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)

We Join the Boy Scouts?

After our rainy stay in San Antonio, the weather cleared just in time for us to hit the road.  It was a Friday morning (Nov. 7th) and we managed to skirt around San Antonio with very little traffic, much to our pleasant surprise.Goliad Texas

Three hours later we arrived at Goliad State Park….. along with a line of yellow school buses.  Turns out this particular weekend had a lot of happenings going on.  “Oh, joy!”  Actually it’s nice to see the younger generation being taught history with a hands on experience.  Goliad, Texas, is the perfect place for this hands on experience considering the historical sites in the area…. history abounds.

The park was filled with middle school children from the nearby town of Victoria.  That Friday and Saturday reenactors would be present at the onsite Mission Espiritu Santo to help display and reenact life as it was so many years ago.

Mission Espiritu Santo
Mission Espiritu Santo – located on the state park property

I had made an online reservation in the Jacales Camping Area which offers electric and water only.  The full hook-up sites in the Karankawa Camping Area were already all booked up.  Pity, because that is a lovely loop with well spaced sites that I would highly recommend.

Texas state parksUpon check-in, the gal gives us the perfect site (#33) in the Jacales Camping area which is pretty much a parking lot with back-in sites.  The gal says, “I think you’ll be happy with that site and not bothered by the boy scouts”.  Brain fart – comment doesn’t register!

I direct hubby to our campsite.  “Oh yes, what a nice site”.  Our door opens to a grassy area with a picnic table and fire ring.  There’s only one other trailer in the far opposite corner of this rather large square parking area.  “Ah, peace and quiet amongst trees and nature”.  Al and I grabbed showers at the ‘comfort station’ and are rewarded with lots of hot water.  For those of you unfamiliar with living in a RV, LONG HOT showers are a luxury and not the norm for our lifestyle.  A six gallon water heater does not a long hot shower make!

Oh, how I miss my Rinnai tankless water heater (which our last two sticks and bricks homes had) and yes they do make them for RV’s and yes one is on our wish list. Ah, I digress ….

So after our hot showers, we relaxed around camp thinking this is the life.  No sooner said, the first of many vehicles started pulling in followed by the hammering of tent stakes that continued long after sunset.  Campfires were seen in all directions with the occasional sounds of children at play.Boy Scouts of America

We’ve already established in earlier posts that hubby and I are both morning people and are usually enjoying coffee by 6 or 6:30 every morning.  That said, Saturday morning I gazed out the window as I poured my second cup of coffee.  It was 7 a.m. and dozens of little boys were running around the campground playing hide n go seek while their dads were gathered around campstoves cooking up breakfast.Boy Scouts of America

We were surrounded ….. surrounded by tents in all directions.  This wasn’t just a Boy Scout outing, this was a local mini Boy Scout Jamboree which included several scout chapters from southern Texas and we were in the center of it all.Texas State ParksThey were gathered here to enjoy the Rio! Rio! event and learn the history of the area.  We too enjoyed the event as we strolled around the Mission Espiritu Santo grounds and talked to the reenactors.

Do you know the difference between a Cobbler and a Cordwainer?

Rio Rio event
this guy is a ‘cordwainer’ and he was making a pair of boots for himself. Interesting stuff!

A cordwainer makes shoes and a cobbler repairs them.  As a side note; try Googling ‘cobbler’ and you’ll find some amazing recipes LOL.

The cordwainer reenactor was interesting to talk to as he shared the process of boot making.  Then we were on to the spinning wheel.  This gal was making yarn from some Alpaca wool. Her table was loaded with wool from sheep, alpaca, and bunny rabbit angora.  Loved this touchy, feely event!spinning wheel

All the reenactors were gracious and enthusiastic about sharing and being photographed.historical artifactsspinning wheels loomsThe mission itself houses some interesting historical artifacts ….  items used for everyday life.  This was definitely a fun find and the Rio! Rio! event helped bring to light life on a mission 200 years ago.Texas missionsNext, we explore downtown Goliad…..

Texas missions
Hubby receives some much needed enlightenment!

Slaughter at Goliad: The Mexican Massacre of 400 Texas Volunteers

Panasonic DMC-ZS40K Digital Camera with 3-Inch LCD (Black)