Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Historical and Scenic Goliad, Texas…

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Goliad Texas 007Once we made the short drive from Rockport to Goliad State Park we set up camp and ate lunch. I helped in getting this park cleaned up long ago when it was turned over to the state of Texas so I was excited to see how it now looks. We planned to only stay  for a couple of days so we decided to hit the ground running to explore this historically significant part of Texas… After lunch we hopped into the CRV and drove the short distance into town…

The town centers around a magnificent Goliad Texas 012Courthouse and Goliad’s town square isGoliad Texas 019 composed of storefronts dating back to the 1800's. It is even officially on the National Registry of Historic Places. The town square is typical for Texas in that it has an assortment of shops and restaurants yet it has retained its historic charm throughout the restoration and upkeep of the old storefronts.

The Courthouse was built on the site of Goliad’s second Courthouse and was completed in 1894. Many of the stones from the second Courthouse were used in the construction of the current one. The old "hanging tree" is on the grounds and has a historical marker beside it noting that many unfortunate souls had made use of this tree… 

Goliad Texas 066Close to the town square is a city park that has a memorial sculpture,erected in 1885, and also a Texas Revolution cannon. The cannon bears the inscription, "Used by Col. Fannin and His Men on Fannin Battlefield in Goliad County in 1836."

In March of 1836 Col. Fannin surrendered to the Mexican forces at the Battle of Coleto Creek. After he surrendered to Mexican Gen. Santa Anna he and nearly 350 of his men were executed. The capture and execution of Col. Fannin and his men spurred on the Texas revolution and many shouted a new battle cry “Remember Goliad!”. The Fannin Battleground State Historic Site in Goliad memorializes these hardy souls where there is a monument and graveyard near the spot where Fannin surrendered.

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Also adjacent to this site is a statue honoring a Mexican lady known as "The Angel of Goliad" who was said to have been responsible for saving many of Fannin’s troops who would have otherwise died in the slaughter. This was actually my favorite memorial in this area.

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There are also a couple of missions near Goliad, one of which is in the state park and is called the Mission Espiritu Santo. It was originally founded in 1722 near Matagorda Bay but later moved here in 1749 on the San Antonio River. The Goliad State Park and vicinity 051mission and its compound were restored in the 1930’s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the Works Progress Administration (WPA).  We enjoyed strolling the picturesque grounds as well as meandering through the chapel and museum.

The other mission, Presidio La Bahía, is just south of Goliad State Park and it was established in 1749 and in 1967 it was designated a National Historic Landmark. This chapel apparently is still used as a community church.

Goliad Texas 022While driving around town we also discovered a nine hole disc golf course within a community park.  Of course, we simply had to stop and play. It was a short but nice little course and was a fun unexpected distraction. In fact we made a point to play the course both days we were in Goliad. Also while playing disc golf and touring the area we noticed parts of a hike and bike trail. We later realized it was part of a 2-mile hike and bike trail connected to the state park. Much of the trail is built up on decking and platforms as it meanders along the Goliad State Park and vicinity 018San Antonio River. As it turns out Goliad State Park is near the center of the trail making it an easy bike ride not only to and from the town square but also extends the other direction to the memorials and other sights available in Goliad.We could actually have seen all the sights without using the car had we known. Another surprise I noticed and pointed out to Sharon as we biked along the trail was one lone Texas Bluebonnet starting to bloom showing us along with all the butterflies that spring is apparently making its way to this part of Texas …


  1. Thanks for the tour and history lesson of Goliad. Looks like a fun day.

  2. Since I do not tow a car, I search out areas to bike and walk. When I stayed at Goliad State Park, I used that bike/walking trail several times to go to town and to go the the mission, I saw several roadrunners on that path.

  3. Cool area. So much history. What was the jawbone and teeth?.

  4. Wow, thanks for this post! I have read about the battle at Goliad and would love to visit there, especially now that I see all of the interesting sites. The bike trails clinch it. This is definitely being added to our bucket list. -- Dianne