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County
El Paso
Region
Big Bend
Population
2010 Census - 13,603
2000 Census - 11,046
Nearby
Towns
San Elizario, Texas
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San Elizario Texas History:
The town dates from 1598 when Juan de Onate arrived near the site and claimed the region (including present day New Mexico) for the Spanish crown. Prior to 1760, the original settlement of Hacienda de los Tiburcios was founded on the north side of the Rio Grande River, and was later moved to the south side of the river. The original San Elizario Presidio (fort) was established in 1752 at the site of present day Jimenez, Chihuahua, Mexico. In 1789 it was moved to a site near Hacienda de los Tiburcios, but retained its San Elizario name. The townsite eventually took the name of the fort. The flood of 1829 flooded much of the lower Rio Grande Valley and formed a new channel that ran south of the towns of Ysleta, Socorro and San Elizario, leaving them situated on an island between the new and old Rio Grande River channels. In 1821, after the Mexican War of Independence from Spain, the three towns became a part of the state of Chihuahua, Mexico. The 1848, Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo established the Rio Grande River as the boundary between Texas and Mexico, and placed the three towns in U.S. territory. During the 19th century, San Elizario was almost as influential as El Paso. By 1841, San Elizario had approximately 1,000 residents. The town was located on the Corpus Christi to California Road during the 1849 gold rush. In 1850, San Elizario was made the county seat of the newly organized El Paso County. El Paso became the county seat in 1873. During these early years, San Elizario was an agricultural community growing grapes for wineries, plums, peaches and wheat. During the Civil War (1861-1865), Union troops occupied the presidio, but it was abandoned after the war. San Elizario lost importance and population, and El Paso gained importance when San Elizario was bypassed by the railroad in 1881.  The beautiful white adobe San Elizario Chapel is worth a visit; the interior is painted. The San Elizario Historic District was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. San Elizario is located just south of IH-10 on the Rio Grande River at the intersections of SH 20, FM 258 and FM 1110, 41.5 miles southeast of Anthony, 21 miles southeast of El Paso, 5 miles southeast of Socorro, 103 miles northwest of Van Horn, and 9.9 miles northwest of Fabens, Texas.
 
San Elizario Historic District & Walking Tours:
The 27 acre Historic District is comprised of the Presidio Chapel and Fort build in 1790, and the surrounding historic adobe and wood buildings built between 1830 and World War II. The seventeen historic sites and buildings on the San Elizario National Historic District Walking Tour include Los Portales (Casa Garcia), San Elizario Presidio (Fort), San Elizario Memorial Placita (Plaza), The Adobe Horseshoe Theater (irrigation channel), the Presidio Barracks, the Old El Paso County Jail, the Acequia and Cotton Field behind the old county jail, Ochoa Store (Salazar Hall), the El Camino de Tierra Adentro (Road), Lujan Store (Caspar Giron Home), the Grist Mill, Lalo’s Grocery, the Borrego Building, the Old San Elizario Cemetery, the San Elizario Presidio Chapel, the Hacienda and State Station, and the Casa Ronquillo (Ellis Home). Tours are offered on the 4th Sunday of each month at 12pm and 3pm. Meet at the Mercantile, 1501 Main Street. (915) 851-1682. San Elizario Historic District Walking Tour Brochure    
 
San Elizario Memorial Placita:
The plaza and the adjacent chapel were the center of community life in the 1800s, and still is the site of festivals, political rallies, and other events. The plaza is dedicated to local military veterans. Descendants of early settlers donated the memorial benches. The plaza is located at the corner of San Elizario Street and Church Street.  
 
San Elizario Presidio (Fort), 1789:
This Spanish fort, originally called San Elceario, was originally located in Mexico, but after the Rio Grande River changed course in 1830, San Elizario became part of Texas. The fort provided protection for travelers and the settlers in nearby villages. The settlement that grew up around the fort was named San Elizario. The fort was surrounded by double adobe walls measuring 13 feet tall by seven feet wide. It offered quarters for officers and barracks for soldiers, family residences, a chapel, corrals, and storerooms. The fort was abandoned in the 1840s. Over time, the presidio bricks were used by settlers to build their homes. The bricks were also used to rebuild the Elceario Chapel after it was destroyed in the 1829 Rio Grande River flood.
 
El Paso Mission Trail Association
The three El Paso area missions include the Tigua Indians’ Ysleta Mission in Ysleta, the Socorro Mission in Socorro, and the Presidio Chapel in San Elizario, Texas. All three missions are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and are owned by the Catholic Diocese of El Paso, and are actively supported by their local parishes. The El Paso Mission Trail Association offers guided and self-guided tours of the Ysleta Mission, the Tigua Cultural Center and Ysleta del Sur Pueblo Museum, the Socorro Mission, the San Elizario Mission, and a few other historic sites. The association is located at 9065 Alameda Avenue, 79907, in El Paso, Texas. (915) 851-9997. (915) 790-0661. 
 
Presidio Chapel of San Elizario, San Elizario, Texas: 
The mission is commonly called the San Elizario Mission. It is located on the south side of the main plaza in downtown San Elizario, Texas. The original chapel was built to serve the fort’s soldiers. It was rebuilt after being destroyed in an 1829 fire. The present day San Elizario Mission Chapel was built in 1882. The chapel’s museum and visitor center are located at 1521 San Elizario Road in San Elizario, and are open Tue-Sat, 10am-2pm; Sun, noon-4pm. (915) 851-1682. San Elizario Mission Tours: (915) 851-6413.
 
