San Jacinto Battlefield Named an Endangered Historic Site

For the first time, the non profit group Preservation Texas has placed the San Jacinto Battlegrounds on their Most Endangered Historic Places list. The group says that the LaPorte battle field needs a comprehensive plan to keep it from falling prey to the 21st century. Melissa Galvez has the story.

"Every time you give an inch to a building, you are losing an inch of the battlefield."

That's Jan DeVault, President of the Friends of the San Jacinto Battlefield.  Her organization is working with Preservation Texas to raise awareness of the need for better planning around the historic site.  They're concerned about development encroaching on the battlefield, as well as pollution from nearby industry.  DeVault says the group does not oppose building in the area, but wants to preserve the 19th century character of the landscape.

"The entire landscape, where you've got this confluence, the joining of Buffalo Bayou and the San Jacinto River, should be preserved for future generations of Texans so they will be able to visualize and appreciate how  the battle took place."

For example, the group wants to purchase land on the historic Harrisburg-Lynchburg road, where the Port of Houston and other organizations had proposed building a workforce development center.  DeVault says it's vitally important to protect this piece of Texas history.

"For Texans in the 19th century, it was hallowed ground.  It is the most significant battle site we have in Texas."

The Friends of the San Jacinto Battlefield plan to work with state and county agencies, non-profits, citizens and industry, in the complex process of preserving the landscape.

Battle of San Jacinto

Henry Arthur McArdle (1836-1908)

Image courtesy of the
Texas State Library and Archives Commission.