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SANTA RITA, TEXAS

Texas Ghost Town
Cameron County, Texas Gulf Coast / South Texas

4.5 miles NW of Brownsville on the Rio Grande
Population: 0 – unless the nearby Colonia of Villa Nueva is considered

Santa Rita, Texas Area Hotels > Brownsville Hotels
Santa Rita Tx Centennial Marker
"Marker is about 4.5 miles NW of Brownsville
just south of US 281 in what is listed on the map as Villa Nueva.
"
- Barclay Gibson, September 2011

History in a Pecan Shell

The first county seat of what would become Cameron County, Santa Rita was named by José Narciso Cavazos of Reynosa in the late 1700s. The community that formed here predated Matamoros’ official birthyear of 1826. Around 1830 the Rio Grange changed course, leaving Santa Rita firmly on the north side of the river.

In 1834 an man named John Stryker was given permission by the Mexican government to settle here and with the outbreak of the Mexican War, Americans living in Mexico sought refuge here.

At the end of the war, Cameron County came into being (1848) with Santa Rita serving as the county seat.

An election was held later that year and the more prosperous town of Brownsville won out. Not a trace of Santa Rita was left by the 1930s, but it was remembered by historians and the Texas Centennial Committee included it on their list of places receiving historical markers.

Santa Rita Tx Centennial Marker text
Santa Rita Texas Centennial Marker Text
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, September 2011

Centennial Marker:

"Here was Santa Rita
First Anglo-American Settlement on Lower Rio Grande and
County Seat of Cameron County 1848-1849"

Santa Rita Tx Centennial Marker
Santa Rita Tx Centennial Marker
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, September 2011
Santa Rita Tx Centennial Marker
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, September 2011
Santa Rita Tx - Oblate Fathers Trail 1949 Road Marker
Oblate Fathers Trail 1949 Road Marker
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, September 2011
Santa Rita Tx Centennial Marker
Site of Santa Rita Texas
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, September 2011

Santa Rita , Texas Area Destinations:
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Brownsville
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