Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mission, Texas

Of course, this town is named after an historical landmark, the La Lomita ( "the little hill").  It is a mission founded by the Oblate Fathers in 1865.  The mission originally sat on land provided by a Spanish land grant in 1767.  The land was used by the church for farms and ranches to support the priests and their charities.
The adobe church, built in 1865,  has been rebuilt and restored a couple of times.  It was relocated to its present location in 1899.  The Oblate Fathers are credited with being the first to plant citrus in this region, which is now known for its ruby red grapefruit.  We have a tree on the lot where our home is now parked, the fruit is quite delicious!  In 1912 a local land developer, John Shary, started the first large-scale commercial citrus grove, and by 1922 shipped his commercial crop. 
Our other stop yesterday afternoon was at the Mission Historical Museum. In the annex of the building there is currently a showing of local quilts.  We were also able to explore the town's old post office (built in 1940), which use to be part of that building.  It has a hidden room where the postal inspector was able to make a surprise visit to check on the postal workers.  In that room there are very tiny windows whereby the inspector can make his observations without anyone knowing of his presence in the building. 
In the main building of the building is currently on display a Sister Cities Exhibit.  According to the museum newsletter, Mission enjoys a "thriving relationship" with 12 sister cities of Mexico.  It is showcasing regional traditional Mexican dresses and art which reflect the customs and traditions from each of those regions.  The dress pictured above is from Ciudad Allende Nuevo Leon, on it is painted points of interest and industries of that city.  I found it interesting that the dresses from each of the 12 cities were so different from each other, and that there is such a a wide variety of cultures within Mexico.  Also in the museum was an area dedicated to Tom Landry (1924-2000).  He was a much loved coach of the Dallas Cowboys,  and Mission was his hometown.  We thought the museum in Mission would be quite small and uninteresting- however, we were pleasantly surprised at how well it entertained us on one cold afternoon in January! 
I will be doing a road trip with my sister Linda back to St.Louis tomorrow, and will continue my posts on the Rio Grande Valley once I return next week.  Unfortunately, now that my sister is leaving, the weather warmed up a bit today,  at least the sun came out!

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