Texas Heritage, Volume 18, Number 4, Fall 2000 Page: 20
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ter of the parade ground. It was visible on
the modern landscape only as a low,
rounded mound of dirt. In initial investigation
of this feature, archeologists found
below ground intact portions of mortar
walls that had been dressed with plaster,
charred remains from the burning and collapse
of a wooden roof, and a surface of
beach-derived shell "hash." The shell surface
was located outside the building and
probably served as the floor of an entryway,
porch, or ramada. Much work remains to
be done on this structure before its size and
function can be determined.
The archeological investigations also
show that the Karankawa Indians lived on
the same bluff overlooking Garcitas Creek
before and after the Europeans, and they
were there simultaneously at times with
both the French and Spanish-for better
or worse. Evidence of their presence is sitewide.
Very interestingly and seemingly
confirming a notation in the archival
record, it appears from the investigation
that the Native Americans used the colo
Houston Endowment, Inc., Houston
The Meadows Foundation, Dallas
M.G.and Lillie A.Johnson
The O'Connor & Hewitt Foundation,Vict
The Fondren Foundation, Houston
AT&T Foundation, Austin
The Summerlee Foundation,
The Hillcrest Foundation, Da
The Trull Foundation, Palacios
J.P.and Mary Jon Bryan Foundation,
The Kathryn O'Connor Foundation,
nists' abandoned buildings, as well as other
materials left behind by the Europeans.
Prehistoric Native Americans also occupied
the spot, and the flint dart heads
they made, ranging back some 3,000 years,
also have been recovered from the site.
The Texas Historical Commission feels
strongly that public awareness and education
should be integral aspects of major
archeological projects in Texas, and the
Fort St. Louis investigation was planned
accordingly. The Fort St. Louis Archeological
Project Public Archeology Laboratory,
located at 113 West Santa Rosa in downtown
Victoria, is the public interface point
for the project. Visitors, including legions
of school children, have seen a working
laboratory where artifacts from the site are
being processed and where computers are
being used to track, analyze, and interpret
The laboratory also houses a museum
where visitors can view artifacts from the
current excavation, from the 1950 excavation
at Fort St. Louis, and from the Belle
shipwreck, including one of the beautiful
bronze cannons recovered from the hold
of the vessel. Also on display are the eight
irons cannons arrayed in an "excavation
unit," lying just as they were when uncovered
by archeologists four years ago. Other
exhibits interpret the Spanish, Indian, and
French occupations at Fort St. Louis.
All in all, the lab is a remarkable Texas
history resource and an exciting heritage
George and Mary Josephine Hamman
he Strake Foundation, Houston
arolyn Bennett Jackson,
he Harriet M. Cunningham Charitable
Fou n, Inc., Beaumont
X IR~age Foundation Inc.,
Ktus K the Southwest, Midland
ictoria County Historical Commission,
1 st Victoria National Bank,Victoria
tourism destination. It will be open through
April 2001. Drop-in visits are welcome, or
a formal tour can be arranged through the
project's education coordinator, Maureen
Brown (phone 361/570-1356).
Mike Davis is special projects coordinator, and
Jim Bruseth is director of the archeology division
for the Texas Historical Commission.
*Bolton, Herbert. 1916. "Spanish Explorations
in the Southwest, 1526-1706."
Reprint, 1959, Barnes and Noble, New
* David McDonald, Kay Hindes, and
Kathleen Gilmore (Translator and Editors).
1999. "The Marquis de Aguayo's Report
to the King Regarding His Expedition
to Restore and Establish Missions and
Presidios in Texas, 1720-1722." Bulletin of
the Texas Archeological Society 70: 49-64.
* Tunnell, Curtis. 1998. "A Cache of
Cannons: La Salle's Colony in Texas."
Southwestern Historical Quarterly 102(1):
HERITAGE * 20 * FALL 2000
r ))( HISTORIC
Elissa, an 1877 square-rigged barque.
TEXAS SEAPORT MUSEUM
1859 ASHTON VILLA
1839 WILLIAMS HOME
PIER 21 THEATER
GALVESTON COUNTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM
1838 MENARD HOME
For information, contact:
Galveston Historical Foundation
502 20th Street
Galveston, Texas 77550-2014
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Texas Historical Foundation. Texas Heritage, Volume 18, Number 4, Fall 2000, periodical, Autumn 2000; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45391/m1/20/: accessed August 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.