La Lomita Mission
LA LOMITA MISSION. La Lomita (“little hill”) is a small hill and the adjoining historical site of a former mission and ranch headquarters maintained by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. It is located off Farm Road 1016 near the Rio Grande five miles south of Mission in southwestern Hidalgo County. The property comprised two Spanish land grants, or porciones, awarded in 1767. The little hill is on the western edge of Porción 57, which thus became known as the La Lomita grant. The adjoining historical site is on the eastern edge of the neighboring Porción 56. Through a succession of sales over the years the La Lomita grant came into the possession of John Davis Bradburn in 1842. Bradburn, of Anahuac fame but by then in Matamoros, died two months later and was buried somewhere on the property. His Mexican widow sold the land in 1845 to René Guyard, a French merchant in Reynosa. Upon Guyard's death in 1861, his will left the La Lomita grant to Oblate priests Pierre F. Parisot and Pierre Y. Keralumqqv “for the propagation of the faith among the barbarians.” For the same purpose Guyard also left to the Oblates Porción 55 upriver, which he had acquired in 1851. The Oblates, Frenchmen like Guyard, had been traveling the Rio Grande country since 1849 to minister to the Catholic inhabitants scattered throughout the area. The priests had been using a small chapel on the ranch of the original La Lomita grant as the division point and meeting place or “tapadero” between their mission centers in Brownsville downriver and Roma upriver. In 1884 they finally managed to purchase Porción 56, the Spanish grant separating the two porciones bequeathed to them by Guyard. This gave them a large undivided tract of land extending two miles along the river and fifteen miles inland. The designation La Lomita was extended to the entire property, whereas previously it had referred to the original easternmost grant.