Room in foreground was addition in 1850. As you would follow to right are other room and open kitchen(finished 1854)(not seen)Kitchen was enclosed later.
Following to left.. room between room in foreground and kitchen, is original room. Door seen was added much later. Only door the room had was opposite side (south). Kitchen follows (built early 1900s), Sauan or entrance to interrior of fort with rounded top section where sundial is. and last is room addition of 1871.
At end, where man is sitting, house of M. M. Uribe, built later is across street from fort.  

****************************

    Brief story of how the fort was built. It was built in sections, started in 1830 by don Jesus Treviņo, continued by don Blas Maria Uribe in 1850 and final construction and/or modifications by don Jose D. Uribe.
    Picture a room, eighteen foot by twenty foot built in 1830. A large room started in 1850 and finished in 1851, built to the west, facing river, adjacent to original room. A second room and an open kitchen to the west of large room. This addition faces the river. Wall was built on south and east sides. Enclosure is approximate 120 feet by 100 feet.  The latter room, open kitchen and wall were finished in 1854.
    In 1870, a room was added to northeast section of fort and finished in 1871. Additions, improvements and repairs were done in late 1800 and early 1900 by Jose D. Uribe who in the end bought out his brothers and was sole owner of the fort.  
    Story following was taken from Roberto D. Uribe's "Story of San Ygnacio" and edited by me, Antonio E. Uribe, to include the building of the Fort only.

THE TREVIŅO INDIAN FORT in San Ygnacio  (also known as the Treviņo-Uribe Fort)

