County Seat, South
Hwy 83 at the International Reservoir
50 miles S of
Your Hotel Here & Save
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, March 2006|
|History in a Pecan
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
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.