A special exhibit titled “Mission Espiritu Santo in the TPWD Era” will be on display at Goliad State Park July 1 through July 31. This exhibit celebrates more than 30 years of hard work and dedication by members of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in preserving Mission Espiritu Santo for the future.
Mission Espiritu Santo has experienced three different eras – the Spanish Colonial Era, the Civilian Conservation Corps Era and the TPWD Era. After its first use during Spanish Colonial times, the old mission was abandoned in 1830, and, sadly, the buildings fell into decline. One hundred years later, the CCC came to the old mission’s rescue and restored Espiritu Santo to its former glory. But this renewal was not to last.
After the CCC left in 1941, time began to take its toll, and the buildings once again fell into forlorn neglect. But in the 1970s, the employees of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department stepped up to the challenge and began the task of once again reviving Mission Espiritu Santo.
The buildings of the mission were repaired; the chapel was painted and furnished to return it to the look of the 1700s, and a museum dedicated to the Spanish Colonial and CCC Eras was created. Camping facilities within Goliad State Park also were improved for the benefit of local residents and travelers.
By the early 1980s, Mission Espiritu Santo was returned to its original glory. But the work did not stop there. In the years that followed, ongoing upkeep, physical improvements, preservation work and dogged determination by TPWD in the face of adversity have kept this old mission standing proud. The employees of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department invite the public to join them as they celebrate Mission Espiritu – alive and vibrant in the 21st Century.
Goliad State Park is located ¼ mile south of Goliad on Highway 183. Entry fee to the park is $3 per adult, with children 12 and under free. For more information, call 361-645-3405.