After a few years of disastrous relations with the Karankawa, the mission and presidio on Garcitas Creek were moved. The mission moved first to what is now Riverside Park in Victoria. In 1726, the mission moved again, to Mission Valley, just north of Victoria. The presidio moved with it. 41 years after La Salle first founded the colony on Garcitas Creek, the site was abandoned, and no one had plans to come back.
After a few more years, the mission and presidio were moved a final time to Goliad, where their remnants can be visited today.
By the 1790s, unrest was growing around the fourth location of Mission Espiritu Santo and Presidio La Bahia. While some unrest was local, much came from the north. The horses and guns introduced to North America by Europeans radically changed Native cultures. One of the cultures most changed were the Comanche. They adopted the horse and gun as central ways of life, and used them to expand their influence. As they swept into north Texas, they displaced the Lipan Apaches, who in turn moved even further south. Aggression between the Lipan and Comanche people sparked violence throughout Texas. San Saba Mission was burned, and Spanish expeditions were attacked. Escalating violence and competing land claims caused tension for the mission and presidio at Goliad. The Spanish were increasingly trying to phase the missions out, believing that their job was mostly complete. As funds diminished and the Mexican War of Independence started, the mission and presidio were largely ruined.
In 1821, Mexico achieved independence from Spain. Martin De Leon, a merchant and soldier who had been ranching in northern Mexico and south Texas, used the opportunity to start a colony of 41 Mexican families on the Guadalupe River. This colony was the beginning of the city of Victoria.
A peineta is a large decorative comb, often made of tortoise shell. They are usually worn under a mantilla, or lace head covering. This peineta belonged to María Luisa Lazo, whose father was part of De León’s colony in 1824. She married Philip Dimmitt who was the first Texan to command Presidio La Bahia in 1835. Only the highest class of Spanish women wore a peineta.
Hobnail safes were first produced in Europe. This safe was probably made by a Spanish or Mexican craftsman for Dillman Mantz in the early 1800s, in his blacksmith shop on his land in Victoria. The Mantz family was among the early settlers in Victoria and subsequently became large property owners.
This formidable safe is constructed of a wood frame overlaid with iron sheets. The safe has a secret covered lock with a large iron key, and is still functional.