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LODI, TEXAS

Texas Ghost Town
Wilson County, South Texas

SW edge of Floresville
on Goliad Road at FM 536
Population: Between 0 and Unknown

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TX - Floresville / Lodi depot
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2011
Photographers Note:
"Lodi was located right on the southwest edge of present day Floresville on Trial Drive/CR 536. The railroad used to pass right through it. Apparently the settlement of Lodi shared the Floresville Depot as the historical marker is directly across the road from the depot." - Barclay Gibson

History in a Pecan Shell

Lodi has the distinction of being the first inhabited part of Wilson County. Sometime before 1832, Don Francisco Flores de Abrego built his expansive home here which became a full-fledged community in time. A post office was granted in 1858. It did serve as the Wilson County seat of government in 1867 but lost the status to Sutherland Springs (currently a ghost town). It regained the title briefly - losing it for a second time. This time it was to newly formed Floresville - a stop on the SAAP (San Antonio and Aransas Pass) railroad.

The Lodi post office closed in 1872 - yielding to the larger facility in Floresville. A school was open and operating in the mid 1890s with a respectable enrollment of 154, but after 1900 it entered into a fatal tailspin and only ruins were left by the end of the Great Depression.

The town, despite its former status, was too close to Floresville to prosper on its own. Don Francisco's hacienda was a ruin by 1940 - but his name lives on in Floresville's name. The history is remembered by a marker erected in 1971.
Lodi Tx Historical Marker
Lodi Historical Marker
FM 536 & Goliad Road

Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2011

Site of Old Town LODI

Community in an area known by 1720 as land of the Cayopines, a Coahuiltecan Indian tribe. The site was important to Spanish missions of San Antonio, since here along the river their herds were pastured. For the herdsmen, adobe huts were built. After the Apache Indians began to raid the area in 1731, the herdsmen took refuge across the river within the stronger walls of the Mission Cabras. The Pena brothers had Rancho San Eldifonzo Del Chayopin here from 1756 to 1787, and a nephew applied for title when mission lands were secularized in 1794. However, award was made to Simon and Juan Arocha. Their neighbors (descended from Canary Island colonists of 1731) included Jose Maria Flores and Erasmus Seguin.

Stephen T. Cook settled here in 1858, putting in a store and securing office of postmaster. He may have named Lodi for a town in Mississippi, his old home state. Wilson County was organized in an election held Feb. 13, 1860. Samuel W. Barker (husband of local aristocrat Josefa Flores) became the first sheriff of the new county. Improved roads were built here.

After the Civil War, Wilson County voters on Dec. 8, 1867, designated Lodi county seat--an honor lost to Floresville in 1872. Area then reverted to ranching.
(1971)
Lodi TX - Lodi Ferry Historical Marker
Lodi Ferry Historical Marker
Peach Street and Goliad Road

Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2011

Near Site of LODI FERRY

European settlement of this area dates to the early 18th century with the establishment of missions in San Antonio, and missions herdsmen used this area as grazing land for livestock. Until the late 19th century, traveleres in this county crossed the San Antonio River at natural fords, with no bridges or other means to traverse the stream. In 1871, the Wilson County Commissioners Court declared the need for a ferry and decided to grant any potential ferryman a waiver of licensing fees for the first five years, as well as the ability to charge the highest fee allowable by state law.

Nemencio de la Zerda, II owned land along the river near the mouth of Chiver Creek. He started a ferry operation on the east bank of the river at the community of Lodi, about one mile north of Floresville's center. De la Zerda, a Confederate veteran and area native, was active in his community, serving as Lodi's justice of the peace, as well as county sheriff and tax collector. Family tradition holds that near his boat he hung a bell that travelers would ring when they wanted to cross. The community of Lodi developed along the Old San Antonio-La Bahia Road, which brought a steady flow of commerce to the area, and the ferry provided a way for traders to haul their wares across the river.

The de la Zerda family sold the ferry business in 1877 to W.W. Payne, and it later passed to Vicente J. Carvajal. In 1886, the county built a free bridge nearby across the river, and over time, travelers ceased using the ferry that had once provided local residents and travelers vital transportation access.
(2006)
Lodi Cemetery Floresville Texas
Lodi Cemetery in Floresville
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2005
More Texas Cemeteries

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