Ochoa Store (Salazar Hall), Early 1800s:
Ismael Ochoa used this white adobe building to house his general store until around 1900. In the early 1900s, Joaquin Salazar purchased the building and operated it as a general store, family dance hall, cantina, and handball court. The building is located at 1501 Main Street.
 
San Elizario Genealogy & Historical Society:
This organization is housed in the Los Portales Museum Building. Open Tue-Sat, 10am-2pm; Sun, 12pm-4pm. Admission is free. (915) 851-1682. 1521 San Elizario Road, San Elizario.
 
Los Portales Museum & Information Center, Late 1850s:
Gregorio N. Garcia constructed this adobe building as a residence in the 1850s. Garcia served as Captain of the Texas Rangers in 1870, and as an El Paso County Judge in 1877. In 1870, Garcia donated the building to the City of San Elizario for use as a school. The renovated building is now owned by El Paso County, and houses the museum and information center operated by the San Elizario Genealogy and Historical Society.Museum exhibits focus on the rich and colorful historical legacies of San Elizario, including the “First Thanksgiving,” the Spanish presidio, the San Elizario Salt War of 1877, and San Elizario’s position as the first county seat of El Paso County. Admission is free. Tours of the San Elizario Historic District are offered on the 4th Sunday of each month at 12pm and 3pm. Meet at the Mercantile, 1501 Main Street. (915) 851-1682. The museum building is located on the San Elizario Square at 1521 San Elizario Road, 79849.  Facebook
 
Old El Paso County JailMuseum, 1850l:
When El Paso County was established in 1850, San Elizario was named the county seat. An adobe jail was built. The prefabricated wrought iron 6-cell jail cage was ordered from Chicago. In 1883, El Paso became the county seat but the jail continued to be used until the 1940s. It is said that Billy the Kid broke into the jail in 1876 to break out an incarcerated friend. The Jail Museum hosts events and is located on Main Street. (915) 851-1682. Facebook  Map
 
Veterans Memorial Museum & Memorial Walkwayin the Mercantile Building:
Open Wed-Fri, 10am-2pm; Sat, 10am-4pm; Sun, 12pm-4pm. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Admission is free. (915) 851-0093. The museum is located in the San Elizario Historic District in the Main Street Mercantile Building at 1501 Main Street. The walkway is located in front of the museum.
 
The Adobe Horseshoe Theatre, 1971:
Janet Esta Protzman constructed this building in Territorial Style on the site of the original 1850 El Paso County Courthouse. The large wooden doors are the original gates of the walled Mexican village of Lagunilla, Michoacan. The theatre hosted local shows and traveling performances. The theatre continues to host local events and is located on the San Elizario Plaza at 1500 Main Street.
 
Pistoleros De San Elizario:
This reenactment troupe performs the legendary Breakout of Melquiades Segura by Billy the Kid from the San Elizario Jail. This event is held at the Jail Museum, on Main Street. (915) 851-1682.
 
Amado Pena Art Gallery & Studio:
Amado Pena is an artisan from the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona. His gallery sells his own works and the works of a few other artists. (915) 851-8400. 1456 North Main Street, San Elizario, TX 79849. Email
 
Annual Billy the Kid Festival, June:
This free three day festival includes the Pistoleros de San Elizario’s reenactment of the legendary Breakout of Melquiades Segura by Billy the Kid from the San Elizario Jail. Additional activities include arts and crafts, entertainment, food, live music, a ghost tour, and the monthly ArtWalk. This event is held at the Jail Museum, on Main Street. (915) 851-0093.   
 
Annual Ysleta Mission Festival, 2nd Weekend in July, Socorro, TX:
The annual three day Ysleta Mission Festival is recognized as one of El Paso’s premier festival events. It has been held on the second weekend of July for over a century, and attracts thousands of music lovers to the grounds of the 326 year old Ysleta Mission. Activities include live music, traditional dances, arts and crafts, authentic Southwest cuisine, and games for the entire family. (915) 859-9848. 131 South Zaragoza Road, Socorro, Texas.
 
Valley Growers Association, Fabens, TX:
Open Wed, 9am-3pm; Sat-Sun, 8:30am-3:30pm. (915) 764-2149. 312 Main Street.
 
San Elizario Farmer's Market:
Open Sat, 8am-1pm. (915) 487-5966. The market is located on the San Elizario Plaza at the San Elizario Mission.
 
Licon Dairy, San Elizario:
They raise dairy cows and produce and sell dairy products including cheeses. Their Azaderos cheese is very popular. Amenities include a petting zoo and a fishing pond stocked with catfish. The petting zoo is free. There is a fee charged for fishing. (915) 851-2705. 11951 Glorietta Road.
 
El Bandido Cantina & Restaurant:
They serve very good Mexican food indoors or on the patio. Open Mon-Sat, 11am-7pm; Sun, 7am-7pm. (915) 851-0660. 1591 Main Street, San Elizario, 79849. Reviews
 
Cattleman's Steakhouse at Indian Cliffs Ranch:
Ranch amenities include a private zoo, a lake, a movie set, Cattleman’s Steakhouse Restaurant, and Fort Apache. Cattleman’s Steakhouse is known for its great steaks. The ranch is open daily; no admission fees apply. The restaurant is open Mon-Fri, 5pm-10pm; Sat, 12:30pm-10pm; Sun, 12:30pm-9pm. (915) 544-3200. The ranch is located 20 miles southeast of El Paso at 3045 S. Fabens, Fabens, TX 79838. The ranch is located 5 miles north of Exit 49 (Fabens) on IH-10.  Fort Apache Map  Reviews