The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 5, July 1901 - April, 1902 Page: 138
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138 Texas Historical Association Quarteqrly.
quite an extensive building; we had reached the old Spanish fort
or mission on the San Saba river. Our first impression was that
of amazement at finding in the midst of this wilderness in which
we had traveled about so long, and in which we knew ourselves to
be many days journey from the abode of civilized men, this incon-
trovertible evidence of the former permanent abode of white
people. Through an aperture in the masonry we entered an inner
courtyard and found there a suitable place for our tents. The fort
lies close to the river on the left or north bank, which is here about
twenty feet high. The ruins consist of remnants of masonry work
five to six feet high (in some places from fifteen to twenty feet),
and plainly show the design of the whole structure. The outer
walls of masonry are an almost square rectangle whose shorter wall,
lying near the river, measures 300 feet, while the longer wall meas-
ures 360. On to the inner side of this outer wall are built several
casemates, or rooms, each eighteen feet deep and opening into the
courtyard. The whole number of these surrounding the court is
about fifty. In the northwest corner of the plot of ground is a
main building with a courtyard and seven rooms, the walls of which
are still partially preserved as high as the upper crossbeams. The
main entrance to the fort lay on the west side, and besides this
there was a little opening towards the water. On three corners of
the fort there were projecting towers for defense and on the north-
west corner a larger and round tower. The quarry stones of which
the walls were constructed were held together with earth only, but
in the wall of the main building we observed traces of mortar.
"The plan of the whole structure is) in its main features, the
same as that of the Spanish missions near San Antonio; but the
church, which, in harmony with its religious purpose, the conver-
sion of the Indians, is the largest and most notable building in the
larger California missions, as well as in those of San Antonio, was
here either entirely wanting, or was only very small and insignifi-
cant. Neither is there any indication that the land around the fort
was ever cultivated, nor is there any trace of an aqueduct for the
irrigation of the land, which is never missing in the other missions.
Both circumstances arouse many doubts as to whether this was
really a mission. It was perhaps nothing more than a strong point
for guarding the San Saba valley. Of the ultimate fate of this
fort little more than tradition is known in Texas. It is said
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 5, July 1901 - April, 1902, periodical, 1902; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101021/m1/144/: accessed October 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.