History – Tales from the Edge
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History – Tales from the Edge

Laredo is making old things new again!

I have always said you can get your curbside history lessons on the old streets of Laredo, but maybe you don’t know just how exciting those stories are, or just how important they are to the community that is thriving today.

We have all the classic tales, there’s one legend about buried gold in our Casa Ortiz structure. Aside from the treasure and spoils story there, there is supposedly a ghost and the most outstanding fact is that it is the oldest, most continuously used residence in the State of Texas. The building is located right in the historic epi-center of our downtown in the Villa de San Agustin Historic District.

If you are in for just a short visit, you can go take a look at this beautifully maintained 1830’s Mexican Vernacular structure, built with the courtyard enclosed in the center, atop the bluff overlooking the Rio Grande. It is regularly staffed and open to the public through a cooperative agreement between local preservation organizations and Texas A&M International University. Call (956) 326-3200 or email Enrique Botello at enrique.botello@tamiu.edu to get more information; admission is free.

Or if you are planning your visit in advance, you can book a tour guide (for a small fee), with the Webb County Heritage Foundation at (956) 727-0977, and get the customized interactive experience of a guided tour that features Plaza San Agustin, the San Agustin Cathedral and the Republic of the Rio Grande Museum.

And there’s so much more; stories about skirmishes, mysteries, and tragedies, and of course, the buried treasure to learn about on the edge of the country, right where Texas begins. Come hear the tale of the beginnings of Laredo and the influences of those seven sovereign nations that built the community that we are today!

Blasita Lopez is the Director at the Laredo Convention and Visitors Bureau, A product of Texas and IH35, began her career as a journalist, loves history! Longhorn 4 life!

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