Goliad, Goliad County, Texas. After my trip to the nearby Mission Espiritu Santo and Presidio La Bahia on the edge of town, I took a quick trip to the town square in Goliad. Just a brief look around the county seat on a rainy spring day.
Goliad is one of the oldest permanent settlements in Texas. When the mission and presidio were moved from their original location to their present-day location on the banks of the San Antonio River in 1749, a small settlement named La Bahia sprang up nearby. When the Spanish closed most of the presidios in the region, the Presidio La Bahia was expanded and rebuilt in stone, and it was soon the only major military outpost between the Rio Grande and the Mississippi River. By 1800, the settlement became one of the three most important towns in Spanish Texas (along with San Antonio and Nacogdoches).
When Mexico won independence in 1821, the town was renamed Goliad (an anagram of Hidalgo), and the town remained a center of activity. In 1835, the first Declaration of Independence was signed in Goliad, and this was the site of the Goliad Massacre in 1836.
But despite Goliad's great importance in the formative years of Texas, the town has slowly settled in as a sleepy community of 2,000 in the Coastal Bend. There is a grand courthouse in the town center, surrounded by several old businesses. Photos taken March 6, 2008.