San José de los Corralitos, Zapata County, Texas
The land grant started with a fortified ranch structure to protect the family from Indians and marauders from across the Río Grande. It dates from 1753, when Colonel José de Escandón donated a 350,000-acre grant, a portion of which would eventually become the village of Corralitos (little corrals) and part of an effort to hold title to the Borrego family grant known originally as Nuestra Señora de los Dolores.
Don José Fernando Vidaurri, grandson of the original Borrego grant owner, built the single-room dwelling of sandstone, mud mortar, mesquite, and Montezuma cypress. It had 33-inch thick walls; one door on the east elevation; no windows; six gun ports; and a flat 11-foot tall ceiling. The gun ports facilitated the muzzle of a black-powder firearm, which extended through the opening to be visible from the outside.
This property is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Time period: Post-1750
Ownership: Private, but open to the public as part of the National Ranching Heritage Center, Texas Tech University in Lubbock
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