Goliad (pop. 1,900), the seat of Goliad County (pop. 6,000), was incorporated in 1837. The town centers around the Goliad County Courthouse, erected in 1894. Goliad's Courthouse Square Historic District was entered on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
One of many historic buildings in the downtown area, the Market House was built in the early 1870s as a meat and produce market. The Goliad Art Guild restored the building in the late 1960s, and it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. The Market House currently serves as a museum and Chamber of Commerce office. The Chamber sponsors Goliad's Market Days on the first Saturday of each month, March through December, when vendors line the courthouse square selling crafts, food and other items to visitors.
Beyond the 19th-century commercial structures around the square are many well-preserved Victorian and early 20th-century residences.
In 1984, Goliad was accepted into the Texas Main Street Project of the THC, a program designed to encourage economic development through historic preservation. Goliad Main Street has worked to revitalize and beautify the downtown area. The Graduate Main Street Program currently operates in tandem with the Goliad County Economic Development office to support local business, recruit new industry and promote heritage tourism.
In 1994, the city and county of Goliad received funding from the Enhancement Program of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) for development of a hike/bike/nature trail linking downtown Goliad with the nearby historic sites. The first phase of the "Angel of Goliad Trail" linking the historic downtown and Goliad SHP is complete. Eventually, the trail will be two miles long, extending to La Bahía and the Presidio and ending in a new plaza near the Fannin Memorial.
Goliad is significant as a Republic of Texas and Early Statehood town that offers the opportunity to relate the social and economic history of a 19th-century community. The historic courthouse testifies to the methods of government and settlement that characterize the 254 counties in modern Texas.
The Fannin Memorial monument was erected in 1936 at the gravesite of Colonel James Fannin and his men; located one block southeast of Presidio La Bahía.
Coleto Creek Reservoir and Park is fifteen miles east of Goliad on Highway 59. Operated by the Guadalupe/Blanco River Authority, Coleto Creek is a popular recreational site for fishermen, RV campers and birdwatchers. It features a 3,100-acre lake and 190 acres of parkland.
The San Antonio River
Valley National Rural
Historic District encompasses
forty-three square miles
of ranches, farm land
and associated cultural
resources relating to
the area's ranching heritage.
The time span represented
in the District extends
from the 18th-century
site of Mission Rosario
through 1940s farm structures.
Top of Page