Historic Goliad

We ventured into downtown Goliad, Texas, and realized we timed our visit perfectly.  Market Days; this was the one Saturday of the month for the event and with Christmas fast approaching what better way than to stroll around looking for unique gifts.

market days
me strolling around Goliad courthouse square Market Days

Unfortunately, the vendors had a hard time holding our attention as our interests were quickly drawn to the plagues around courthouse square.  There were tributes to fallen soldiers, plaques describing historical events, but the plaque that intrigued us the most was that of the “hanging tree”hanging tree

Goliad Texas
The ‘hanging tree’ sits in front of the Goliad courthouse and today serves as a shade provider

Hard to say how many lynching’s took place here.  Today this beautiful oak tree serves as shade for those taking a break from an arduous day of shopping.missions in TexasThis quaint little town with a population of less than 2,000 is rife in history.  From the courthouse, to the hanging tree, to the historical buildings and missions, to sites of battlegrounds……. Goliad, Texas played an important role in American history.Presidio La Bahia

Our next stop was Presidio La Bahia, known as the Fort of the Bay.  This is the most fought over fort in Texas history having seen six National Revolutions.  The Presidio was built in the 1700’s by the Spaniards.  We were able to walk here from the campground.  As a matter of fact, the state park is so conveniently located, one could walk or ride a bike into town or any number of historical sites.Presidio La Bahia

forts and missions in TexasAs we arrived at the Presidio La Bahia, the first thing we noticed was the row of 9 flags.

Six flags represent the governing bodies over the years; Spain, France, Mexico, Republic of Texas, Confederate States of America, United States of America.

There is an additional 3 flags – Flags of Revolution.  You can read more about the flags here.missions and forts in TexasWe enjoyed strolling around this old fort and laying hands on history.missions in Texas

Our Lady of Loreto ChapelOur Lady of Loreto Chapel was built in a corner of the fort and was used by soldiers and Spanish settlers living in the area.  It is the oldest building in the compound and in continuous service since the 1700’s.

This centuries-old chapel was where Fannin’s men were held during part of their captivity before being massacred.  The Goliad massacre was a horrific event and a turning point in history.

Mass continues to be held here every Sunday.  As a matter of fact, Presidio La Bahia is owned and operated by the Catholic Church.

Catholic Diocese of VictoriaDid you know you can actually spend the night at Presidio La Bahia?  You can read about the rentable living quarters here.

quarters at Presidio La Bahia
the wood door is the private access to the living quarters

missions and forts in TexasHubby is the history buff in this family and even though I’m not very good at retaining historical events or information, I am fascinated by learning the how, where, when, and why of things.  I also have an appreciation for the finer things in life and I was particularly taken by the remains of the fine plates and bowls used so many years ago.  To think ….. these beautiful plates survived the crossing of the Atlantic ocean via ships during the 1700’s.missions in TexasEven though Presidio La Bahia is considered a military fort and not a mission, I’ve often wondered why Texas is home to so many historical missions.  During the 1700’s, Texas was populated by bands of native people who lived a nomadic lifestyle and made their living by hunting and gathering.  The Spanish hoped to transform these roving folks into Christians.  Thus the building of Missions; a European-type of settlement.Texas missionsThere is so much more history, important battles, and memorials to share …. more than I have the ability to write about.  Suffice it to say Goliad, Texas is worthy of a stop and that goes for history buffs and non-history buffs alike.

Next stop….. Galveston GalSP 390

Texas Rifles and Massacre at Goliad
The Missions of Texas (Spotlight on Texas)