GOLIAD, TEXAS: Grab your camera if you're headed to Goliad and
don't forget to take a few extra rolls of film.
As usual I had Nigel the Land Rover pose for yet another road trip pic.
REMEMBER GOLIAD? FANNIN WHO?
Story & Photos by IRA KENNEDY
Leaving Victoria we passed through the tiny communities of Aloe, Raisin and
Cologne on our way to the Fannin Battleground State Historical Park and then to Goliad.
You might remember Goliad, but it seems the Texas Parks &
Wildlife Department has forgotten Colonel Fannin altogether. But more on that later.
probably as curious as I was concerning Aloe, Raisin and Cologne and how they came by
their names. Well, Aloe is named after the yucca plant, and Raisin was named after a
ranchers ill-fated attempt to raise grapes back in 1892. Needless to say, the name was
prophetic and the business dried up. The story behind Cologne is a little more
The community was founded in 1870 by George
Washington and Jim Smith, two former slaves and the place was simply known as the Colony.
Then it was named the Perdido Community, then Centerville, then Ira Station (nice name),
and finally Cologne because it was "such a sweet-smelling
place." Anyway that's their story and they're stickin to it.
Fact is all these little communities are, like rasins, busy drying up. The boll weevils
and school consolidation wiped out many of them. And now urban migration is finishing the
job. It's all about convenience nowdays and most of these burgs don't have a
We arrived at the Fannin Battle Ground State
Historical Park, stopped at the serve-yourself pay booth ($1 per person) and drove around
to the far side of the road surrounding the monument.
The place looked abandoned with only one other couple
in the park. I took a few pics of the monument then went over to their interpretive
center. The windows were all open to the weather, paint peeling off their frames,
and the brochure rack inside was empty and busy gathering dust. And one of the windows apparently met the business end of a
Here, back in 1836, during the Texas Revolution
Colonel J. W. Fannin surrendered his command to the Mexican army. From there Fannin and
284 of his men were taken to Goliad where then were imprisoned with a few other
revolutionaries. Despite assurances that they would be treated as prisoners of war,
342 Texicans including Fannin were summarily executed. Only twenty-eight men
Seems Fannin still can't get any respect. This park
is endangered. The dollar a head the TP&WD collects probably goes into the general
fund and, in any event, the price is too much for what you get and too little to remedy
Goliad, on the other hand, is to be commended for its
historical restoration. The place is beautiful as is the Goliad State Park and the Mission
Nuestra Senora del Espiritu Santo de Zuniga. I dang near wore out my digital
camera on this place and came away with a wallpaper
pic of the Mission Esperitu Santo.
The mission's interior is expecially
attractive and I really admire how some unknown artist managed to make suffering look so
pretty. I was expecially taken by the sculpture of Mary Magdalene with a knife
sticking out of her heart. This was a new one on me and I reckon the sculptor mighta had
his poetic licence revoked after this. For some wierd reason I really liked the
The intrepretive center at the Mission actually had a
warm body sitting by the entrance saying howdy to folks -- kinda like those Walmart
Greeters. Inside there were plenty of exhibits. I particularly liked the
diaoramas. Unfortunately the light was too low for a good photo.
We were running out of daylight so we headed for
Kenedy and then on to Seguin which was to be the final destination on our journey.
( Talk about not getting any respect: Cologne dumped
the name Ira Station and there aren't enough Ns in Kenedy. Oh well...)
I had been to Seguin back in the 70s and thought I
knew my way around. I was lost. The courthouse downtown was underwhelming and
I couldn't locate the classy train station I remembered visiting years back. Tired
and wore-out we put the last 18 miles of our journey behind us and were back home.
Now, I know I'll hear from the good folks in Seguin
telling me what we missed which is fine by me. Maybe we'll figure out another way to
include the town in on a future trip.
PAGE 1: NIXON / PAGE 2: CUERO
PAGE 3: VICTORIA / PAGE 4: GOLIAD / THE MAP
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