Tejano Association for Historical Preservation

Lorenzo de Zavala Chapter

March 2002 Issue    www.tejanoahp.org

NEXT MEETING Friday, March 22, 2002 at the Latino Learning Center, 3522 Polk 7:00 p.m. Hou., Tex. SPEAKER:

ROLANDO ROMO, Coordinator of Community Service Houston Public Library and past President of the Tejano Association for Historical Preservation who will be discussing the life and contributions of the Great Farm Worker Leader Cesar Chavez Don’t miss this informative speaker.

Also an update will be given concerning the Cesar Chavez/Hispanic Pride Day Parade to be held Saturday 9:00 a.m. on April 6, 2002. We need your support and or pledge to serve on a committee. Ads will be sold again for the souvenir brochure ranging in fees from 25.00 business card up to $500.00 for the back cover. Contact Linda Alonzo Saenz at (713-540-5449) or Richard Perez at (281-451-0488), Parade Co-Chairs for more information. The T.A.H.P. is now a Member of the Houston Preservation Alliance. The GHPA Promotes the preservation and appreciation of Houston’s architectural and cultural historical resources through education, advocacy and committed action, thereby creating economic value and developing a stronger sense of community. The GHPA waling tours are offered the fourth Sunday of each month, with a discounted ticket rate for members. The Historic Neighborhoods Council meets the fourth Saturday of every month and you are invited to attend these informative meetings. The Good Bricks Awards was a great success, attracting more than 400 people to Union Station to hear about the nine deserving recipients and their projects. A Preservation Luncheon and Fair is held annually during Preservation week in May. For more information contact Ramona Davis, Executive Director at 713 - 216-5000.


A Symposium will be held Saturday, April 27, 2002 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Main Symposium in the Houston Room, University Center, University of Houston, Entrance #1, Calhoun St. The cost will be free and is open to the general public. This seminar is the fifth in a series of military history symposium. It will continue the tradition of presenting role models to young adults, displaying of patriotism and presenting history alternatives. Richard Perez, V.P. is working with Hon. Councilman Gabriel Vasquez to establish a park in honor of all Veterans. The park, (21.5 acres) is located in the north side at the corner of Hardy Toll Road and Tidwell (east). The proposed name is going to be the City of Hou. Veterans Memorial Park with the targeted completion date of Memorial

Weekend, 2003. For more information, contact Richard Perez at 281-451-0488.

Mr. Arturo Resa has traced his family roots to 1880 to a town called Boerne. His great great-grandfather established Alvarado ranch in Lamposas County in 1906 and was a safe haven form many Tejano/ Mexican families as they immigrated to Central Texas. He has spent three years collecting family histories and is planning to publish a book on the Alvarado Ranch and its history. He is also working on documenting the contributions of Tejanos to Bell County. Mr. Resa is also the Chair LULAC Hispanic Heritage Committee of Council 4593 in Bell County. If you have information regarding these projects you can contact him at 254-939-7 910 or email him at resatejano@aol.com

Alvarado Ranch by Arturo Resa My great great-grandfather was Rejino Alvarado who immigrated from Laredo, Texas  to the San Marcos, TX area in 1890”s.  In 1904 after the death of his wife, Encarnacion Montalvo, Rejino, with his two sons Cassimero, Melquides and adaughter by the name of Dolores relocated to Lampasas, TX.  In 1906 Rejino bought a 144 acre ranch south of Lometa in Lampasas County for $2,160.  The deeds to the property bear Jesse Pickett as a witness to the sale of the property.  Jesse Pickett was an African American cowboy who rode the Chisholm Trail Ride in the 1880’s and settled in in Lomita in 1889. Relatives relate that his nephew was Bill Pickett, a well known rodeo cowboy who invented bulldogging.

Rejino relocated and bought the ranch in Lampasas County on encouragement from Jesse Pickett.  Jesse Pickett and Rejino were good friends and enjoyed ranching and livestock raising.  In 1924 Rejino turned the ranch over to his two sons, Cassimero and Melquides.  The Alvarado ranch served as a temporary home to many Tejano and Mexican immigrants during the Mexican Revolution as they made their way to Central Texas in search of work.  The Ranch has a cemetery that is the burial place for early Tejano families such as the Alvarados, Velasquez, Fernandez, and Torres families.  Dovie Torres of Lomita and Jose Velasques of Lampasas, who are the last two known individuals to have resided on the ranch, stated that the Alvarado Ranch consisted of two houses, a horse corral, and a windmill.  One of Rejino's favorite past times was to ride into town on horseback and return to the ranch with a burlap sack filled with oranges or apples to distribute to the children on the ranch.
Rejino's Granddaughter, Marcellina Alvarado (my Grandmother), tended to Jesse Pickett's wife, Georgia in her final days and was at her bedside when she passed away. This was a tribute and testimony of the appreciation of the Picketts from the Alvarados for helping the Alvarado Family relocate to Central Texas at the beginning of the 20th century.


