The County Courthouse in Historic Nacogdoches
The Nacogdoches County Courthouse, constructed in 1958, replaces the earlier 1911 Greek
revival building that stood on the site of the Old Church Square, location of the early Catholic Church
and the Old Spanish Cemetery. Nacogdoches' first courthouse (1856) was located on Pilar Street on
the south side of the town square at the site now occupied by the Mahdeen Building. Behind the
viewpoint of this picture meet two of the oldest roads in North America: La Calle del Norte
(U. S. Highway 59) seen to the left, and El Camino Real (Texas Highway 21) seen to the right.
El Camino Real, which stretched more than a 1000 miles from eastern
Louisiana to Saltillo, Mexico, and variously known in different times as the "Camino Carrero,"
(or Cart Road) "Trail of the Padres," "The King's Highway," "San Antonio Road," "The Old
Spanish Trail," and "Royal Road," was followed by the Caddo Indian groups before 1200 A.D.
In 1542 remnants of Hernando De Soto's expedition under the Spanish Conquistador Luis
de Moscoso led his men down this trail searching for a land route to Mexico. French intrusion
into Spanish territory along this path as early as 1685 by La Salle and his followers was met
with resistance by the Spanish government. Missions were established by the Spanish along
El Camino Real, one of which was Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe de Nacogdoches. When
Gil Y'Barbo led the Adaesanos colonists from San Antonio back to East Texas in 1779 they
settled near the old Guadalupe Mission and called their settlement Nuestra Senora del Pilar
de Nacogdoches. This settlement became the City of Nacogdoches. This picture was taken
on May 31st, Memorial Day.
(Next Picture: Walkway to Memorial Wall)