Nacogdoches celebrates 300th birthday
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Nacogdoches, about an hour’s drive from Carthage, holds its fame as the “oldest town” in Texas; in fact, Nacogdoches has celebrated its 300th birthday in November 2016.
Nacogdoches was originally a Caddo Indian settlement up until 1716 when Spain established a mission called “Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de los Nacogdoches.” The town of Nacogdoches really began to grow after the French vacated the area and Spanish officials took over; however, the Spanish soon decided it was too costly to maintain the town and ordered everyone to vacate the town.
Later a Spanish trader by the name of Antonio Gil Y’Barbo came back to Nacogdoches and emerged as a leader when he led a group of settlers back into Nacogdoches in the spring of 1779. The following summer Nacogdoches was granted a “pueblo” or town by the Spaniards and making Gil Y’Barbo the lieutenant governor of the new town.
Y’Barbo established many laws but the most important thing he established was the Old Stone Fort. What once was a simple trading hub later became a gateway from the United States to the Texas Frontier. Many important people passed through Nacogdoches such as, Sam Houston and Thomas J. Rusk. Eventually Stephen Fuller Austin made his way to Nacogdoches where he helped draw up the plans to help win Texas independence.
In later years Nacogdoches managed to keep itself standing during the American Civil War and as the years went on the town prospered. Today we have a college named, appropriately, Stephen F. Austin State University or SFA for short. Many other historic places like Downtown Nacogdoches, the Old University building and Lake Nacogdoches draw visitors to the Oldest Town in Texas.
The town offers some good places to shop, mostly local and some well know chains. Favorite local restaurants include the Cotton Patch, Liberty Bell, Clear Springs & Auntie Pasta’s, and many more. Students considering their options for transferring to a university might want to consider making the short drive to Nacogdoches to tour the campus and see the sights of this historic town.