In front of Presidio La Bahia is the Zaragoza Birthplace SHS.
Ever wonder why we celebrate Cinco de Mayo? This day honors General Ignacio Zaragoza, who defeated the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Visit his reconstructed birthplace adjacent to the Presidio to learn about this Texas-Mexican hero, born here in 1829. Descendants of the original town of La Bahía, the settlement that grew up around the Presidio, still live in the area today. Don’t miss the adjacent Zaragoza statue, donated by the citizens of Puebla, Mexico.
Access to this side building is limited. I recommend calling ahead to check for availability. The Presidio and birthplace of Zaragoza are not part of the State Park. There are additional fees to access both. Please plan accordingly.
Next to Mission Espiritu Santo is Goliad State Park. Although small, this park packs a punch when it comes to Texas History. Along with the neighboring mission that I posted about previously there are several other historic sites nearby. Additionally the park has plenty to offer in the form of outdoor activities.
Activities include camping, picnicking, hiking, fishing, swimming is available across from the park, at a junior Olympic swimming pool, operated by the city of Goliad (Swimming Safety Tips), nature study, and historical study. The park offers a floating dock and river access for kayaks and canoes, and is a take-out point for the Goliad Paddling Trail.
Back in September of 2013 I visited a great Mission in Goliad (and apparently forgot to hit publish on the posting). If you haven’t been to Goliad State Park yet I recommend adding it to your list. This site combined with its neighboring historical sites make for a great day trip for anybody.
The mission has been beautifully restored to it’s 18th century condition.
For reference, here is a picture of the 2004 condition.
After Goliad State Park we stopped by what is left of the Mission Nuestra Senora Del Rosario State Archaeological Site.
You can see more of the site on Google than you can by actually going because there is really nothing left. As far as the park rangers at Goliad knew there are no plans to restore Mission Rosario at this time.
The sign (pictured below) reads:
Missionaries from the college of Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe de Zacatecas founded Nuestra Senora del Rosario in 1754 for the coastal Karankawa tribes. The extensive cattle ranching operation begun by sister mission Espiritu Santo also supported Mission Rosario. However, the mission indians periodically abandoned the mission when supplies were short. By 1807, it was combined with Mission Refugio nearer the coast. Mission Rosario was officially closed in 1831 as part of earlier secularization orders.
Today, the largely undisturbed site of the Spanish Colonial mission provides unique opportunities for scholarly research. Through carefully controlled excavations, the archaeological process will bring to light new information about the Native American and Spanish inhabitants of the late 18th-century Texas.
If you are interested in getting behind the fence you must contact TPWD and arrange for an official visit. There is nothing to see so don’t go through too much trouble unless you are looking to do research.