Near Menard in Menard County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
Presidio de San Sabá
(Fort of San Sabá)
Lining the inside of the presidio were some fifty rooms. These included soldiers’ quarters, storerooms, blacksmith shops, kitchens and armories. A corral for cattle was built along the west wall; another corral to the south was used for horses.
Few Original Stones Remain
After the presidio was abandoned, it quickly fell into ruin. By 1905 much of the stone used by the Spaniards over a hundred years earlier had been hauled off to build houses, fences, and various structures around Menard, including the stone wall around the town’s cemetery and the original
The large carved stones to either side of the arch entry are believed to still be in their original location. Over the last two hundred plus years, many visitors left their names scratched in the gate. Notice the letters “BOUIE”. It is known the Jim Bowie and his men were in the area in 1831 searching for treasure, and he or one of his men may have scratched his name in this stone. Spanish documents have changed the spelling to correspond with their alphabet. Jim Bowie was killed at the Alamo in San Antonio in 1836.
“I rode south-west five miles to river San Saba...Here are the crumbling ruins of a mighty edifice of carved stone; and the remains of a net-work of irrigation ditches, extending miles along the river, tell of a former population, enlightened, prosperous, and multitudinous. This was a colony of farmers, miners and evangelists,
From The Coming Empire by Colonel Nathaniel Alston Taylor, 1877
(Upper Left Graphic Caption)
Detail of San Sabá river area map showing the presidio. Drawing by Joseph de Urrutia. Image courtesy of Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas, Austin.
(Middle Left Graphic Caption)
Artists’ conception of the presidio as it looked circa 1767. Drawing by James Ivey from La Tierra, 1981 8(4). Courtesy of the Southern Texas Archaeological Association.
(Lower Left Graphic Caption)
Map of the presidio drawn by Joseph de Urrutia in 1767. Redrawn and translated from Moorhead 1975.
(Lower Right Image Caption)
Original Presidio Stone. An archaeology student traces the name “Bouie,” carved in one of the original presidio stones. Photograph by Grant D. Hall.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial Era • Forts or Castles.
Location. 30° 55.352′ N, 99° 48.138′ W. Marker is near Menard, Texas, in Menard County. Marker can be reached from U.S. 190 1.1 miles west of Frisco Avenue (U.S. 83). Marker is located at the Presidio de San Saba Historic Site near the presido gate; the Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Menard TX 76859, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. VIP Quarters (within shouting distance of this marker); Real Presidio de San Saba (within shouting distance of this marker); Restoration and Reconstruction (within shouting distance of this marker); Bastions of Defense (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Arroyo de Juan Lorenzo (approx. 0.4 miles away); "The Ditch" (approx. one mile away); Presidio de San Luis de las Amarillas (approx. one mile away); The Lafora Map / An Apache Encampment (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Menard.
Also see . . .
1. San Luis de Las Amarillas Presidio. From the Texas State Historical Association’s “Handbook of Texas Online”. (Submitted on April 4, 2018.)
2. Presidio de San Saba Historic Site. Official website. Includes before and after restoration videos. (Submitted on April 4, 2018.)
Credits. This page was last revised on April 4, 2018. It was originally submitted on April 4, 2018, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 109 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on April 4, 2018, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.