The Alamo

The Alamo and the history behind it easily belong among the most iconic historical pieces of Texas and San Antonio history.  The Battle of the Alamo in 1836 proved a decisive battle in the Texas Revolution. Though the Battle itself ended in a Mexican victory, word of Mexican general Santa Anna’s cruelness reached Texan settlers and encouraged them to take arms against the army. Following the 13-day battle, the Mexican Army was defeated at San Jacinto a month later on April 21, 1836.

World’s Largest Virgin Mary Mosaic

Virgin Mary Mosaic, San Antonio, , Texas

The City of San Antonio is known for many things; The Alamo, The Riverwalk, Fiesta, Six Flags and many more. Of these known titles of the growing city is the World’s largest Virgin Mary Mosaic.  The 15 foot mosaic, located on the Westside of San Antonio,  was dedicated to the Guadalupe Plaza in 2004, by artist Jesse Trevino. This hidden gem of the city is not only beautiful to look at, but it highlights the rich cultural background of the cultural heritage of those who reside on this particular part of the city.

Vulcan Materials Quarry

Vulcan Materials is a mining quarry focused in San Antonio Texas and is the United States’ largest producer of construction aggregates.  From humble beginnings as a family company in 1909, Vulcan has since become a massive powerhouse of building materials spanning several continents on the globe. The huge increase of available building materials made consistent construction accessible to both the common man and the large company. Vulcan is among the few quarries that receive near perfect safety checks on all machines, programs, and procedures year-round. Another bonus to Vulcan is that this quarry leads the push on more environmentally friendly mining practices while still maximizing gains.

141st Infantry Regiment

 

 Historical marker, San Antonio, Texas, 141ST infantry Regiment, Bexar county
141st infantry Regiment historical marker located in San Antonio, Texas

“ To the men who died at the Alamo: All Texans a claim both and song and in the story the days of our youth – the days of your glory may they also remember, wherever they go, the man left behind at some far Alamo”

   The  state  of Texas has a long history of  military affairs.   When it comes to military affairs the 141st infantry Regiment has the title of the oldest militia unit in Texas for the United Stares Army.  The 141st infantry Regiment has a long history of military  involvement by being able to trace its lineage back to the Texas revolution of 1836.  In  addition to the Texas revolution the 141st infantry Regiment can trace its involvement back to the Spanish American war of 1898, the Cuban occupation of 1898, the Mexican border service beginning in 1916, World War I in 1918, and World War II from 1941-1945.  The 141st  infantry division’s  military history continues on now as part of the 72nd Birgade  Combat Division.

This is  historical  marker, dedicated to the 141st infantry division, does not do the history of this military division justice.  This military division has such an extensive history that we can’t fully see the whole picture of the significance of this division  from what is shown on this historical marker.  Much like you may have been, I was also very surprised of the extensive military lineage of the oldest militia unit in Texas.  What stands out most to me is the infantry units motto, “Remember the Alamo.”  What surprised me most about this motto is that it is still said to this day. The history behind this motto is something that is deeply rooted into all Texans.

The Old Lone Star Brewery

The imposing front facade of the Old Lone Star Brewery, featuring it's two towers, battlements, and the modern skybridge connecting the east and west wings.
The front facade of the Old Lone Star Brewery from the public parking lot across the street. | Courtesy of Peter Coons.

Constructed between 1895 and 1905, the Old Lone Star Brewery is an imposing complex that does not spark to mind beer at first glance. The multiple-building site is more akin to a fortress with it’s towers and battlements. The complex has housed not only the original brewery it was built for, but also a cotton mill and several individual businesses after the passing of the Volstead Act made alcoholic beverages illegal in 1920.

In 1970, the complex was sold to it’s current occupants, the San Antonio Museum of Art. The museum, however, would not open to the public until 1981 with the completion of a $7.2 million dollar modern renovation.

The Texas Archive War

The Texas Archive war began in March of 1842 when a division of the Mexican army arrived at San Antonio ad demanded the surrender of the town. At the time, the town was not able to resist and reluctantly gave the town.  On the 10th of March, President of Texas, Sam Houston declared an emergency session in fear of the army moving to Austin.  In his fear, he made plans to make Houston the capital of Texas by creating a small band of soldiers to march to Austin and remove the archives. The citizens of Austin, however, were not about to give up their rightful capital and made plans themselves to resist.

Gov. Sam Houston
President of Texas, Sam Houston

The people were taken off guard by the ensemble sent by the President and were forced to surrender their precious Austin archives. As the soldiers were leaving, Austin heroine: Mrs. Angelina B. Eberly, fired a cannon at them. The ensemble was caught off guards and reluctantly gave up the papers to avoid bloodshed.

https://www.tsl.texas.gov/sites/default/files/public/tslac/treasures/images/republic/archwar/angelina.jpg
Mrs. Angelina B. Eberly Firing a Cannon
Image result for texas archive war
Statue of Austin Heroine

Later, in 1889, President Mirabeau B. Lamar replaced Sam Houston and solidified the choice of maintaining Austin as Texas’s sole capitol.

