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Special Collections & University Archives: La Lomita Mission

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La Lomita Research Guide

La Lomita Mission Research Guide, prepared by Adela Cadena

Background & Summary: La Lomita Mission


La Lomita (“little hill”) was established by Jose Antonio Cantu around 1770 on land granted by Spain. In 1845 the ranch was purchased by Rene Guyard, a native of France. As a devout Roman Catholic, Guyard created a relationship with the Oblates of Mary Immaculate and thus the ranch became an important stop between the church’s Brownsville headquarters and the Roma Mission. In 1865 the Oblate Fathers built an adobe chapel and living quarters on the ranch to serve as their home base during their Calvary of Christ missions where they would deliver religious services to settlements who were spread far and wide.


The purpose of this guide is to provide a list of research resources for anyone interested in learning about La Lomita Mission. The guide contains links to relevant materials in our archival collections along with recommendations for reference materials and books from our catalog. Also included are resources available from external sources in different formats. 

La Lomita Chapel, Mission, Tx.

Photograph by Arnulfo Daniel Segovia.

La Lomita Chapel, Río Bravo: A Journal of the Borderlands | Spring 2020

 Right Side view of La Lomita Church

Photograph by Andres Gonzalez (2019, CC BY-SA 4.0).

Right Side view of La Lomita Church.

Materials from Our Collections

Hidalgo County Historical Commission Collection

The collection consists of applications for historical markers and historical cemeteries, research, notes, correspondence, organizational files, and maps. Historical marker applications were submitted by the Hidalgo County Historical Commission to the Texas Historical Commission Research Department. Marker applications typically include research describing the importance of the location. Files may also include photographs and dedication pamphlets. Collection also contains organizational files from the Hidalgo County Historical Society, which was later re-named to the Hidalgo County Historical Commission.

Frances W. Isbell Collection

Chair of the Hidalgo County Historical Commission (1983 – 1987). Series II contains Hidalgo County Historical Commission, 1852-2014, consists of files pertaining to the Historical Markers, Archives Alert, and Confederate graves projects as well as general and office files.

Reference Files

Religion - Churches - Mission Churches: Newspaper clippings, photos, booklets, programs.

Texas History - Hidalgo County- Mission: Files contain information concerning the history and general information about Texas and the Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV).

Miscellaneous Periodicals Collection

Single issues of larger runs of periodicals (magazines, journals, and newspapers) retained because of specific articles and issues concerning southern Texas and northeastern Mexico.


"Oblate Trail" : history trail on the Rio Grande.

Hand drawn map shows 1849 trail of Oblate missionary priests from Brownsville to Laredo, Texas. Also includes brief description of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate and their "Cavalry for Christ" travels.

Hand Drawn Map of Oblate Trail

External Resources

Research Compiled by Adela Cadena

Adela Cadena currently is a Library Assistant for Special Collections and Archives. She joined the legacy institution, UTPA, in 2002. Adela earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management from UTRGV in 2019. She has over 20 years working in academic and public libraries and is passionate about customer service.


The research guides compiled by UTRGV staff and students are intended to assist patrons who are embarking upon new research endeavors. Our goal is to expand their knowledge of the types of resources available on a given topic, including books, archival materials, and websites. In so doing, our compilers have taken care to include collections, digital items, and resources that may be accessed not only through UTRGV but also via other institutions, repositories, and websites.

We wholeheartedly respect the research interests of others. Therefore, please contact us if you wish to submit a resource for consideration, or if you have a question about or an issue with a specific cited resource.

Books from Our Catalog

Books & Publications on the Web

Missions in the RGV

Visitas, Ranchos (1750s)

La Purísima Concepción (Mier)

  • First Census March 1, 1753

San Augustín de Laredo (Camargo)

  • First Census May 31, 1750

San Joaquín del Monte (Reynosa)

  • First Census June 16, 1750

According to Garmendia Leal, G. (1991). Fundadores de Tamaulipas, 1748-1770.

Quick Links

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Submit an Online Research Request Form

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We also invite you to schedule an appointment to meet one-on-one with a member of our Special Collections & Archives staff. Schedule an on-campus research visit or choose to meet online (video chat).