THE INDIAN VILLAGE AND THE SPANISH MISSION
THE SITE KNOWN AS THE TONCAHUA BANK
This site, the Toncahua Bank, is located at the north end of the City Park and has been the abode of four different races of people. All left behind artifacts which give a very good picture of the various cultures.
No. 1 The archaic or prehistoric, dating back to possibly a thousand years or more. This culture was very primitive, the making and use of pottery not being known.
No. 2 The historic, known to us as Indians, lived at the Toncahua Bank several hundred years before coming into contact with the Europeans. These Indians possibly knew of Cabesa de Vaca and the Frenchman, La Salle, but constant contact with Europeans did not begin until the later part of the 17th century. The Spaniards are given credit for naming the tribe Toncahua.
No. 3 The early part of the 19th century saw another race, the Mexican, move in among the Toncahua. The culture was somewhat lower than the Spaniard but through it all, the Toncahua held to some of his own culture and that of the Spaniard. The Spaniards had shown and taught them how to irrigate crops, raise cattle and horses, to weave cloth, glaze pottery and above all, Christianity.
No. 4 When Mexico had gained independence from Spain and the Mexicans came to this area in rather large numbers establishing ranchos, they claimed and took possession of the Toncahua land. Slowly but surely the Toncahua horses and cattle were gathered along with the wild ones and driven out. Having their land taken away from them and treated like slaves, the Toncahua grew very resentful toward all Mexicans and drew closer to the Anglo-Americans of Dewitt's and Austin's colonies. The Toncahua did not learn anything from the Mexicans and did not copy any of the Mexican way of living, except using metates and manos brought in from Mexico. A few broken pieces of this material were found at the Toncahua Bank. However, the Toncahua continued to have their homes at the Toncahua Bank when Texas gained its independence from Mexico. Most of the Mexicans very hurriedly left this area and Victoria was soon an Anglo-American town. The Toncahua was then left unmolested and they were again being used as herdsmen and used as trackers by Anglo settlers. They continued to live at the Toncahua Bank and at other places on the Guadalupe, some even living among the Anglo settlers and working with them until around the middle of the 19th century when they were all gathered up and moved to Oklahoma. It is interesting to note that the last full blood Toncahua died in Oklahoma in 1963. His name being Joe Marcus, Jesse. He is buried at Toncahua Oklahoma.
The artifacts at the museum pertaining to the Indian Village in the City Park were all found there, the earliest excavation being done in 1929, on the south slope of the ridge, the burying ground of the prehistoric people.