Mirabeaulamar 2.jpg
President of Texas, Mirabeau B. Lamar

Treadaway Hall

Picture of building entrance
Picture of dedication plaque
Photo by Louie Diaz

Named after Brother Thomas Treadaway–St. Mary’s registrar from 1938 to 1969– Treadaway Hall initially housed Marianist brothers and served as a scholasticate.  Today it functions as dorms for students, contains its own chapel, and serves as archives.

St. Mary’s School of Law

St. Mary’s School of Law is located in San Antonio, Texas and is one of nine law schools in Texas accredited by the American Bar Association. Established in 1927 as the only private Catholic law school in Texas. St. Mary’s School of Law equips aspiring AttorneySt. Mary's University, Law School entrance, San Antonio, Texas‘s with the tools and knowledge needed to succeed in the court room. The St. Mary’s school of Law provides a number of academic programs including, clinical programs, study abroad, the largest legal information center in San Antonio, and regional and national moot court and mock trial competitions.

St. Louis Hall

St. Louis Hall was the first building added in the modern-day St. Mary’s campus; construction of the building was finished in 1894. St. Mary’s initially established near the San Antonio River walk. St. Louis Hall was originally named St. Louis College and started as an all boys boarding school. In 1904 a full college-curriculum was added and later in 1927 the name officially was changed to St. Mary’s University.  Finally, during the 1960s St. Mary’s University became a co-ed campus.Photo of a building

Sweeter Than Candy: A Texas Story Project

With a name as sweet as Dulces, one might believe my grandfather to have quite the sweet-tooth. Such an assumption is correct because Dulces Rubio “Candy” Castillo is a man who loves his desserts, however, he understood that life couldn’t always be as sweet as the treats that he so enjoys indulging in.

The year was 1964 and in his little town of Dell City, Texas, the high school had invited other high schools from around the state to participate in the basketball tournament. Now, it should be noted that because my grandfather was able work on airplanes and had the personality of a payaso, he was loved by all regardless of their skin color. Make no mistake, it was because of his fair skin and usefulness that he was not looked down upon by the townspeople. Though the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ended all segregation that year, it did not stop one diner owner (on the outskirts of the city) from asking an African American basketball team to leave the premise. Being the kind-hearted man that he still is today, Dulces felt that it was not only cruel to do so, but, that it reflected poorly upon his town. Because he knew the owner of the dive in diner, he asked if he might have a word with him outside of his establishment because he happened to hear the basketball team’s disappointment over being unable to sit inside of a relatively empty diner. This wasn’t upholding the promise that the town had made to accept all basketball players from far and wide into their establishments to honor the spirit of the event. According to my PawPaw , the conversation with the owner (Mr.Hunter) went something like this.

Owner: Is something the matter, Candy?

Dulces: Well, sir, it’s not right what you’re doing. 

Owner: What?

Dulces: The way I figure, we’re supposed to welcome 
everyone here with open arms. 

Dulces: Don’t you agree, Mr.Hunter?

Owner: Hell, Candy that was my wife who said that.
 Not me. I’ll go talk to the misses.

Dulces: Thank you, sir. 

Mr.Hunter allowed the entire basketball team to eat at his establishment free of charge thanks to my PawPaw, but it left a bitter taste in his mouth. He was familiar with discrimination, certainly. But he is the sort of man who only wishes to see the good in people. In his mind, he truly believed that due to the town making the promise that all teams from across the state were welcome to come to the town that this meant that people would act accordingly. This memory stirred something within him that led to an even more interesting discovery about his childhood.

This is a photograph of my grandfather, Dulces Rubio Castillo in high school (the exact date in which it was taken is unknown)

You see, my grandfather was born in Chihuahua, Mexico, but his family moved to Dell City, Texas in 1953, when he was just seven years old. He was used to speaking Spanish at home, and so it wasn’t abnormal that he should speak Spanish amongst his friends at school who also immigrated to the United States with their parents. While he was a bit of a Punchinello he knew that there was a time and a place for his jokes. One day when his class has let out for recess, he began speaking to his friends in his native tongue. It was something that he often did, but he had never had an adult within hearing distance before. The teacher in charge warned him, saying, “we don’t allow Spanish to be spoken in this school.” At the time, many schools wanted children to speak English in order for the immigrant children to assimilate into society.

Supposedly the woman was relieved of her job soon after, but my grandfather said that he didn’t believe that it was due to that incident that she was fired. Throughout his life, my grandfather has experienced humanity at its worst as well as at its best. Regardless of the discrimination that he faced in his childhood, and the discrimination that he witnessed in his late adolescence, he told me that he was happy in Dell City, Texas and that it led to him wanting to come to San Antonio, Texas where he met my grandmother. My Paw Paw’s life was filled with many unsavory moments, but that didn’t stop him from finding a little bit of sweetness wherever he went.