TEJANO HALL OF FAME On May 3, 2001, Governor Rick Perry signed into law House Bill 1019 which designates The Tejano R.O.O.T.S. (Remembering Our Own Tejano Stars) Hall of Fame Museum as the official Hall of Fame for Tejano Music for Texas. The Museum is located at 213 N. Wright St. in Alice, Texas. A golf tournament benefiting the museum will be held March 9, 2002. For more information contact Javier "JV" Villanueva, CEO Tejano R.O.O.T.S. Hall of Fame 213 N. Wright St. Alice, "The Birthplace of Tejano", Texas 78332,  Museum ph# 361-664-8000 Fax # 361-661-1441 or visit their website at http://www.tejanoroots.net

The Tejano Monumento Committee inaugurated a regional fundraising group on March 2, 2002 at the Museo Guadalupe Aztlan, 3004 Bagby, (LULAC # 60) in Houston to help raise funds to erect the monument. The 77th Legislature authorized the creation of a monument to commemorate the contributions of Tejanos to the State of Texas. The privately funded, life-sized monument will be located on the grounds of the State Capital. Fundraising Committee Chairman, Dr. Andres Tijerina, introduced the new group, spearheaded by Joel Lara, (secretary of LULAC 60) the regional coordinator for the Houston Regional Committee. “We have a great task at hand but I am confident this newly named regional committee will work hard to help raise the funds needed to get this monument built,” Tijerina said. Mrs. Juanita Tijerina, P.R also attended and spoke about the project. Members of several local civic and business organizations were also present. Mr. Rick Dovalina, National President of LULAC was also present and appointed as an honorary member of the committee. T.A.H.P. President, Benny C. Martinez, William and Estella Zermeno (all of Goliad) are members of the finance committee chaired by Dr. Tijerina.

Dr. Cayetano Barrera, M.D. from Mission-McAllen Area who originally saw the need for the Tejano Monument at the Capital is a member of the steering committee. Ron Tyler, Executive Director, Texas State Historical Association, Henry Cisneros, and the artist Amado Pena are the newest members to be added to the steering committee. For more information regarding the regional fundraising group, contact Joel Lara at (713) 527-9010 or visit the Tejano Monumento website at http://www.tejanos.com

The Museum of Fine Arts Houston is presenting Texas Flags: 1836-1945 at the Caroline Weiss Law Building, 1001 Bisonnet now through April 28, 2002. Texas historian Robert Maberry Jr., co-curator of Texas Flags states in the “Texas Journey Grand Old Flags,” Jan./Feb 2002 issue, “ In 19th century warfare, an important objective was to capture the other army’s flag. That was one way you knew you had won the battle.” The flags represent through history symbols of hope and strength. The collection spans a time frame from 1836 until WWII and consists of the flags of the Guerrero Battalion, Matamoros Battalion, and the Tolulca Battalion which were all captured at the Battle of San Jacinto, April 21, 1836. This historic battle of Sam Houston’s troops against Santa Anna’s marked the final battle for Texas Independence. Flags of Hood’s Texas Brigade are also represented from the First Texas Infantry and the Fifth Texas Infantry of the Civil War. These flags displayed the lone star. Other flags in the collection are the Flags of the Buffalo Soldiers (one of four African American regiments that Congress authorized after the Civil War) from the 24th U.S. Infantry. The dedication of these brave Buffalo Soldiers paved the settlement of the west. The 36th, which was a Texas National Guard Division was the first U.S. combat division in Europe and landed in Salerno, Italy. This division later took part of the campaign to capture Rome and became part of the Allied invasion of southern France. The WWII battle flag of the U.S.S. Texas which flew on the D-Day invasion is also exhibited. Chris Garza of Hispanic Genealogy is coordinating with the Museum of Fine Arts to host a meeting on their meeting date tentatively set for the 3rd. Wed. in April. An invitation will be extended to T.A.H.P. members to preview the Viceroy Exhibit from Mex. City and tour the Texas Flags Exhibit. More information will follow as plans are pending.

