Nov 18 2014
It is not uncommon for people to lose things; it happens, we become distracted, we misplace things, we forget. Even communities lose things. Bexar County misplaced an historic treasure. 
 
The Old San Antonio Road to Gonzales is that treasure. Through the march of time it has disappeared behind fences, the events that occurred along its route assigned to other roads, the Texas heroes who rode or walk its miles forgotten. 
 
In the late 1820s, Bryd Lockhart, with the authority of the Mexican administration in San Antonio, “laid out” a road from San Antonio to Gonzales. With that act, he gave Texas a historic treasure and simultaneously created what would later become the boundary between Guadalupe and Wilson County.
 

1820s Gonzales Road Map
Click to enlarge.
The road followed a direct course that incorporated trails used by game, Indians, cattle, and Mexican rancheros. It crossed the Cibolo below Martinez Creek, crossed the Salado near present day Comanche Park and connected to Alameda Street (now Commerce Street) in San Antonio.
 
In 1835, Mexican troops traveled the Road to reclaim a cannon from the Texians in Gonzales. The Texian’s challenge “Come and Take It!” led to the first shots of the Texas Revolution. This exchange on the San Antonio to Gonzales road (known as the Old Gonzales Road) has been memorialized with a historical marker near the present day village of Cost in Gonzales County.In 1835, Stephen F. Austin traveled this Road to lay siege to San Antonio de Bejar. The Immortal Thirty-two claimed their place among Texas legends in 1836 when they galloped their horses along this road to re-enforce the Alamo. Susanna Dickinson with her child, survivors of the Alamo, met Sam Houston’s men at the Cibolo Crossing on this road, near present day La Vernia with news of the massacre. This news led to Sam Houston’s order to burn Gonzales and retreat east in the “Runaway Scrape.”
 
The natural ford where the Gonzales Road crosses the Cibolo was a rendezvous and marshalling point for troops during the Siege of Bejar and the Battle of the Alamo. The Texas State Historical Commission has designated the Cibolo Crossing on the Old Gonzales an historic site.
 
The legendary Erastus (Deaf) Smith Oak Tree, recognized by the Texas Forestry Services as a Texas' historic tree overlooks the Crossing. It is reported that the tree was used by Smith to spy on the Mexican Army as they crossed the Cibolo. The tree is located in the Deaf Smith Survey.
 

Track of 1828 Gonzales Road
Click to enlarge.

Track of 1828 Gonzales Road
Click to enlarge.
From its earliest days, the Old Gonzales Road brought armies to battle and settlers to the Cibolo Valley. During the mid-nineteenth century communities developed along the road. Traveling east from San Antonio one would encounter the communities in this order: Mount Olive (northeast of present day Sayers), Cottage Hill, St. Hedwig, Bower’s Twenty-Mile House, Concrete/Bethesda, Lavernia, Sandy Elm, Stroman (now Bebe), Capote (now Leesville), and Oso (now Cost).
 
The track of the Old Gonzales Road has been at the center of a boundary dispute between Wilson and Guadalupe counties. The origin of the controversy may be traced to January 29, 1842, when the Texas Legislature passed an act “To lay out and organize the County of Guadalupe”. In Section #1 of that act, the Old Gonzales Road was identified as its southern boundary.