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History of San Antonio TX Real Estate

Posted in: Other Areas
By SAGE - Premium Texas Real Estate
Aug 12, 2010 - 5:17:58 PM

In 1856, architect Frederick Law Olmstead described San Antonio TX real estate as a "jumble of...buildings" and "odd and antiquated foreignness."  The mix of San Antonio TX homes for sale exudes a mystique aged by the "jumble of races, costumes, and languages" noticed by Olmstead.

In modern history, Native Americans originally lived in rudimentary homes near the San Antonio River Valley.  They called it Yanaguana, "refreshing waters."  After wrecking his ship in 1536, Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca described the area of today's real estate in San Antonio.  Over a century and a half later, Spanish explorers and missionaries, arriving in present-day La Villita on the feast day of Saint Anthony of Padova called the place San Antonio.  

In 1716, the Spanish Council of War determined to build a fort (presidio).  Martin de Alarcon, Governor of Texas, reinforced the presidio with ten soldiers who with their families moved into a villa called San Antonio de Bejar after the Duke of Bejar in Spain.  Also at this time, the Council approved Father Olivares petition to open the San Antonio de Padua Mission.  It became Mission San Antonio de Valero after a Rio Grande mission merged with it.  Over the years, the presidio, villa, and mission moved to nearby sites.  

Growth continued.  In 1731, over 50 Canary Islanders arrived and founded La Villa de San Fernando, employing the first civil government in Texas.  For most of the next century, the area grew as the capital of the Spanish, then Mexican province of Tejas.  Mexico achieved independence in 1821 and invited American settlers to the area.  

However, battles ensued after Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna unilaterally rescinded the Mexican constitution in 1824.  The Anglo Texans (Texians) forced Mexican soldiers out of their settlements.  They captured San Antonio; the site of Milam Park and the Cos House commemorates their efforts.

Nonetheless, Santa Anna marched again in 1836 and mowed down Texian forces at the famous Battle of the Alamo.  William Barrett Travis, James Bowie, and Davy Crockett and over 100 men perished.  The most visited tourist attraction in Texas today is Alamo City with its Crockett Hotel behind the Alamo.  Hero of the battle of San Jacinto, Juan Seguin organized Hispanic Texians in a continuing fight for independence and subsequently became mayor.

In 1845, Texas joined the United States, a move that led to the Mexican War, which left the city devastated.  Only 800 people remained.  With new immigrants from Germany, peace brought a resurgence and prosperity.  German merchants built charming shops in the beautiful King William district south of downtown.  The population grew to 15,000.   Then the Civil War began.  Most residents supported the Union.  

Born of the skills and backgrounds of Mexican, Spanish, and German heritage, the cattle and cowboy culture took hold.  Major cattle trails branched off from the frontier city including the famous Chisholm Trail.  

The railroad changed the rural nature beginning in 1877.  Twentieth-century streets filled with streetcars and automobiles.  Historic buildings were razed to make room for the wider streets.  One example is the Veramendi House, with its typical Mexican courtyard, owned by the prominent family of Jim Bowie's wife.  The modern era flourished.  Much of today's architecture reflects the cultures of yesteryear.  For more information about real estate here and in the Hill Country, click here to contact Dale Cook or call 830-997-1035.



Dale E. Cook, MBA, Broker/Owner

Sage - Premium Texas Real Estate
405 N. Llano St.
Fredericksburg, TX 78624

830-997-1035 office
830-992-0056 cell

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