The Houston Chronicle announced that a group of Texas history buffs has purchased a vacant, partially submerged 19-acre tract near the San Jacinto Monument from the estate of the late Houston lawyer John M. O’Quinn with plans to restore it to its 1836 appearance and open it to the public as an extension of the battleground complex.
The $625,000 sale was announced this week by O’Quinn’s estate and the Friends of the San Jacinto Battleground.
The group announced it’s intention to raise the $625,000 last January and said they had until June 1, 2010 to come up with the $625,000. It appears they were close enough that the Estate of O’Quinn held the property until the purchase was complete earlier this month.
The San Jacinto battlefield is a monument to the battle that secured Texas as it’s own republic from Mexico. It is not as well known throughout the U. S as the Alamo is but it is sacred ground to Texans.
The Friends of San Jacinto president Jan DeVault said work at the site likely will begin next year as an archaeological team surveys 11 acres of the site covered with shallow water in search of a Civil War-era naval compound.
The Houston Chronicle goes on to say that although the hardest fighting in the April 21, 1826, clash between Sam Houston’s 900 Texan troops and Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna’s 1,400 soldiers occurred near the San Jacinto Monument, the newly acquired property still holds historical significance, DeVault said. “We consider it sacred ground,” she said.
In 1836, the property was transected by the Harrisburg-Lynchburg Road, and in the days leading to the final battle of the Texas Revolution, was crossed by both Mexican and Texan troops. In the weeks before the battle about 5,000 Texas settlers fleeing the Mexican advance crossed the property.
After the battle, the site was occupied by a sawmill and a small community called San Jacinto. During the Civil War, the site was home to a Confederate armory, barracks and shipyard.
The Confederate complex was covered by water as the land subsided. DeVault said archaeologists will survey the area with side-scan sonar and “make efforts to retrieve whatever we find.”
DeVault said it is significant that work at the site will begin in 2011, the battle’s 175th anniversary. “We are giving the site to the people of the state of Texas as a birthday present,” she said.
Gerald Treece, executor of the O’Quinn estate, said he was “overjoyed that we could see that this historically significant property went to the Friends of the San Jacinto Battleground, who will not only preserve it, but work to recapture the way the land looked and felt when Sam Houston marched the Texas army across it to go to battle for the state’s independence.”
If you visit us here in Texas I would say this monument is a must see and that most visitors to vist the Alamo in San Antonia Texas are disappointed. The Alamo is in downtown San Antonia and only a chapel is left with some history and a souvenir store within it’s walls. The San Jacinto sacred ground, will give more of a feel for the true history of Texas.
We will have an article up later today that recaps the testimony in California. There is not testimony or court today or tomorrow. Testimony will resume on Monday with more of the Thompson and Shelley family testifying.
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August 26, 2010
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