Victoria in Victoria County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
Visita of Mission Espiritu Santo
Erected 1970 by State Historical Survey Committee. (Marker Number 6572.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail marker series.
Location. 28° 49.446′ N, 97° 0.782′ W. Marker is in Victoria, Texas, in Victoria County. Marker is on McCright Drive 0.2 miles west of North Vine Street, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in field near Victoria Parks and Recreation building. Marker is at or near this postal address: 476 McCright Drive, Victoria TX 77901, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. John J. Linn (approx. 0.9 miles away); Agapito De Leon Felix de Leon (approx. 0.9 miles away); Don Martin de León (approx. 0.9 miles away); Silvestre de Leon (approx. 0.9 miles away); Doña Patricia de la Garza de Leon (approx. 0.9 miles away); Fernando de Leon (approx. 0.9 miles away); 1892 Victoria County Courthouse (approx. 1.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Victoria.
Also see . . . Tracing a Mission and Its People. Texas Beyond History web page that includes detail on the "Tonkawa Bank" site. (Submitted on July 5, 2014, by Richard Denney of Austin, Texas.)
1. Text of additional marker, Presidio La Bahia and Mission Espíritu Santo (see photo #4)
Presidio La Bahia and Mission Espíritu Santo
Second Site of Mission Nuestra Senora del Espíritu Santo de Zuniga
The arrival of Frenchman Rene Robert Cavalier, Sieur de La Salle, on Garcitas Creek in 1685 marks the establishment of the first European settlement in Texas. Within four years though, all of La Salle’s settlers
Spanish forts and missions had different agendas and rules. The presidio was a fort where soldiers lived, patrolled the frontier and protected the mission. The mission was where priests lived, farmed, and converted the local Indians to the Catholic religion.
By 1725, both the mission and presidio had been moved to Tonkawa Bank in present day Riverside Park. The presidio soon moved six miles up the east bank of the Guadalupe River. Priests had elaborate plans for converting the local Native Americans and raising enough crops to sustain everyone at the site. Stone mission complex was constructed as well as an earthen dam – thirty feet high and
1725 – 1726
Timber, stone and water were more abundant here than along Garcitas Creek where the first mission and presidio were constructed. The inland Indian tribe – the Aranamas – were accommodating to Spanish missionaries and to the Catholic religion. The Spanish Padres demonstrated the rare ability to inspire Indians to learn about agriculture, industry and art. The Indians and Spanish Padres coexisted happily on Tonkawa Bank.
A soldier’s life at a Spanish presidio was hard. It was a 10-year commitment with daily patrols half way to the next mission, monitoring Indian activity away from the mission, escorting Spanish supply caravans safely to their destination plus the unending task of maintaining, enlarging, and repairing the mission complex. Days were long and their pay was seldom on time.
It soon became obvious that more land was needed to accomplish the goals set by the Padres. In 1726 this site was abandoned in favor of land near Mission Creek, where more extensive farming could be done.
“Mission Espíritu Santo” Original Illustration by Tom Jones
— Submitted October 30, 2016, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico.
Categories. • Churches & Religion • Hispanic Americans • Native Americans •
Credits. This page was last revised on October 30, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 5, 2014, by Richard Denney of Austin, Texas. This page has been viewed 444 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on July 5, 2014, by Richard Denney of Austin, Texas. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.