Growing Goliad offers history, fun activities

Sept. 24, 2011 at 4:24 a.m.

Reflecting on the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, 2010, the city of Goliad has experienced sustainable growth and anticipates a healthy upcoming fiscal year.

During this time, the Goliad community recognizes many new or reopened businesses, such as DJ's Splashworks, Simply Charming, Jaliscos, Goliad Funeral Home, Art's Resale, Edward Jones Investments, Needful Things, Machicek's Resale, Sale of Super S Foods to Lowe's Pay and Save, and LaBahia Restaurant.

The pride of Goliad is apparent downtown as the American Bank, Tim Von Dohlen Building and Pettus Building have all undergone major remodeling efforts. Additionally, the third hotel within the city limits, Best Western, anticipates opening in 2012.

Our residents enjoy the lowest solid waste rates in the city since 2004, and we also have the benefit of comparatively low water and waste water rates (as indicated comparing 31 cities at In addition to the decrease in cost of city services, the city sales tax revenues in actual sales have increased approximately 19 percent over last year, and city council adopted a lower tax rate for the upcoming year than the adopted tax rate for the previous year. Goliad continues to serve our residents, business owners and visitors with attractions in the community such as Presidio LaBahia, Goliad State Park, Public Swimming Pool, Hike and Bike Trail along the San Antonio River, Movies on the Square, new Branch River Park with Disc Golf Course and pavilion, Fort Fun, excellent schools and an outstanding monthly Market Days.

Share in the rich history:

Goliad is the state's third-oldest municipality and is rich in Texas history. First named Santa Doretea by the Spaniards in the 16th century, its name was changed in 1829 to Goliad. The name is an anagram derived from the last name of a Spanish missionary priest, Father Hidalgo. One of its historical backgrounds is being the place where the first Declaration of Texas Independence was signed on Dec. 20, 1835. The saddest page of Texas history, the Goliad Massacre, which was the largest single loss of life in the cause of Texas Independence occurred here. This event inspired the battle cry "Remember Goliad," at the battle of San Jacinto.

Goliad is the smallest town in Texas to be selected for the Main Street Program in 1984, and the Courthouse Square Historic District is one of the most complete examples of early Texas Settlements. Goliad's County Courthouse, along with the 19th and early 20th century structures surrounding it was entered on the National Register of Historic Places. The second empire style courthouse was designed by noted Texas architect Alfred Giles and was completed in 1894. Limestone was used in the construction and was hauled from Austin by oxcart.

On the north courthouse lawn stands the famous "Hanging Tree." At various times between 1846 and 1870, this tree served as the site of court sessions. Death sentences pronounced by the court were carried out immediately with a rope and a strong limb. During the 1857 Cart War, in which Texan freighters perpetrated a series of vicious attacks against Mexican cart drivers along the Indianola-Goliad-San Antonio Road, this site witnessed a number of unauthorized lynchings before the conflict was brought to an end by Texas Rangers.

Both a state park and international historic site, reconstructed birthplace and statue of one of Mexico's most famous military figures, General Ignacio Zaragoza (1829-1862), who was born in Goliad. In 1862, he commanded an outnumbered and poorly equipped Mexican army in defense of the city of Puebla against French forces. Zaragoza flung back the attacking army, inflicting heavy losses and forcing its withdrawal. The battle date, May 5, spurs Cinco de Mayo celebrations, and in 1992, Goliad was named Texas' Official Celebration Site for Cinco de Mayo.


There are always exciting events that keep this community thriving and filled with a strong sense of belonging and closeness.

Upcoming events include Texas Night Out on Tuesday, Oct. 4 where you can come "Dunk the Sheriff" in our dunking booth. Market Days, held every second Saturday, will happen on Oct. 8 with more than 100 vendors. Oct. 15 will bring hundreds of cyclists in for the 20th Annual Missions Tour de Goliad Bike Ride, and finishing the month of October with Main Street Scare on the Square, Oct. 29, from 6-8 p.m. with a showing of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" at 8:30 p.m.

If you cannot join us, catch us on an episode of "The Daytripper" on your local PBS Station. Details at KLRN will air the Goliad episode on Nov. 27.

Goliad is the birthplace of Texas ranching; come experience the charm we enjoy every day.

Sereniah Breland is city administrator for the city of Goliad. Breland came to the city in October 2010 with experience from her previous position as the Support Services Director for the city of Sugar Land and preceding that position, Recycling Coordinator for the city of Denton and Assistant to the City Manager for the city of Greenville.



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