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 Guadalupe River in 1723. In 1726 the Mission and
Presidio moved 8 miles further up the river where they remained until moving to
La Bahia (Goliad)
Victoria was founded in 1824 on a ford of the Guadalupe River.
A historic marker on Hwy 59 at the river marks the probable location.
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.
Civil War: Victoria was on one branch of the "Cotton Road" which went from
Alleyton (Colorado County)
to Brownsville. 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 Confederate service. |
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.
Hotels > Book Hotel
recently restored 1892 Victoria County Courthouse. TE Photo|
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.
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F. Welder Building|
TE Photo, 2001
downtown building "1910" date plate|
Old Federal Building - 1912|
TE Photo, 2001
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 or Cuero...
According to Dunnam [Gary Dunnam, director
of Victoria Preservation, Inc.], the Indianola remnants in Victoria include:
house at 501 N. De Leon
The Crain-Fox house, a two-story white frame house with red and blue trim at 1601
N. Bridge St.
A two-story house at 404 E. Goodwin was formerly owned by the A.M. McFaddin estate.
H. Regan house, a detailed Italianate structure at 507 S. De LeonThe
Huck-Welder house at 307 E. Convent
Beaumont-Steele house at 501 N. De Leon in Victoria|
Photo courtesy Mike
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.
Historical Museum: 502 N. Liberty Street
Public Library: 302 N. Main Street
77, The Padre RoadHwy
59 South to Goliad,
orHwy 87 South
to the coastal towns of Port LaVaca, Indianola,
O'Conner, Point Comfort,
Port Alto, Olivia,
Palacios and Collegeport.
Also of interest
in the vicinity is the small town of McFaddin
- off of Hwy 59.
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: www.victoriatexasinfo.com
Chamber of Commerce
Mailing Address: PO Box 2465, Victoria TX 77902
Location: 700 S. Main Suite 101,Victoria TX 77902
Hotels > Book Hotel
Texas Forum Subject:
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
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
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
thank Mr. Gary Dunnam, Executive Director Victoria Preservation Inc. for corrections
and additional information which have been included into the Victoria page.
.... 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
1895 O'Connor-Proctor Building|
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