NOTES ON THE MISSION LA BAHIA AND THE TONCAHUA INDIAN VILLAGE
Quote/ In 1721 Gov. Aguayo had established a fort on the Garcitas Creek, near the site of La Salles Fort St. Louis which after being twice moved was finally fixed in 1749 at present Goliad.
Quote/ Capt. Alonzo De Leon recommended that a fort be established on the Rio Grande with 30 soldiers, a fort on the Rio Frio with 40 soldiers, a fort on the Guadalupe with 60 soldiers and a fort in the Tejas Indian country in east Texas with 80 soldiers. This line of forts would protect the whole area. The Guadalupe River fort could keep a eye on the bays and the forts would protect the missions that could be established near them. Father Massenet agreed and also recommended that missions be established in Texas.
[Taken from] Our Catholic Heritage in Texas by Carlos E. Castaneda 1736 page 345 vol. 1 and page 359 vol. 1
Note/ The Guadalupe River - Found on the 19th day of April by Alonzo De Leon and named Guadalupe on April 14, 1689. He crossed the Guadalupe on April 15, 1689 at a point about 6 miles above present Victoria. MAP
Note/ Capt. Alonzo De Leon crossed the Rio Grande River in what is now Webb County about where the old Villa Guerreo, Mexico is located and went by the way, south of Runge, south of Yorktown, going east, southeast, turned south and crossed the Guadalupe above present Victoria. Went on to the Garcitas Creek after a days stop on Spring Creek. He established a camp on the Garcitas, crossed the creek and went to the Lavaca River and down the Lavaca [un]til he came upon the abandoned Fort St. Louis, La Salle's fort.
LA BAHIA TWICE MOVED BEFORE 1749
Ref/ Barker - HISTORY OF TEXAS 1729
Note/ I take this quote from Barker to mean that Fort La Bahia was first established on a elevation west side of the Garcitas Creek in 1721 on orders from Gov. Aguayo (we know that there was about 40 Spanish soldiers already on the creek in 1721 and that in 1722 Gov. Aguayo left San Antonio de Bexar with 50 soldiers for reinforcements to the 40 who were already there). Aguayo picked out a new location for La Bahia about 6 miles further up the creek same side (west) and layed [sic] out the plan of the fort. This would be the first move. Then in 1726 the fort was moved to the Guadalupe River. This would be the second move. Then in 1745 finely fixed as Barker states on the San Antonio River present Goliad.
Note/ It appears that the mission moved to the Toncahua Bank 1/4 of a league below Spring Creek and on the east side of the river.
TONCAHUA INDIAN VILLAGE
VICTORIA CITY PARK - VICTORIA TEXAS
Note/ See John J. Linn, Reminiscences of 50 Years in Texas, 1883, N York. Page 333 Toncahua - words of the Franciscan Fathers spoke Spanish - Cultivated corn and other vegetables - Owned cattle and horses. Toncahua field above Victoria at the Toncahua Bank (2 miles above town) page 334. A church was erected for them at this Toncahua Bank and in 1883 the foundations were still standing as the building was made of masonry.
Note/ In 1922 this old foundation was still about 2 feet above ground DRAWING
Note/ 1958 - The whole site - Indian village and top of ridge where old church was erected was bulldozed off by the park board to use as a fill on the north slope of ridge for Little League ball parks. DRAWING
Note/ 1965 - The old foundation or what was left of it was excavated - The outline of building was 40 x 25. DRAWING
Note/ Bad conditions at Fort La Bahia and at the mission on the Garcitas - There was no irrigation - Crop failure on account of no rain - Fort and mission was out of corn. A fight at the fort - Soldiers and Indians - in which Capt. Domingo Ramon was killed by the Indians - All mission Indians (82 in number) ran off and left the mission. Capt. Ramon's son, Capt. Diego Ramon was a bad manager and his inefficiency as a commander caused all the trouble at the mission and fort. The Franciscan Fathers moved the mission to the Guadalupe River.
Castaneda page 176 Vol. 2