San Marcos, TX and Its History
San Marcos, Texas is a relatively small city about 25 miles southwest of Austin. Located on the San Marcos River, the city is the modern day home to Texas State University. However, it boasts a rich history leading up to the city that it has become today. It was an abundantly fruitful home to early Native Americans. Also, given its location, the city was a place that was colonized both by early Spanish and American colonists. Since then, railroads, Air Force Bases, and the University have shaped the city into what it is today.
The Area 10,000 Years Ago
There has been evidence found by scientists from Southern Methodist University that the mouth of the San Marcos River has been home to human life for over 10,000 years. Archaeological evidence has been found suggesting that the river was a home for the Clovis people, a prehistoric Paleo-Indian peoples, known specifically for using a specific type of spearhead that has since been named the “Clovis point.” Clovis culture is the culture that predates most Native American cultures in that region of the country. There were also Mastodon fossils found in the river, which is interesting because the Clovis people played a large hand in the extinction of Mastodons in the region, due to overhunting.
The Colonization of San Marcos, TX
The city was the center of the attempt of early Spanish settlers to colonize TX. The first attempt to colonize made by the Spanish was in 1755, when the San Xavier mission and San Francisco Xavier presidio were established in the city. The mission and presidio were relocated less than a year after they settled down, and after they left, what is now San Marcos was left uninhabited for half a century.
Then, in 1808 the Spanish settlement of San Marcos de Neve was developed, but due to flooding and raids by Indigenous peoples, the settlement was abandoned in 1812. It wasn’t until 1846 that the city proper was settled by Anglo-Americans. In 1847, the first post office and general store were opened, and then the city flourished from there. It became a commercial outpost for the cart trade as it was the central point between Austin and San Antonio. It also became an agricultural hotspot in Texas, with cotton being one of the most popular resources coming out of the area.
San Marcos, TX Today
Today, the city has a thriving population of over 60,000 people. While agriculture and transportation still play a part in the economy of this TX city, but it is actually tourism that provides the most jobs to locals and brings in the most amount of commerce these days. San Marcos boasts outlet shops that are consistently rated to be among the top three attractions in the whole state. There is also a huge ecotourism market that brings in a lot of business and creates many jobs. San Marcos has the river as well as The Meadows Center and Wonder World, all of which are water based education and recreation facilities that bring in many visitors every year.