    In 1828, don Jesus Treviņo from Revilla purchased land from the lower portion of the Corralitos section of the Vasquez Borrego land grant.  In 1830, don Jesus together with his two sons in law, don Vicente Gutierrez and don Manuel Benavides  went looking for a place to to set up a ranch house for the new bought land. They found the place on the river banks of the Rio Grande and the Arroyo Grullo. A high flat spot area with the Rio Grande on the west and the Arroyo Grullo on the north. By building there, they would be protected on the north by the arroyo and on the west by the river. They would only have two sides that the indians could attack from. The ranch was called San Ygnacio. Don Jesus erected the first stone building in 1830. This room with thick stone walls became the principal ranch quarters on this newly bought land.
    Land was cleared and a room about 18 feet by 20 feet was built. . The room was built of local stones, some from the river banks and some from the hills east of the ranch site. The river stones are called "almendria" and were very hard to break or shape. The stones were dragged from the river banks on hides and pulled by oxen to the site and they were used as they were. The other stone was called "cantera" and is a soft sandstone that could be shaped to fit. The walls of the room are about 18 inches thick. The floor is the natural dirt. The room had no windows and only one entrance, facing south.   
    The door is made of solid mesquite, about 2 inches thick. It has no metal nails or hinges. It is held together with wood dowels and wedges. The door swings on two mesquite heart pins resting on almendria stones. On the inside, it has a mesquite cross bar that slides into a hole in the stone... The door swings free to this date.
    The room had a flat roof made of river trees and mesquite. On the southwest corner of the roof, there was a lookout perch. The roof has long been replaced but on the southeast corner of the wall, the stepping stones for the perch can be seen sticking out of the wall.
    Outside of the door, two turrets were built. One on each side of the door. The turrets were about 5 feet tall with cutouts for firing the muskets. The turrets had an opening facing the door to be able to retreat into the room. The turrets were removed in approximately 1851 when more rooms were added to the building. You can still see the circular foundations for the turrets on the stone walk outside the door. A compartment was built on the east wall of the room to keep what ever valuables they had. By removing a stone from the wall, there was a deep hole and this was the compartment.  Today, this room is known as "El Cuarto Viejo" or just "El Cuarto."
    The room or ranch house was used mainly for protection from the indians and for Don Jesus to stay when visiting the ranch. Don Jesus and his family lived in Revilla and only visited to supervise the operation of the ranch. Workers cleared land around the ranch and built their jacales, "shacks", to live in.
    In 1843 on one of his trips to his other ranch, La Realdeņa in Sabinas Hidalgo where his son lived, , don Jesus took sick and passed away.
    In 1850, don Blas Maria Uribe, who inherited the land thru his wife, and his family decided to move to the ranch. Don Blas Maria and his son Fernando laid out the new site for the house they decided to build next door to don Jesus room and build a wall enclosure. The first room on the west side of the existing room started in 1851. The floors for the two rooms were done and the wall was started. The first room was finished in October 2, 1851. an outside kitchen was built with a chimney. The roof was extended 20 feet beyond the outside wall of the 1851 room to the southwest corner of the wall. On top of that corner was a lookout perch. The top of the wall had cutouts there. The second room and walls were completed in May 10, 1854. The walled enclosure is 100 feet by 120 feet. A gate of cypress was on the north side of the wall. The roof beams were cypress or pine. These beams were floated down from upriver from somewhere around where around where the Pecos and Rio Grande rivers meet. An Inscription is written on one of the beams of the 1854 room which reads, "PAZ Y LIBERTAD  OBREMOS".. Work for Peace and Liberty. This part of the house is known as "La Casa Larga," The Long House.
    The walls are about 18 inches thick and 12 feet high. It had "Troneras" every 10 to 15 feet. Troneras are loop holes for firing muskets from the inside of the compound. With time, some of the troneras were covered but there are still 3 or 4 open. The room and walls were made of cantera stone. A sandstone that is very plentiful in the hills just east of San Ygnacio. The stone is about 2 feet under the soil and us in layers of 12 to 18 inches thick. By using wedges and pry bars, it could be broken off and shaped to the desired size. Most of the sandstone houses in San Ygnacio were built from the same quarry.
    The roofs and floors were made from "chipichil," a mix of very fine river stones mixed with lime, cal in spanish. The lime was made of local materials. Stones, called caliche was found about 15 miles northeast of the ranch.
    At the time that the walled fort was built, a sundial was set above the portals of the entrance gate. The sundial has a story that goes with it.
    Don Blas Maria and his family moved back to their new home in San Ygnacio in 1851. The fort was the first real stone house in San Ygnacio.
    In the late 1800s and early 1900s, don Jose Dionicio made some additions to the fort. The kitchen in "la Casa Larga" was enclosed and a chimney added.
    In 1856, don blas Maria's wife, doņa Maria Juliana Treviņo passed away. She was buried in the old cemetery that is on the north side of the arroyo Grullo, west of the existing Uribe cemetery on the high area of the river bank.
    Don Blas Maria remarried and added another room to the fort for his new wife. The new room was built on the northeast side of the wall, next to the main gate. The inside walls had garden and floral murals painted about ten  feet high all around the room. The house was to become known as "La Casa Pinta,"  the pink house. That house was completed in December 10, 1871. Two roof beams have writing on them. On one it has the date and "LA PAZ DE JESUCRISTO SEA CON NOSOTROS." "The Peace of Jesus Christ be with Us." On the other, "SAN YGNACIO, RUEGA POR NOSOTROS" "Saint Ignatius, pray for us."
    Don Jose Dionicio and his wife lived in the fort with don Blas Maria. Don Jose Dionicio occupied "la Casa Larga" (rooms facing river)and don Blas Maria "la Casa Pinta." (room at far end on left)
    In the late 1800s and early 1900s, don Jose Dionicio made some additions to the fort. The kitchen in "la Casa Larga" was enclosed and a chimney added.
    In the early 1900s, don Jose Dionicio made additions to 'la Casa Pinta" Across the gate using the west wall of "el Cuarto Viejo" he built another kitchen with a large chimney built diagonally on the northwest corner.
Editted by Antonio E. Uribe, from story "San Ygnacio" by Roberto D.

 

 

Automotive Tips  Health&Fitness  Cooking Recipes  Home Improvement Laredo hall of fame

Back To Incdef