Heritage, Volume 18, Number 2, Spring 2000 Page: 31
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The stately church is now frequented by animals and curiosity-seekers. Photograph by Eugene George, architect.
Now, though, the quaint village, which was originally called Revilla and
founded on October 10, 1750, lies in ruins, the result of the damming of the
Rio Grande River and construction of the Falcon Reservoir almost 50 years
ago. According to the "Handbook of Texas," the idea of a dam six miles east
of the present site began about 1935, and the lake was approved by treaty at
its present location in the late 1940s. Construction on the project began in
At the time that the Falcon dam was built, it was expected that it would
take three years to fill, and the town's residents were instructed to begin evacuation
of low-lying areas in early 1953. On August 23, 1953, however, sudden
thunderstorms began to fill the reservoir sooner than expected, and the citizens
of Guerrero Viejo were forced to flee with only a few meager possessions.
Five days later, the tops of homes and the steeple of the church could be seen
eerily peaking from beneath the rising waters of the Falcon Reservoir.
From time to time, though, during periods of extreme drought, these reservoir
waters recede, exposing the exquisite stone arches and beautiful architecture,
reminders once again of border lives forever changed.
The ghostly image of the church surfaces above the waters
of the Falcon Reservoir in this image by Rose Trevifio.
HERITAGE * 31 * SPRING 2000
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 18, Number 2, Spring 2000, periodical, Spring 2000; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45390/m1/31/: accessed July 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.