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ZAPATA, TEXAS

Zapata County Seat, South Texas

Hwy 83 at the International Reservoir
50 miles S of Laredo
Population: 5,125 (2010) 7,119 (1990)

Book Hotel Here > Zapata Hotels

Museum in Zapata
Museum in Zapata
TE Photo
History in a Pecan Shell

Zapata dates to Spanish land grants that go back to 1767.

When the first settlers crossed the Rio Grande the town was called Habitacion. Then Carrizo, then Bellville after Governor Peter Bell. Finally the permanent name of Zapata was authorized to honor Col. Antonio Zapata, one of the founders of the Republic of the Rio Grande.

In the early 1850s, two military posts, Camp Drum and Camp Harney, were located at Zapata. to combat border disturbances and prevent Indian attacks.

In 1842 the men of the Somervell expedition briefly occupied the town. It was here that received orders to abandon the expedition. Those that refused to turn back went on to become captured by the Mexicans.

The population of Zapata increased suddenly when people from Guerrero crossed the river to escape the Mexican Revolution.

In 1953 the town was moved to higher ground when Falcon Dam was built. Zapata is a gas and oil well center.
Zapata County Courthouse
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, March 2006
Zapata County Courthouse
The Zapata County Courthouse - and photo of the 1901 Zapata County Courthouse now under water in the Falcon Reservoir ... next page

Zapata Area Attractions

  • Falcon State Park -
    US 83 to FM 2098, southwest 3 miles to Park Road 46.
  • Zapata Hotels
  • A Zapata billborad
    Entering Zapata
    TE Photo
    Zapata, Texas
    Area Destinations:

    Laredo
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    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic photos, please contact us.

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