Presidio de San Saba

Less than one hundred miles northeast of Ozona, on the north bank of the San Saba River, is the Presidio de San Saba. Originally established in 1757 to support a nearby Spanish mission and to look for silver mines rumored to be in the area, the fort was the northernmost presidio established by the Spanish in Texas at that time. On March 16, 1758, a force of 2000 Comanche attacked the mission which was only four miles away, killing two priests and six others. Twenty-seven survivors were able to reach the fort with the help of a small detail of Spanish soldiers sent during the night. The commander gathered 300 civilians into the fort, but it was not attacked. Throughout the next decade the Spanish continued to try to defend the area, but were constantly harassed by the Native Americans and the presidio was eventually abandoned in 1768.

Throughout the next century, the ruins were visited by many including Jim Bowie of Alamo fame. Later used as a holding area for herds of cattle passing through the region, it offered cowboys an opportunity to visit the nearby town of Menard for a much needed break. Although the original stones of the fort were used to build many of the original buildings in Menard, the fort has undergone two renovations, one in 1936 and the latest in 2011. With no admission fee and numerous places to picnic or just walk the grounds, it offers a great place to take a break and imagine what it must have been like for those original Spaniards who found themselves so far from home. For more information about the Presidio de San Saba, visit