Home Is Where We Park It: Motorhomes of Texas, Nacogdoches, Texas
August 9, 2020
Temperature 95 Degrees Feels Like 105 Degrees With Humidity
Nacogdoches Visitor Center
One more day, hopefully, in the asphalt jungle. If all goes well tomorrow we should be on the road around noon tomorrow. Whatever way it goes is OK by us. We’ve learned over the years that the first rule of full time RV living is to be flexible.
Little did we know when we arrived in Nacogdoches that this quaint little town is considered to be one of the prime tourist stops in Texas. Wanting to know more about the town and its history we decided to visit
the visitor center located in the historic district of town.
When we asked if the historic district would be hard to find we were told just look for the red brick road.
Once we found the historic district locating the Visitor Center was real easy to locate. Outside the visitor center is a beautiful park.
Walking in the front door you learn immediately that it is considered the oldest town in Texas.
The earliest settlers of this area were the Caddo Indians. They were the most advanced Indian culture in Texas. They lived in tall, grass-covered houses in large settlements with highly structured social, religious, and political systems.
Over the course of its history, Nacogdoches had nine differently flags rather than the six for the rest of Texas. The flags included the Spanish, French, Gutierrez-Magee Rebellion, Dr. James Long Expedition, Mexican, Fredonia Rebellion, Lone Star, Confederate Stars & Bars and of course the United States of America.
Nacogdoches was the American’s gateway to Texas. They began coming into Nacogdoches and Spanish Texas by the 1800’s.
The Spanish lost ownership of Texas and Mexico in 1821 after the Mexican Revolution. In order to prevent Anglos from the United States from flooding Texas, the Mexican Government passed colonization laws and granted impresario grants to individuals to settle families in Texas. Disagreements over land titles led to the Fredonia Rebellion.
By the early 1830s, relations between Mexico and Texas began to spiral out of control. The first clash between Mexican and Texans occurred on August 2, 1832 with the Battle of Nacogdoches. Aided by local resident Adolphus Sterne, a group of Texas revolutionaries forced the Mexican garrison out of Nacogdoches, and freeing East Texas from military rule.
By 1839 all of East Texas was occupied and under the control of the Americans who came through the Nacogdoches gateway to Texas to settle the new Republic of Texas.
After the turn of the century, local citizens began to lobby the state for an teacher’s college in Nacogdoches. In 1923 Stephen F. Austin Teachers College opened with an enrollment of 158 students. Over the next several decades, the college began to expand to accommodate a large student body. Under the leadership of President Ralph Steen, the college achieved university status in 1969 and a student population of nearly 11,000. The university continues to thrive today.
Nearby was the site of the riverport community of Pattonia (also called Patton’s Landing),
founded by Robert S. and Moses L. Patton in 1844.
Pattonia was situated at a bend in the Angelina River.
To test the feasibility of riverboats, the Patton brothers purchased the flat-hulled Thomas J. Rusk in 1844, loaded it with 192 bales of cotton, and floated it downriver to Sabine Pass, where they traded the cotton for supplies. With these supplies they opened a store in Pattonia.
Successful in their initial efforts, the Pattons purchased the steamboat Angelina and soon established regular commerce on the river between the new town of Pattonia and the Gulf of Mexico. Boats carried cotton downriver, while supplies were sent upstream to Pattonia, where they were unloaded and sent overland to Nacogdoches and other locations by wagon.
By the 1880s, boats no longer served the port community. Erosion of the river banks, lowering water levels, obstruction by fallen logs, accumulation of sandbars and other factors contributed to the demise of the port and made navigation on the Angelina River difficult. The emergence of dependable rail travel made Pattonia’s river commerce obsolete. The Pattons moved their mercantile businesses to Nacogdoches, and by 1900 the settlement had been abandoned.Today, nothing remains of this once vital link to river trade in east Texas.
Another day is in the books on The Road of Retirement. Our time here has definitely not been wasted. Once again God brought us to the right place at the right time. Serious safety issues were corrected regarding Elvira. Upgrades were accomplished. We finally got our front AC working properly. We got to do some shopping and replenish some of the staples we keep on board. We had a wonderful time sightseeing and learning about the unique town of Nacogdoches. We also just chilled out and enjoyed our time together in the asphalt jungle. If you ask me, we definitely came out the winners in this little detour.
Thanks for your company. Catch you tomorrow.
These are the voyages of Elvira and her two intrepid travelers. Our continuing mission: to explore as many new states as possible, to seek out new acquaintances and make new friends, to boldly go where we have never been before.
See you on down the road!