Goliad, located less than two hours southeast of San Antonio and 30 minutes west of Victoria, is one of the oldest towns in Texas. Founded on the San Antonio River it is the county seat of Goliad County and part of the Victoria MSA.
Its origins can be traced to 1749 when the Presidio La Bahía and the Mission Espíritu Santo were established along the San Antonio River. From its inception and well into the early 19th century the military post was the site of many bitter contests between various contending armies. The most infamous was the massacre in 1836 of Col. James Fannin Jr. and 350 of his men by Mexican forces. News of the execution and the earlier defeat at the Alamo gave rise to the blood-curdling cry “Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!” that was shouted as Sam Houston's forces swept to victory at San Jacinto. The Presidio and Mission are located 1.5 miles south on US 183 and draw significant tourists to the area.
Besides its important role in military history, Goliad is also known as the "Birthplace of Texas Ranching." In the 18th century, the Mission was the largest cattle ranching operation in Texas and at its peak the herds grew to over 40,000. Ranching, and other agricultural industries, continue to be important economic drivers for the area.
The Courthouse Square is a quintessential south Texas small town square with stunning live oak trees and many architect designed buildings from local Goliad brick and salvaged stone from the Mission site. The Square was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 and Goliad was named a Texas Main Street City in 1984. Goliad Main Street offers a Facade, Sign and Paint grant to downtown property and business owners and works to maintain the Square as both the economic and cultural center for the community.
Take the Goliad Courthouse Square Historic District Walking Tour online here* and for those looking for information on opening a business downtown or property availability, please contact Keli Miller, Main Street Director, at 361-645-3454.
*Goliad Courthouse Square Historic District building narratives written by Patsy Pittman Light, published in a hard copy format, 2017.
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Keli Miller: Goliad Main Street Director