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PRESIDIO LA BAHIA de goliad National historic site
P. O. Box 57, Goliad, Texas 77963 361-645-3752


Newton Warzecha receives plaque from  Jim Bruseth, director of the Texas Historical Commission


GOLIAD, Texas (April 26, 2010) - A Historic Texas Lands Plaque was unveiled today at the site of historic Presidio La Bahia (Fort of the Bay) National Historic Landmark in Goliad County. The plaque was presented to Newton Warzecha, Director of the Presidio and a representative of the Catholic Diocese of Victoria, which owns the property. The plaque is awarded to landowners who have taken the necessary steps to identify archeological sites on their property designated as a State Archeological Landmark and are permitting major research or have established a conservation easement preventing unwanted development on the property.

"This plaque serves the purpose of thanking participating landowners as well as encouraging others to take notice of sites on their land and to take pride in their role of stewardship," said Jim Bruseth, Director of the THC's Archeology Division. "Sites like this one help tell the real stories of Texas and preserve them for future generations."

As a representative of the Diocese, Warzecha has worked to protect and preserve the archeological integrity of the site and has helped document, conserve and curate the important collection of material remains resulting from the archeological excavations that took place during the 1960s restoration. Recently, Warzecha helped orchestrate the complete renovation of the museum's interior - 3 years at a cost of $500,000. In 2008, he encouraged the Diocese to acquire a State Archeological Landmark designation on the property.

"We are very excited about what has been achieved here at Presidio La Bahia through the efforts of the Presidio La Bahia Advisory Board and The Presidio La Bahia Foundation," Warzecha said. "We are now better able to educate Texans and visitors to this prestigious National Historic Landmark about the important place this historic fort and Goliad have in the story of Texas."

Presidio La Bahia located in Goliad, TX, is the third and final location for the Spanish presidios bearing this name. Established in 1721 in Victoria County and moved to its present location in Goliad in 1749, the third location of Presidio La Bahia, along with its accompanying mission, Our Lady of Loreto Chapel, served to establish a strong Spanish presence in an area considered Spanish frontier territory. The Presidio's significance to Texas history began on the night of Oct. 9, 1835, when a group of Texas citizens, led by Capt. George Collinsworth, captured Presidio La Bahia from the Mexicans in what was one of the first offensive actions in the Texas Revolution. The first Texas Declaration of Independence was signed in the chapel at Presidio La Bahia, which still stands today and is one of the oldest continually functioning churches in America.

Presidio La Bahia is also the location of the historic 1836 execution of Col. James W. Fannin and 341 of his men at the order of Mexican Gen. Santa Anna. Set on a high point against the majestic south Texas skies, Presidio La Bahia stands as one of the state's most poignant shrines to the struggle for Texas independence.

The state of Texas contains more than two million archeological sites, with more than 90 percent on privately owned land. The THC's Historic Texas Lands Plaque recognizes private landowners who preserve important archeological sites on their land.

To learn more about protecting archeological sites throughout Texas contact the THC's Archeology Division at 512.463.6096 or visit and


Friends Of The Fort | PO Box 57 | Goliad, Texas 77963 | US Hwy 183 (77A)
Telephone: (361) 645-3752
Copyright: 2002 - Friends Of The Fort