Mission Nuestra Senora del Refugio
Mission Nuestra Senora del Refugio (1795-1830) - A stockaded Spanish mission established in 1795 by Franciscan missionaries in present day Refugio, Refugio County, Texas. Secularized and abandoned in 1830.
Mission Nuestra Senora del Refugio History
This mission was first established on 4 Feb 1793 near the present day town of Long Mott in Calhoun County. The mission did not thrive in that location and was moved in June 1794 to Mosquitos Creek where it also did not thrive. The final move to the present location along the Mission River took place in January 1795.
The mission was still subjected to attacks by hostile Comanche Indians at this location but managed to complete most of the buildings by 1799. Most of the buildings were of adobe construction but the church and the blacksmith shop were made of stone. The mission complex was thought to be enclosed by a protective stockade. As with most of the Texas missions, this mission was established to convert friendly Indian tribes to christianity and establish communities where they could learn how to farm and practice various trades. The Indian population varied from the original 138 when it was established in 1795 to over 220 in 1804. A few soldiers were also stationed at the mission to organize the defense.
Mexico won independence from Spain in 1821 and soon after the new Mexican government began to order all the Texas missions to secularize. The secularization process included turning over the mission lands to the remaining Indian families along with the tools and supplies used to maintain the mission. Refugo Mission was first ordered to secularize on 10 Jul 1824 but various attempts were made to keep the mission in operation. The Mexican government insisted that the secularization order be carried out on 7 Jan 1830 and the mission was abandoned. Less than two dozen Indians remained attached to the mission when it was abandoned.
The remaining church property was taken to Presidio La Bahia in Goliad and the mission fell into ruins.
On the property of the Our Lady of Refuge Catholic Church in Refugio, Refugio County, Texas. One corner of the old mission chapel lies under the back of the present day church.
Visited: 8 Dec 2011