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 Texas : Towns A-Z / Ghost Towns / South Texas : La Lomita

LA LOMITA, TEXAS

Texas Ghost Town
On the National Register of Historic Places
Hidalgo County, South Texas
Off FM 1016
5 miles S of Mission
13 miles SW of McAllen

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La Lomita Chapel, La Lomita Texas
La Lomita Chapel
Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, February 2007
History in a Pecan Shell

"Little Hill" adjoins the historical site of a former mission and ranch headquarters maintained by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. The property comprised of two Spanish land grants awarded in 1767. The "little hill" is on what became known as the La Lomita grant. The La Lomita grant came into the possession of John Davis Bradburn in 1842. Bradburn, died that year and is buried somewhere on the property. His Mexican widow sold the land in 1845 to René Guyard, a French merchant in Reynosa. Upon Guyard's death in 1861, his will left the La Lomita grant to Oblate priests.

The French Oblates had been ministering to the Catholics of the Rio Grande country since 1849. The priests used La Lomita as a meeting place since it was a midway point between their mission in Brownsville and Roma. In 1884 the designation La Lomita was extended to the entire property (two original grants).

As yet there was no chapel at La Lomita. Managing the enterprise from Brownsville proved to be impossible and attempts to raise crops were disasters. In 1899 the ranch was made the residential headquarters of a new Oblate mission district for all of Hidalgo County. It was at this time that the old chapel was built.

The Oblates sold most of their La Lomita ranch property in 1907 to provide funds to develop churches and schools that were springing up along the newly-arrived railroad. Developers James W. Conway and John J. Hoit named the new townsite along the railroad Mission, to honor the Oblate's work. The Oblates retained 100 acres in the new town and 300 acres along the river, including the La Lomita hill and chapel. When the Oblates moved to Mission around 1910, the ranch and chapel at La Lomita deteriorated from neglect. In 1912 a large three-story brick building was built to house a novitiate program.
In 1975 La Lomita was added to the National Register.

In 1976 the city of Mission added visitor amenities and landscaping to make La Lomita a municipal historical park.

A 1978 a book written by local author Cleo Dawson was made into a movie titled She Came to the Valley. It was filmed on location in Mission
and La Lomita.
DVD
A movie filmed on location in La Lomita

La Lomita Chapel

The old chapel at La Lomita was repaired and furnished in 1928 "as a precious relic of the past and a Shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe." A hurricane in 1933 caused damage which was repaired in 1939.
La Lomita Chapel showing ghost, La Lomita Texas
Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, February 2007
The chapel is also the site of frequent reported sightings of a ghost. Usually seen as a woman suspended in air while praying, she is believed to be the spirit of a nun.

See La Lomita Chapel Photos and Historical Marker

La Lomita, Texas Forum

  • Haunted Chapel of La Lomita
    Dear TE, I was reading in your magazine about the ghostly encounters [at the La Lomita Chapel] that people have reported. Well about 2 years ago, I was in a similar situation but in broad daylight. I was recording through the fence because the park had already closed when I had arrived. Later at home when I viewed the tape, there appeared to be a woman standing in the doorway of the chapel. At first, I thought it was the fence, but the more I watched it, the more it looks like a nun. And when I played it in slow motion, I was convinced that it was a nun but without a face. She seemed to be facing to the left corner. A week later, I went back to see if there was something in the corner [of the doorway] and found that that is where a crucifix is located. Currently we are looking for the video so that I can submit it to get other opinions. I am a strong believer of the supernatural and after reading [about the other encounters] I am convinced that what I saw was a ghost. - Amanda Munoz, Mercedes, Texas, December 04, 2006

  • Subject: Haunted Chapel
    My wife and I live in Mission, Tx. One time we heard a story that there was a chapel that was haunted. Now this place is located about three miles south of Mission in a town called Madero. One night my wife, a couple of friends from Houston and I decided to go and see if this was true. It was around 11 p.m. when we got there and saw this big chapel with a balcony. The gates were closed and it look like it has been abandoned for a while. The first thing we saw was a man standing in the balcony with his arms wide open. We all got scared and quickly started to drive off. Suddenly a very big noise came about and we saw a light flashing in our windshield. We really had never believed in ghosts, but this was something very special. - R Reyna, March 14, 2003

    © John Troesser

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