Thursday, September 1, 2011

On the Road in Victoria, TX

Currently I am sitting in Victoria, TX. This is a very old, by Texas standards, town. Here is some town history to get you going. This is taken from a Welcome to Victoria booklet. My comments are in brackets [ ] as some of their comments are in parens ( ).

In 1494 the Spanish Crown claimed lands in the New World, from Florida to California, but for over two centuries the Texas Gulf Coast remained unsettled and essentially unknown - except by pirates.

[Can you imagine this great place was totally unknown....well you know about it now. I am going to give you some history too. After those two centuries - yep that is 200 years - things got to moving a bit. For those of you that have done the Port Lavaca boondocking some of this will fold right into what you have already learned.]

In 1865 the location of present-day Victoria County [currently referred to as the Golden Crescent - my input] was the site of a significant challenge to Spain's sovereignty over Texas, when the explorer Robert Cavalier de La Salle set up a French Colony at Fort St. Louis. La Salle's expedition left France in 1684, had a trying journey through the Caribbean Islands, missed the Mississippi River, then landed at what is now Matagorda Bay in February of 1685. Once establishing Fort St. Louis on Garcitas Creek in southern Victoria County, the settlers endured loss and hardship - La Salle was murdered by his own men during a trip inland, and the settlement was destroyed in 1689 when the remaining adults were massacred by hostile natives, the Karankawa. [Remember reading about those fierce warriors down at Indianola - white folks ended up wiping them out by our diseases but it took a little bit of time and they took out a bunch of us in battles before we subdued them with illnesses.]

Because of this French intrusion, the Spanish deemed occupation of the Texas territory necessary to prevent future foreign incursions, and the need for establishing missions in East Texas became urgent. In 1721 Presidio La Bahia was built on top of the ruins of La Salle's Fort St. Louis, and the Spanish flag flew of Victoria County.

[For those of you who have stayed at Goliad State park if you remember the Presidio was just down the highway from the park.

Did you notice how urgent this task was for those politicians in the late 1600's? Took them about 30 years to getting around to making this "new Spanish" settlement. Sound about right time wise for us today?

Now let us jump forward from 1721 to 1824 - just a measly 103 years in the life of Victoria here.]

In 1824 Martin De Leon [not related to the earlier other De Leon] was granted permission to found a colony on the Guadalupe River, at a site then known as Las Sabinals (Cypress Grove). The town he founded was named Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe de Jesus Victoria, after the first president of Mexico. Together, he and his ten friends began colonizing Victoria. Main Street at that time was called Calle de Diez los Amigos (The street of Ten Friends) because all the friends lived together on this street, directing defense, commerce and beginning the early development of Victoria. From the start of this community, Victoria has been a friendly comfortable city.

This is the real six flags over Texas, Spain, France, Mexico the Republic of Texas, The United States and the Confederate States.

So now I have to go do a house tour and take pics for you ladies.


  1. Ah, so there you are. I have been wondering where you were off to and your blog pops up. I guess you decided not to stay longer at Shiner. Sounds like you are enjoying yourself.

  2. Shiner was just a day trip. Went to Rockport yesterday - need to blog that and stayed cool today.