A mission -- Mission Santa Cruz de San Saba -- was located about 4 miles downriver from the presidio, but it was short-lived. On March 16, 1758, it was surrounded by hostile Comanche, Wichita, and Caddo warriors and basically destroyed. Some of the occupants, including Father Terreros, the mission leader, were killed. A small group was able to escape under cover of darkness and make its way to the presidio, which had also suffered a series of attacks that same day. Although some archaeological work has been done on the mission, there is very little today to mark its location.
The presidio was eventually abandoned by February 1768, due largely to continued attacks by hostile Indians. A grant provided by the Texas Legislature in 1936 helped with some restoration, but the quality of materials used was very poor and the walls soon deteriorated. Recent renovations have proven to be much more successful.
This general area is also thought by many to be the location of the "Lost Bowie Mine", sometimes referred to as the "Lost San Saba Mine." Historically, the mine was probably the Los Almagres Mine. However, many archaeologists believe the Los Almagres Mine might have been located farther east, on Packsaddle Mountain near the confluence of the Llano and Colorado Rivers. In short, we actually do not know if Bowie worked a mine or, if he did, where it was. But legends abound about Jim Bowie and his lost mine, and they are interesting to look into.
|View of the presidio from the west. The gate is the main entrance. Corrals for cattle and horses would have been located to the right of the entrance.|
|Main entrance. There are few original stones left at the presidio, but the two large base stones on either side of the entrance on the ground are thought to be in their original locations.|
|The backside of the presidio is literally only steps from the river. The bluff above is on the south bank of the river. That is part of a golf course in the foreground.|
|You can see part of a collapsed wall on the left. That is the San Saba River looking downriver, in the direction of the mission and the present day town of Menard.|
|Looking upriver from the same position as the picture above.|
If you use Google Earth, you can find the location of the presidio at these coordinates: 30°55'20.67" N 99°48'04.25" W.