservation Corps reconstructed the mission during the 1930s so that it would appear as it did in 1783. It became a state park in 1949.

Available Facilities: In addition to the reconstructed Spanish mission, activities include camping, picnicking, hiking, fishing, swimming, and nature study. The park offers a floating dock and river access for kayaks and canoes. The park includes campground, picnic, and day use areas.

Exhibits: Historical study is available through guided interpretive tours; tour fees apply.

To learn more: www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/goliad

McKinney Falls State Park

Location: 5808 McKinney Falls Parkway, six miles south/southeast of downtown Austin (as the crow flies) or 13 miles southeast of downtown Austin (by road)

Telephone: (512) 243-1643

Hours: Gate is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., 7 days per week. Call for admission price.

Historical Significance: An identified site along Onion Creek within the park was a key crossing point along El Camino Real de los Tejas. The park is named for Thomas F. McKinney who came to Texas in the early 1820s as one of Stephen F. Austin's first 300 colonists. Sometime between 1850 and 1852, McKinney moved to Travis County and to his property on Onion Creek, where he built a large two-story home, stone fences, and the first flour mill in the area.

Available Facilities: Primary activities are camping, hiking, mountain biking, road biking, picnicking, fishing swimming, and wildlife observation.

Exhibits: Information on Thomas F. McKinney and the history of the park's land use is interpreted in the Smith Visitor Center.

To learn more: www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/mckinney-falls

Bastrop State Park

Location: 3005 Texas Highway 21, east edge of Bastrop, Bastrop County

Telephone: (512) 321-2101

Hours: Saturday through Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Friday open until 6:30 p.m. between March and November

Historical Significance: present-day State Highway 21 closely follows one of the major routes of El Camino Real de los Tejas; original swales for the old road are located within the state park, but are not specifically identified as such.

Available Facilities and Exhibits: major park activities include backpacking, camping, picnicking, canoeing, swimming (pool), golfing, wildlife viewing, hiking, and interpretive programs; information about El Camino Real de los Tejas is available in exhibits at the park visitor center or by speaking with park staff.

To learn more: www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/bastrop

Apache Pass

Location: 9112 North Farm-to-Market Road 908, eight miles northwest of Rockdale

Telephone: none

Email: apachepass@tex1.net

Hours: the property is not open except for occasional events and conventions; eventually a restaurant (open to the public) will begin operations.

Historical Significance: From 1748 to 1751, three Spanish missions (San Francisco Xavier de Horcasitas, San Ildefonso, and Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria) and a presidio (San Francisco Xavier de Gigedo) were built within five miles of this site by missionaries, soldiers, and resident Indians. The Spaniards' goals were to Christianize and civilize the numerous Indian tribes in the area and to establish a presence. During this period, a rock dam and a system of acequias (canals) were constructed just east of Apache Pass to irrigate the fields of one of the nearby missions. All of these improvements were abandoned in 1755 due to a combination of disease, drought, and Indian troubles. Apache Pass, named by the Spanish, was a gravel bar crossing on the San Gabriel River in this general area that was used successively by Americans Indians, explorers, settlers, and local farmers and ranchers.

Available Facilities: amphitheater, restaurant (upcoming), other ancillary facilities

Exhibits: several outdoor exhibits have been proposed

To learn more: www.apachepass.com/index.html

Mission Tejas State Park

Location: 120 State Park Road 44, 16 miles east/northeast of Grapeland and just north of State Highway 21

Telephone: (936) 687-2394

Hours: unrestricted. Call for admission price.

Historical Significance: Mission San Francisco de los Tejas, the first Spanish mission in the province of Texas, was established in 1690 on San Pedro Creek just east of the site of present-day Augusta. It was abandoned in 1693 and then reestablished in 1716 in nearby Cherokee County. This second mission lasted until approximately 1730. The first site of this mission has not been found. In 1934, the Civilian Conservation Corps built a commemorative representation of the 1690 mission at the park site. The park was managed by the Texas Forest Service until it became a state park in 1956. The Rice Family log home, which was built by Joseph Rice Sr. between 1828 and 1838, is one of the oldest structures in the area. It initially served as a stopover for immigrants, adventurers, and local residents traveling the Old San Antonio Road.

Available Facilities: The park offers fishing, picnicking, campsites, and group facilities as well as a commemorative representation of Mission San Francisco de los Tejas.

Exhibits: The park offers pioneer skills demonstrations, as well as school tours of the two historic structures.

To learn more: www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/mission-tejas

Caddo Mounds State Historic Site Trail Remnants

Location: 1649 State Highway 21 west, six miles southwest of Alto

Telephone: (936) 858-3218

Email: e-mail us

Hours: Tuesday through Sunday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Call for admission price.

Historical Significance: The Caddo Indians selected this site in the Neches River valley for a permanent settlement (a village and ceremonial center) about 800 AD, and for the next 500 years the Caddo dominated life in the region. The site was abandoned during the 13th century. After that time, the Caddo continued to live in the area and shared the culture of previous residents, but later groups lacked the sophisticated ceremonialism and material wealth characterized by earlier times. The Hasinai Caddo groups continued to live through the 1830s in their traditional East Texas homeland. By the early 1840s, all Caddo groups had moved west to the Brazos River area to avoid Anglo settlers who brought repressive measures and colonization efforts. Since the late 1850s, the Caddo have lived primarily in western Oklahoma.

Available Facilities: Visitors can walk the 0.7 mile self-guided interpretive trail to see the Caddos' burial, low temple, and ceremonial mounds. An additional trail along El Camino Real is also available as well as guided tours.

Exhibits: The museum displays approximately 200 artifacts dating from 750-1400 AD, including pottery, tools, and weapons.

To learn more: www.visitcaddomounds.com/

Durst-Taylor House

Location: 304 North St. (north of Hospital Street), Nacogdoches

Telephone: 936-560-5426 (to schedule school groups or other large groups)

Email: e-mail us

Hours: Tuesday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (No charge)

Historical Significance: The Durst-Taylor Historic House is an 1828 wood-frame house; it is the second oldest dwelling existing in Nacogdoches. The pier-and-beam foundation, wood framing, and exterior and interior features make it a rare surviving example of Deep South Anglo-influenced frame dwelling from the late Mexican or early Republic period of Texas history. The Durst-Taylor House was home to many early businessmen, bankers, and political leaders. Recent archeological excavations have revealed that this house was built on the site of an older, Spanish-era dwelling: the Acosta House, which dates from the 1790s.

Available Facilities/Exhibits: The historic house serves as a museum, and the gardens surrounding the house are noteworthy as well. Visitors will find historically accurate plants and structures re-created to illustrate life in Texas during the 1840s.

To learn more: www.ci.nacogdoches.tx.us/departments/dtmuseum.php

Did You Know?

Daughters of the American Revolution granite marker sits on El Camino Real de los Tejas

The identification of El Camino Real de los Tejas's route, now a national historic trail, was based largely on travel diaries, chronicles, and records of Spanish explorers.