Historic sites receive national designations

Melissa Crowe By Melissa Crowe

Dec. 10, 2012 at 6:10 a.m.

The narrow stretch of Lower Mission Valley Road doesn't look like it ever lived up to its name on "The Royal Way."

Nevertheless, it's an area steeped in history, and one county official hopes to place it on the federal map of El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail.

County Heritage Director Gary Dunnam has championed for the county's inclusion in the national map since it was incorrectly left out when the map became law.

An agreement county commissioners approved Monday with Texas Department of Transportation is a positive step to correcting the national historic map, County Judge Don Pozzi said.

Commissioners approved an agreement with Texas Department of Transportation to install signs along the historic roadway marking the way to Tonkawa Bank in Riverside Park and to the Mission Espiritu Santo ruins on the Guadalupe River in Mission Valley.

Dunnam said it has taken a year to get the agreement designed, approved and funded. The total project will cost about $6,000, he said.

The national historic trail association voted to spend $5,000 for signs marking nine historic sites on the trail. The Victoria County Historical Commission contributed an additional $1,000 to cover the remainder of the cost of the signs.

The Mission Espiritu Santo ruins and the documented site of the Presidio La Bahia, prior to late 1749, were important way-stations on the Bexar-La Bahia-Nacogdoches Road, Dunnam said.

"It was an error that these sites were not listed on the National Historic Trail when it became law," Dunnam said. "We're doing everything we can to correct this error."

Dunnam added he hopes the signs will correct the error.



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