History

Nacogdoches: Fun To Say, Great to Visit, and a Colorful Piece of Texas’ Past

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It’s the oldest town in Texas, and local promotional literature from the town’s Convention & Visitors Bureau describes it as such. It’s Nacogdoches, Texas, and the reason it proudly states this – and the reason you should be making a visit – is evidenced by settlement artifacts and details dating back 10,000 years ago, on the site of Nevantin, which has been recognized as the primary village of the Nacogdoche tribe of Caddo Indians.

Nacogdoches: Fun To Say, Great to Visit, And A Colorful Piece of Texas’ Past

Photo: Facebook/Texas Forest Trail Region

Until the early 19th Century, Nacogdoches remained a Caddo Indian settlement, the first European construction to take place in the area was the Spanish-established mission called Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de los Nacogdoches, and the town itself wouldn’t first get its official start until after the French had left the region following the French and Indian War, and the Spanish determined it was too expensive to maintain the mission. In 1772, the Spaniards ordered all settlers in the vicinity to move to San Antonio. Some were eager to go, but others weren’t so willing and had been made to go by force. Resulting from this, Colonel Antonio Gil Y’Barbo, a prominent Spanish trader, lead the disgruntled settlers back to Nacogdoches in the spring of 1779, and following that, the town received designation from Spain as a pueblo (making it official) and making it the first “town” in Texas.

Nacogdoches: Fun To Say, Great to Visit, And A Colorful Piece of Texas’ Past

Photo: Facebook/Texas Back Roads

Y’Barbo became lieutenant governor of Nacogdoches and established the first rules and laws for society and the local government. He determined where the original streets would be, including the central point of town being the intersection of El Camino Real (now State Highway 21) and La Calle del Norte/North Street (now US Highway 59-F). And along the main street he constructed a stone house for his own use in trading, which still stands today (called Old Stone Fort) and at one point was recognized as the gateway from the U.S. into the Texas frontier.

Nacogdoches: Fun To Say, Great to Visit, And A Colorful Piece of Texas’ Past
Photo: Facebook/KTRE-TV

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