Teresa Palomo Acosta

GENERAL ZARAGOZA STATE HISTORIC SITE. The General Zaragoza State Historic Site, two miles south of Goliad, was established in the 1960s to commemorate the birthplace of Ignacio S. Zaragoza. The memorial honors the general who led Mexican forces to victory over the French in the battle of Puebla, May 5, 1862, an event celebrated annually in Mexico and Texas as El Cinco de Mayo (see FIESTAS PATRIAS). Goliad County donated three acres for the site to the State Parks Board in September 1961.

A three-room, stone house was reconstructed on existing stone foundations, which, according to local tradition, mark Zaragoza's birthplace. Archeological investigations in 1969 and 1972 provided scant details on the architectural features of the structure originally on the site. Stein Lumber Company of Fredericksburg constructed the building based on plans drawn for the Historic Sites and Restoration Branch of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department by Raiford Stripling of San Augustine. The construction was completed in December 1974, and the site was opened on May 5, 1976. Exhibits in the building illustrate living conditions in the Mexican frontier state of Coahuila and Texas and also present information on the life of Zaragoza, with special emphasis on his military career.

In 1980 a statue of Zaragoza was added to the memorial, following decades of effort by Mexican Americans associated with the Sociedad Ignacio Zaragoza and others, including W. M. Neyland of Corpus Christi and state representative Tim Von Dohlen. Abigail Vargas Carbajal, also of Goliad and president of the Zaragoza Society for many years, was instrumental in preserving Zaragoza's birthplace and in advocating a special monument for the Texas-born general. The 3,000-pound, $350,000 bronze statue, cast by a family of sculptors from Mexico, was a gift from the state of Puebla to Texas. A formal dedication ceremony to present the statue was held on September 13, 1980, with the governor of Puebla present. Other Mexican, Texan, and United States officials also represented their respective governments at the event, which drew an audience of 1,000. A Mass for the occasion was concelebrated by Archbishop Patrick Flores of San Antonio and Bishop Thomas J. Drury of Corpus Christi.

Mary Love Bigony, "Two Nations Honor Texas-Born Hero," Texas Parks and Wildlife, December 1980. Julie Catalano, "A Special Connection," Vista, May 6, 1990.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Teresa Palomo Acosta, "GENERAL ZARAGOZA STATE HISTORIC SITE," accessed August 21, 2019,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox