The history of Bexar County is now open to the public to learn about the origins of South Texas.
The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures (ITC) and Bexar County collaborated and presented “Nuestra Historia— Our History: Spain in Bexar County,” that opened at 126 E. Nueva St. on Wednesday morning until Sept. 4. This exhibit is curated by the ITC and marks the first official Tricentennial event.
On hand to celebrate the exhibition included Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, Director of Bexar Heritage & Parks Betty Bueché, executive director of UTSA (ITC) Angelica Docoug and lead curator at the ITC Dr. Sarah Gould.
“There are several events that are going on this year and what a wonderful way to kick off the exhibit leading up to that point,” explained Judge Wolff. “We believe that exemplifying the two cultures coming in together, the Native American culture and Spain culture, will bring the community together and be informative. The fusion of both cultures was really the foundation that was built for our community.”
The exhibit is dedicated to telling the story of the seventeenth and eighteenth century Spanish colonial exploration and settlement of the area that would become Bexar County and San Antonio. So far, the exhibit displays 10 documents, maps and a painting on loan from the Archivo General de Indias in Seville, Spain.
There are also repositories that have contributed artifacts and documents to expand on the story of settling and establishing the institutions required by Spain’s Laws of the Indies. One important one that one must look out for is the “Rebolledo Letter” in which Rebolledo makes a case for a permanent presence along the river named after St. Anthony.
“We received a map from Spain and the letter is back in Bexar County for the first time in over 100 years. It was the first time in over 300 years that the letter and the map can be seen together… Beautifully drawn maps in architectural renderings from the Spanish colonial explorers will be here,” explained Judge Wolff. “The vibrancy of the ink and the amount of detail is incredible when you look at the old documents.”
The importance of preserving the documents will now allow many visitors of all ages to learn more about the city and to preserve a legacy for a new generation. For Docoug, the partnership opened the door to something for which to be proud.
“It’s about giving the voice and experience from people from across the globe who call Texas home. It has been a privilege to partner with Bexar County to establish ‘Nuestra Historia’ and we are very proud of everyone involved here in this exhibit. What we have seen is origins of making Texas our home,” said Docoug
If you are interested in going through historical artifacts, visit the exhibit between the hours of 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. For more information, visit www.bexar.org.