2000 Census - 1,975
Goliad Texas History:
Goliad was established in 1749 when the Spanish government made the decision to move the Nuestra Senora del Espiritu Santo de Zuniga Mission and its protector, the Presidio (fort) La Bahia, from its Guadalupe River location to the banks of the San Antonio River. A new Presidio La Bahia was established on a hill overlooking the river where timber was plentiful. The settlement of La Bahia grew up outside the Presidio walls. The Mission Espiritu Santo was established on the opposite river bank. In the 1760s, the Presidio was rebuilt in stone. The Presidio was the site of several battles. In November 1812, Mexican revolutionary Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara and his men captured the Presidio La Bahia; Mexican royalist Jose Arredondo recaptured the fort. In 1817, Henry Perry of the Republican army of the North led forces back into Texas and attempted to recapture La Bahia; Perry and his men were defeated on June 18, 1817 near Coleto Creek. In February 1829 the La Bahia settlement was renamed Goliad. At the time Goliad had several stone houses belonging to wealthy citizens. Mexican military hero Ignacio Seguín Zaragoza was born in one of these houses onMarch 24, 1829.Zaragoza was the Mexican commander against the French Army in the battle of Cinco de Mayo on May 5, 1862. In this battle 4,000 Mexican soldiers under his command defeated Napoleon de Bonaparte’s French Army of 8,000 at Puebla, Mexico. On October 9, 1835 during the early days of the Texas Revolution, a group of Texans attacked the Presidio in the Battle of Goliad and took control of the fort. On December 20, 1835, the first Declaration of Independence of the Republic of Texas was signed. The Texans remained in control of the fort until March 1836 when Colonel James Fannin was defeated at the Battle of Coleto. The Texas survivors of the battle were imprisoned at the Presidio until Palm Sunday, March 27, 1835, when they were executed in what is known as the Goliad Massacre. After the Battle of San Jacinto many Mexican citizens fled to Mexico and many of the Anglo settlers moved north of the river to present day Goliad. In 1836 Goliad became county seat of the newly established Goliad County. In 1839 Goliad was incorporated under the Republic of Texas. The Goliad post office opened in 1847. Paine Female Institute was established in 1852. The Institute began accepting male students in 1873, established a military academy in 1877, and eventually became Goliad College. A railroad line was established to the city in 1885-1886. By 1890 Goliad had 2,500 residents. Cotton, and later cattle, was a major industry. Goliad is the third oldest town in Texas; in 1976 the downtown area was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. From 1884-1885 downtown buildings were renovated by the Main Street Project. Goliad has an interesting Tree in the Street (Cuero also has a tree in the street). Goliad is located on the San Antonio River at the intersection of U.S. 183/77 (Jefferson Street) and U.S. 59/SH 239 (Pearl Street), 25 miles southeast of Victoria, 31 miles south of Cuero, 32 miles southeast of Kenedy and Karnes City, 31 miles northwest of Refugio, 36.5 miles northwest of Tivoli, 43 miles northwest of Austwell and San Antonio Bay, 29 miles northeast of Beeville, and 76.5 miles north of Corpus Christi, Texas.
Goliad is a Texas Main Street Town. Downtown Goliad is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. A self-guided walking tour map of the Courthouse Square and the downtown historic district is available at the Market House Museum and Visitor Center. Historic buildings include the 1894 Goliad County Courthouse, Frels Theater, a bank, a former hotel, the 1854 Masonic Lodge, the Lott Building, and many homes dating from the 1800’s. (361) 645-8767. The museum is located on the courthouse square at 205 S. Market Street, Goliad, TX 77963.
Goliad County Courthouse, 1894:
The courthouse was designed in Second Empire style by famed courthouse architect Alfred Giles. Stones from the 1865 courthouse were used in the construction. A 1942 hurricane destroyed the clock tower, but the tower and turrets have since been restored. A plaque on the courthouse lawn commemorates the courthouse being used as a mortuary and hospital during a 1902 tornado. The courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The 2010 Goliad County census was 7,210. (361) 645-3337. 115 North Bridge Street, Goliad, TX 77963.