in a Pecan Shell
Salle built his Fort
St. Louis at the southern tip of present day Victoria
County in 1685. Victoria
County is the only county in Texas where all six flags flew. The
Spanish burned the fort in 1690 and thirty years later built the Presidio
La Bahia atop the site. The presidio and its accompanying Mission
Espiritu Santo de Zuniga were moved northwest on the banks of the
River in 1723. In 1726 the Mission and Presidio moved 8 miles
further up the river where they remained until moving to La Bahia
Victoria was founded in 1824 on a ford of the Guadalupe
River. A historic marker on Hwy 59 at the river marks the probable
Martin de Leon received a Mexican land grant in 1824 to bring 41 families
to a place on the Guadalupe
River known as Cypress Grove and started the town. His son-in-law
Placido Benavides led the Victoria Militia during the Texas Revolution.
Victoria was on one branch of the "Cotton Road" which went from Alleyton
The road was a major lifeline for the South - trading cotton
for arms and medicine through neutral Mexico.
The town was threatened with a Union invasion in 1863 and so the railroad
from Port Lavaca was destroyed.
Camp Henry E. McCulloch trained Infantry and Cavalry companies for
Noted sculptor Pompeo
Coppini made an agreement with the local chapter of the United
Daughters of the Confederacy. If they would let him design the statue
- it would be a more fitting tribute to the men who fought than any
other Confederate statue in the state. They agreed and Coppini
made this piece - the only one of its kind.
Landmarks / Attractions
restored 1892 Victoria County Courthouse.
1895 O'Connor-Proctor Building
Victoria lends itself to exploration on weekends since traffic is
drawn off by a commercial strip of businesses on highway 77 North.
Highways 87, 59, and 77 cross in Victoria.
The O'Connor-Proctor Building sits on the corner NE of DeLeon Plaza.
The bandstand (circa 1875 rebuilt 1895) in the plaza was placed atop
the old standpipe's foundation in 1922. The foundation is from the
city's old standpipe water reservoir.
Just East of Victoria's downtown is Memorial Square, Victoria's
first public burial ground. A commemorative inscribed stone and and
original gatepost from the Welder Mansion were placed here years ago.
The John J. Welder Mansion (1895-1897) was located in the 700 Block
of North Main.
|J. F. Welder
TE Photo, 2001
|A downtown building
"1910" date plate
More Pitted Dates
|The Old Federal
Building - 1912
TE Photo, 2001
house at 501 N. De Leon in Victoria
Photo courtesy Mike
Remnants by Mike Cox
once the “Queen City of the West,” recovered from a killer hurricane
in 1875 but it did not survive a second devastating storm in 1886.
Modern day visitors find few remnants of the once prosperous Calhoun
County seaport, but they’re looking in the wrong place. If you want
to see some of Indianola’s stately Victorian houses, just go to Victoria
According to Dunnam [Gary Dunnam, director of Victoria Preservation,
Inc.], the Indianola remnants in Victoria include:
house at 501 N. De Leon
house, a two-story white frame house with red and blue trim at 1601
N. Bridge St.
house at 404 E. Goodwin was formerly owned by the A.M. McFaddin
H. Regan house, a detailed Italianate structure at 507 S. De Leon
house at 307 E. Convent
TE Photo, May 2002
of Historical Interest
1800 North Vine Street
Established in the 1850s - some of the graves were moved here after
being exhumed from Memorial Square in downtown. Martin de Leon died
in 1833 of Cholera and his gravesite is not known. Other de Leon
family members are interred here.
Museum: 502 N. Liberty Street
Library: 302 N. Main Street
Drives and Nearby Destinations
77, The Padre Road
Hwy 59 South
Hwy 87 South
to the coastal towns of Port
Comfort, Port Alto,
Also of interest
in the vicinity is the small town of McFaddin
- off of Hwy 59.
Victoria Tourist Information
is provided by the Victoria Visitor Center Mailing Address: P. O.
Box 2488, Victoria, Texas 77902 Location: 700 Main Center, Suite
102, Victoria, Texas 77901 Phone: 361-582-4285 1-800-926-5774 Website:
Victoria Chamber of Commerce
Mailing Address: PO Box 2465, Victoria TX 77902
Location: 700 S. Main Suite 101,Victoria TX 77902
Hotels Book Here
Victoria, Texas, sounds like a nice place to live
Dear Editor, I recently received a letter from a woman who lives
in Victoria, Texas. She wanted to buy some geology and earth science
supplies to donate to students and teachers at Vickers Elementary
School science lab. And she referred to herself as an "old granny
rockhound." Now this is not the first time we have had someone buy
earth science supplies to donate to a school. And I am not even
going to suggest the expected, such as, "isn't it a sad day in America
when schools don't have the supplies they need to teach?" Indeed,
sometimes maybe it is a good thing that we don't always have everything
we need. Because we have to stop and think a little about what is
important and then we have to figure out how to get it. Or it allows
us to run into nice people like Evelyn Willmon who will dig deep
not so much into their own pockets (although that is a part of it,
too), as they will dig into their hearts and give a piece of themselves
to their community.
I cannot share Evelyn's correspondence here. But her few words touched
me enough to look up Victoria, Texas, on the internet and see if
it was anywhere near Austin where I graduated from the the great
University of Texas and even worked for the great State of Texas
for awhile. Not too near. But it looks like a beautiful city. A
city with history.
It truly is the many, many individuals like Evelyn who give of themselves
in this way, without fanfare, and without benefit of an organized
charity or volunteer group, that make the difference in not just
our country, but in our world. (That is not meant as a slight on
organized philanthropic organizations who indeed also help to contribute
to the civil and public spheres.) But the generosity of heart that
Evelyn represents is the reason I was inspired to write.
I hope you read this, Evelyn. And hello to all the students at Vickers
Elementary. We are sending some extra crystallized specimens from
a gold mine in Nevada, courtesy of Barrick Gold Corporation who
allows us to recover them for teachers and students like you. Have
fun with your rocks! Best regards - Jane Jones, Geoprime Minerals,
www.geoprime.com Hesperia, California, August 19, 2004
and Victoria, Texas
While surfing the net gathering info for a newspaper article I'm
writing, I happened upon your website. Though I located one of the
cities my chamber represents, Richmond,
on your site, I noticed that Rosenberg
is not described. Can you let me know what do you need in order
to incorporate an additional community? What sort of photos are
you interested in?
I also enjoyed the photos of Victoria -- My children (now grown)
are 6th generation Victorians, and we have only lived in the Houston
area/Fort Bend County for 3 years, so I'll always think of Victoria
as "home". My near-80 year old mother still lives there, so thankfully
it's a quick drive! - Gail Parker, President/CEO Rosenberg-Richmond
Area Chamber of Commerce, June 14 2004
We thank Mr.
Gary Dunnam, Executive Director Victoria Preservation Inc. for corrections
and additional information which have been included into the Victoria
We are so happy to be included in Texas Escapes. Victoria is a great
old town with many beautiful homes and buildings. There is a self
guided driving tour of the historic district which begins at De
Leon Plaza. Driving Tour booklets are available at the chamber of
commerce. Group tours are available through Victoria Preservation
Inc., a local non-profit organization. Thanks!" - Gary Dunnam,
Executive Director Victoria Preservation Inc., October 17, 2003
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and recent
or vintage/historic photos, please contact