The Lorenzo de Zavala House

by Rolando Romo

The site of "The Lorenzo de Zavala House" was at the confluence of the Buffalo Bayou and the San Jacinto River. At the San Jacinto Battleground, if you stand near the waters edge of what was the Texan army camp, near the Masonic statue - look directly across the waterway and look for a dock with a high silo - behind the silo structure is a low hill and this is the site where Lorenzo's house was located. Get a Harris County Key Map, look for page 498 and for sections F and K. Travel East on I-10 and exit on Sheldon Road, take a right turn on Sheldon Road, then at the intersection with Market Street, turn left. The first major street on your right is DeZavala Road, take a right turn at DeZavala Road (Page 498 Section L) and travel on it until you connect/merge with a road on your left that is called "Lakeside Drive."  There will be a smaller road that goes straight (industrial) it is fenced but open to traffic. Drive into this one and don't take Lakeside Drive unless you are leaving. This was once the wagon road that led to Zavala's house. As you near the water you will see some buildings and a parking lot on your left. On the opposite side of the parking lot and to the left of the silo is where If you look straight towards the water, along the road you just came on and that curves into the silo - you will see a flag pole and a stone marker and this tells you that this property once belonged to Zavala. Towards the right of the road you can see that there used to be auto traffic towards the sandy beach-like area. They have placed a chain linked fence - it looks like a beach area. Just past the opposite side of the beach area where there is a clump of bushes and trees by the water's edge, is the former site of the Zavala family cemetery. The only thing that remained there the last time I went there about five years ago (with Dr. Henson and her husband) were some pieces of barbed wire hanging on a few posts that once marked the entrance area to the cemetery. The rest is now part of the Ship Channel. Zavala died in 1836 several months after the Battle of San Jacinto. The first body to be buried at the cemetery of Zavala was General Castrillon of San Anna's Army. General Castrillon died valiantly standing his ground as the Texas Army charged the Mexican camp. He was hit by several vollies of shot. Gen. Castrillon's family had been long-time friends of the Zavalas and upon his arrival to the battleground several days after the fight, Zavala had his body Castrillion ) removed from the battleground and taken to his property for a Christian burial.

I don't remember the exact year that the house burned down but it was the very late 1800's near the turn of the century. It was said to have contained many of Zavala's personal documents, letters, etc. and his valuable personal library. If you are able to walk to the hill where his house was - look on the ground and look for a rectangular outline on the grass - you can see the outline of the house where the support beams are still buried underground. Ms. Emily Zavala was supposed to have had a beautiful garden of flowers at their house, roses I believe. Zavala's house used to be on a bare area that is a very small hill. The last time I was there it was open area.

THE 4TH ANNUAL CINE CUAHATEMOC PAN AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL Jesus Cantu Medel, M.Ed. Curator, A call for all entries from filmmakers to submit (VHS format), work in documentary, experimental, animation, or short film about Chicano/Latino community, and a theme of global environment. All work submitted will be given equal treatment. Entry fee is 10.00 and deadline is April 30, 2002. For more information phone, 713-527-9010 or email Mr. Medel at Chano6_@hotmail.com

A Book signing for Dr. Guadalupe San Miguel, author of "Brown, Not White, School Integration and the Chicano Movement in Houston,"  will be held on March 29, 2002 at Museo Aztlan 6:30 p.m.  He is also the author of "Let All of Them Take Heed," Mexican Americans and the Campaign for Educational Equality in Texas, 1910-1981." Professor San Miguel holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University and is an Associate Professor at the Univ. of Houston.  He is regarded as the nation's leading expert in Mexican Americans and struggle for educational equality. Professor San Miguel has given numerous speeches, one of them being at the Juan N. Seguin Ribbon Cutting ceremony at San Jacinto.  He was also interviewed by Ron Trevino of channel 11 about the history Juan Seguin. Call 713-527-9010 for information.


 Seguin Descendants Historical Preservation

Linda and Angel Seguin Garcia have established a non profit organization entitled Seguin Descendants Historical Preservation. The website address is http//:www.seguindescendantshp.com

Membership fees are $25.00 per year and will go toward the organization efforts to distribute portraits of Juan N. Seguin and other preservation efforts. Their latest distribution of the portrait was at Navasota Public Library and Navasota Senior High School. They were well received by the Hon. Mayor Pat Gruner and other elected officials. Linda and Angel Seguin currently have twenty members and include descendants from as far as Canada. If more information is needed please contact them at 713-643-1195.

Adina de Zavala by Rolando Romo

Tejano Association for Historical Preservation Hispanic Profile Series

Adina de Zavala, born in 1861, in Harris County is known as the savior of the Alamo. Ms. Adina de Zavala, in 1889, organized a preservation group in San Antonio. She founded the San Antonio Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. She was also a granddaughter of Lorenzo de Zavala, the Vice President of the interim government of the Republic of Texas.

Thru Ms. Zavala’s efforts, Ms. Clara Driscoll provided money for the purchase of some of the Alamo Buildings that were threatened for commercial development in 1904. The following year, the state reimbursed Ms. Driscoll and turned over the entire Alamo Complex to the care and custody of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas.

