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In 1731, after their retreat from East Texas, the founders of San Francisco de los Tejas moved the mission to the San Antonio River and renamed it San Francisco de la Espada. The southernmost of the San Antonio chain of missions, Espada appears as remote today as it did in the mid-1700's.
While each mission developed a solid economy, the native inhabitants received specialized vocational training. After secularization, the vocational skills acquired during the mission period proved beneficial to the growth of San Antonio. The influence of these native artisans is evident throughout the city today.
In addition to the land necessary for the mission's compound, each mission was granted land for farming and ranching. Espada's grazing lands became known as Rancho de las Cabras, the Goat Ranch.
In 1995 the National Park Service acquired a small section of the former ranch lands. This tract, located at the junction of Picosa Creek and the San Antonio River, contains the ruins of the Rancho de las Cabras compound. Tours are available on the first Saturday of each month. Call (210) 932-1001 for more information.