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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
San Antonio in Bexar County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

The Acequias of San Antonio

Placed Under Construction 1718

 

— National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark —

 
National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark image. Click for full size.
By James Hulse, August 9, 2021
1. National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark
Inscription.  

The San Pedro Acequia (circa 1730), seen in this exposed fragment, was the largest of the seven canals that supplied water to the early settlers of San Antonio. Dug by Indians under the supervision of the Spaniards, these acequias extended the reach of the natural water sources on which the young city depended. An open, earthen ditch - until the city lined it with limestone in 1852 - the San Pedro Acequia was three feet four inches wide and two feet deep. It had its source at the pool of the San Pedro Springs and flowed along the present-day streets of North Flores and Acequia before winding through this site on its way southward. Continuing along South Flores street, it emptied finally into the San Pedro Creek near Beanville - in all, a distance of about three and one half miles. As this course was on a ridge between the San Antonio River and the San Pedro Creek, water was easily diverted downward along either bank for the purpose of irrigation. The settlers from the Canary Islands, who benefited most from the San Pedro Acequia, drew lots to determine their turns for the use of the ditch. The tracts of land that had been granted for
The Acequias of San Antonio Marker image. Click for full size.
By James Hulse, August 9, 2021
2. The Acequias of San Antonio Marker
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irrigation were called suertes (or chances) and the unit of water that could be granted was called a dula (or day). Because of their importance, not just for irrigation, but for drinking, the regulation of all the acequias - the Alamo Madre, the San José, the Concepción, the San Juan, the Espada and the Upper Labor Ditch - was one of the most important responsibilities of municipal government in San Antonio. For the better part of two centuries, until modern methods replaced it, the acequia system was a sophisticated method of water distribution. Although the San Pedro Acequia ceased to be viable after 1906, the names given it during its active years reflect its essential nature. Sometimes described as the canal that crosses the city (la asequia que atrabiesa la ciudad), it was also called "the Main Ditch." In the more poetic Spanish, it was simply "la asequia madre."
 
Erected 1968 by American Society of Civil Engineers.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial EraHispanic AmericansSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1906.
 
Location. 29° 25.436′ N, 98° 29.646′ W. Marker is in San Antonio, Texas, in Bexar County. Marker is at the intersection of Dolorosa
The Acequias System of San Antonio Map image. Click for full size.
By James Hulse, August 9, 2021
3. The Acequias System of San Antonio Map
and South Main Street, on the left when traveling west on Dolorosa. The marker is located at the northeast corner of the Carena Reeves Justice Center building. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 300 Dolorosa, San Antonio TX 78205, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Purple Heart Memorial (a few steps from this marker); Still on Patrol (within shouting distance of this marker); American Legion Memorial Highway (within shouting distance of this marker); Bexar County Commissioners Court (within shouting distance of this marker); San Antonio de Padua (within shouting distance of this marker); 200th Anniversary of San Antonio Municipal Government (within shouting distance of this marker); "The Founders" (within shouting distance of this marker); The Canary Islanders (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Antonio.
 
Also see . . .  Acequia.
An acequia is a community-operated watercourse used in Spain and former Spanish colonies in the Americas for irrigation. Particularly in Spain, the Andes, northern Mexico, and the modern-day American Southwest particularly northern New Mexico and southern Colorado, acequias are usually historically engineered canals that carry snow runoff or river water to distant fields. Examples of acequias in New Mexico have lengthy historical roots to Pueblo and Hispano communities,
All three markers together in front of an old portion of the Acequias of San Antonio image. Click for full size.
By James Hulse, August 9, 2021
4. All three markers together in front of an old portion of the Acequias of San Antonio
and they are incorporated into traditions including the matachines, life in the Rio Grande Bosque of the Albuquerque metropolitan area, and pilgrimages to El Santuario de Chimayo. Source: Wikipedia
(Submitted on August 16, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.) 
 
The view of the Acequias of San Antonio Marker from the sidewalk image. Click for full size.
By James Hulse, August 9, 2021
5. The view of the Acequias of San Antonio Marker from the sidewalk
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 16, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 15, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 53 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on August 16, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.

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Nov. 30, 2021