San Diego, Texas 1876 Photographs
The holdings of Special Collections & Archives include seventeen images of the town of San Diego, Texas, taken by itinerant photographer Louis De Planque in 1876. These images are copy prints taken from an original composite photograph created by De Planque when San Diego was an early ranching and commercial hub of Duval County in South Texas. At the time these photographs were taken, San Diego had recently been designated as the Duval County seat.
San Diego, Texas is representative of several plaza towns that are located throughout South Texas. This plaza construction drew from Spanish colonial tradition and represented the relationship between the residents and the use of public space. In the town of San Diego, such a plaza during the 1870s may have included a holding area for livestock. However, public use of the plaza shifted by the 1880s to accommodate social functions. By 1876, the central plaza in San Diego, seen in one of the De Planque images, was ringed by some of the buildings which are also shown in these prints. For the best analysis of San Diego as a plaza town please see Daniel Arreola, Tejano South Texas: A Mexican American Cultural Province ( Austin , 2002).
These photographs include a landscape of the town as well as various important individual structures such as the community's school, church, hotel, residences, businesses, and other unidentified buildings. Some of these buildings were of sillar construction, which was a caliche block building material used in South Texas and Mexico . Many of these images also contain townspeople associated with the structures. All contain architectural and cultural details of the period. These San Diego photographs are part of the South Texas Museum Collection within Special Collections & Archives through a cooperative arrangement facilitated by H. Chilton Cook, Jr. between the Museum and Special Collections.
These images may be obtained electronically from the Special Collections & Archives Department, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Library. These online images are at 72 dpi. A&M-Corpus Christi will provide them in greater resolution upon request.
The full credit line for their use should read: South Texas Museum Collection, Special Collections & Archives, Mary and Jeff Bell Library, Texas A & M University-Corpus Christi.
Photograph 121-1 shows composite photo of San Diego, Duval
County, Texas, 1876.
Photograph 121-2 shows the enlargement of the middle photo from
121-1. The print depicts the town plaza in
Photograph 121-3 shows the enlargement of the bottom section of
Photograph 121-1, San Diego, Texas, 1876.
Photograph 121-4 shows the business of Manuel Ancira in
San Diego, Texas, 1876.
Photograph 121-5 shows a business in San Diego, Texas, 1876.
Photograph 121-6 shows a school in San Diego, Texas, 1876.
Photograph 121-7 shows an unidentified business in San Diego,
Photograph 121-8 shows a sillar building in San Diego, Texas, 1876.
Photograph 121-9 shows an unidentified residence in San Diego,
Photograph 121-10 shows an unidentified business [H. Henry?]
of sillar construction and an unidentified residence in San Diego,
Photograph 121-11 shows an unidentified residence in San
Photograph 121-12 shows the business of James O. Luby in
San Diego, Texas, 1876.
Photograph 121-13 shows a church in San Diego, Texas, 1876.
Photograph 121-14 shows an unidentified residence in San Diego,
Photograph 121-15 shows the San Diego Hotel [of partial sillar
in San Diego, Texas, 1876.
Photograph 121-16 shows an unidentified business of partial sillar
construction in San Diego, Texas, 1876.
Photograph 121-17 shows an unidentified residence in San Diego,
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