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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

tx - Museum in Zapata
Frontier Ranch Museum
TE Photo, November 2001
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

Zapata Area Attractions

  • Falcon State Park -
    US 83 to FM 2098, southwest 3 miles to Park Road 46.
  • Zapata Hotels
  • Zapata County Courthouse 1901 Texas
    The 1901 Zapata County Courthouse now under Falcon Reservoir
    1939 photo courtesy TXDoT
    TX -  Zapata billborad
    Entering Zapata
    TE Photo, November 2001
    TX -  Zapata billborad - Viva Zapata
    Viva Zapata
    TE Photo, November 2001

    Zapata, Texas Area Destinations:
    See Zapata County | Laredo
    Book Hotel Here: Zapata Hotels | Laredo Hotels | More Hotels

    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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