Mission Tejas State Park – Grapeland TX


Franciscan Monks established the Spanish Mission San Francisco de los Tejas in what is now East Texas in 1690. The monks were forced by the local Indians to abandon the mission in 1693. The monks burned the mission when they left.

The discovery of a Spanish cannon barrel led to the park’s development near the village of Weches, where the CCC set up a reforestation camp in 1933.

The Texas Forest Service developed San Francisco Mission State Forest as a tourist attraction and commemoration of early Texas history, just in time for the Texas Centennial celebration in 1936. Those individuals involved in the project–landscape architects and foresters with CCC Company 888, a “federal forest” company–sought to evoke the memory of the historic mission by building a “commemorative replica,” a horizontal log building with wood-shake roof, a petrified wood fireplace, and double-hung windows. Although the young men enrolled in Company 888 spent time learning and demonstrating forest management techniques, they also expended considerable time and energy on the site’s construction projects.

When this state forest site was transferred to the State Parks Board in 1957, it was renamed Mission Tejas State Park.

CCC construction: Mission Tejas “Replica,” Park Road 44, Fire Towers, Small Dam and Pond, Picnic Areas, Trail Steps, Fire Pits, Water Fountains, and Pavilion. The Fire Towers have been removed and the Pavilion reconstructed, although the fireplace remains.

Location: Houston County, in Weches at State Highway 21 and Park Road 44

Source notes


Project originally submitted by Larry Moore and Elizabeth Winter on December 23, 2014.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

120 State Park Rd. 44
Grapeland, Texas 75844

Coordinates: 31.545464, -95.236090

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