The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 17, July 1913 - April, 1914 Page: 323
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VoL. XVII* APRIL, 1914 No. 4
The publication committee and the editors disclaim responsibility for views expressed by
contributors to THE QUARTERLY.
THE FOUNDING OF THE MISSIONS ON THE SAN
GABRIEL RIVER, 1745-1749
HERBERT E. BOLTON
It is not generally known that the San Gabriel River in central
Texas was once the seat of Franciscan missionary activity. Yet
such is the case, and slender remains of the mission establishments
are still to be seen in the valley of that stream. If one will drive
nine miles northwest from Rockdale to the Kolb Settlement, and
then turn westward up the river for about a mile, he will come to
what has long been known in the neighborhood as "Ditch Valley
Farm," a name, the present writer has discovered and established
beyond doubt, which comes from the fact that through the farm
once ran an "acequia," or irrigating ditch, constructed in the year
1750 to serve three Spanish missions which had recently been
established there. In the river near by are still to be seen at low
water the remains of what has long been known as the old "Rock
Dam," whose origin, it is now clear, was the same as that of
The remains of the "acequia" as well as of the dam are still
to be seen in dim outline. Crossing the main highway near the
western end of the farm is a shallow ditch leading toward the
river. North of the road it is quite distinct, being some eight feet
wide at the top and two or three feet deep in the middle. The
land on this side of the road is uncultivated, and in the bed of
the ditch are growing hackberry trees nearly a foot in diameter.
*Volumes I-XV published as THE QUARTERLY of the Texas State His-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 17, July 1913 - April, 1914, periodical, 1914; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101061/m1/327/?rotate=270: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.