Ms. Zavala was also instrumental in the founding of the Texas Historical Landmarks Society and was a charter member of the Texas State Historical Association.

Ms. Zavala attempted to relocate the grave of her famous grandfather, Lorenzo de Zavala. The de Zavala family cemetery was slowly eroding into the Houston Ship Channel. The cemetery, located across the channel from the San Jacinto Battlefield included many members of the Zavala family, their neighbors and other important Texas pioneers. Ms. Zavala had managed to have the remains of Lorenzo and his wife, Emily, moved to the site of the battlefield for reburial. However just before the coffins could be placed into the graves, a cousin of Ms. Zavala arrived to give a bitter and emotional objection to the reburial. The remains were placed in their original graves. Ms. Zavala lost an important preservation battle. The entire cemetery has eroded into the ship channel and the only remains of the cemetery are some of the Zavala headstones relocated to the San Jacinto Battlefield.

Ms. Zavala died in 1955, leaving many of her historical possessions and family heirlooms to the State of Texas. T.A.H.P. recognizes the important role that Ms. Zavala undertook as an early Hispanic preservationist and has named its preservation award after her, “The Adina de Zavala Preservation Award.”


Project Chair is Andres Ortiz of LULAC # 402 which will be held May 4, 2002 downtown. For inf. contact him at


Charles Flores of LULAC # 60 is the Parade Chair. Contact him at 713-675-6968. Co-chairs of the LULAC # 60 Cinco de Mayo Festival which will be held in front of city hall are Carlos Diaz and Manuel Nava Leal of 3 Pyramid Productions. Call them at 713-527-9010.

Ignacio Seguin Zaragoza Hero of Cinco de Mayo

Ignacio Seguin Zaragoza was born near Goliad at the Presidio La Bahia. He was the 2nd son of Miguel Zaragoza and Maria de Jesus Seguin Zaragoza. He was named after his maternal grandfather, Ignacio Seguin. His paternal grandparents were Jose Maria de Zaragoza and Maria de los Santos G. Valdez.

Ignacio’s father was 19 and his mother was 17 years old when they were married in the San Fernando Cathedral in San Antonio, Texas on July 5th, 1826.

A native of Vera Cruz, Ignacio’s father was an officer at the Presidio La Bahia when he was born. The family lived in a dwelling that was provided for the officers of La Bahia. This site has been reconstructed by the Tex. Parks and Wildlife Dept. and is now a historical site.

Ignacio studied for the priesthood in Monterrey, Mexico but left this to become involved in the Civil War that ravaged Mexico. He was responsible for the victory over General Adrian Woll, one of Santa Anna’s generals in 1855. On May 5, 1862, Zaragoza and his command of 4,000 men defeated 8,000 men of Napoleon’s III army at Puebla, Mexico. This defeat was a great morale booster for the liberal Mexican army in the Civil War that engulfed Mex.

Zaragoza died from Typhus contracted from visiting his ill soldiers, Sept. 8, 1862. He was 33 years old at the time of his death. He was buried in the liberal Mexican Army Cemetery in Mexico City. His body was transferred from Mexico City to the city of Puebla on May 5, 1962.

is celebrated in honor of the victory at Puebla May 5, 1862. It is a national holiday in Mex. and is celebrated in many South Tex. Towns. Goliad’s Festivities, Zaragoza’s birth place, last for several days and hosts Mexican Dignitaries and elected officials from the United States.

A bronze bust of the famous Mexican general was presented to the city of Goliad in 1962 by the city of Puebla, Mex. in commemoration of the 100 year anniversary of the victory.

A statute of General Zaragoza was commissioned by the Mexican Govt. and placed on a plaza built by the St. of Tex. located on the hill just beyond his birthplace. An amphitheatre was also erected at that time for events held on 5th of May. For info. re. Goliad’s festivities call Mr. Zermeno at 361-645-8526

The Canary Islands Descendants Association will celebrate their 271st Anniversary of the arrival of the 16 original families (who arrived on March 9, 1731 and are considered San Antonio’s founders) on Sunday March 10, at the San Fernando Cathedral, San Antonio, Texas  with an anniversary mass at 10:00 a.m.   A reenactment of the arrival and speeches by elected officials will occur in the plaza following the mass.  A luncheon will be held at 2:00 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Hotel. For more information, call Ms. Fernandez at 210 - 494-9805.

The T.A.H.P. expresses condolences to the family of Mr. I.V. Romo, charter member, Mr. And Mrs. Rolando Romo, the Vasquez Family, and the Medillin family for the loss of Mrs. Gloria Medillin Romo.  She was born July 17, 1925—Feb. 11, 2002. She was a charter member and we send our sympathy to the family.

Election of officers will be held after the parade. A nominating chairman will conduct the election.