Museum of the Coastal Bend

2200 E. Red River Street, Victoria, TX 77901 • (361) 582-2511

La Salle's Doomed Colony on the Texas Coast

La Salle built a small settlement near Matagorda Bay called Fort St. Louis. By 1689, Karankawas had killed or captured the last of the settlers, and La Salle’s own men had murdered him. This museum’s exhibit includes eight cannons that defended the colony and objects from both Fort St. Louis and the Spanish presidio that was built on the same site.

About the Museum

The Museum of the Coastal Bend displays the last 13,000 years of Texas history, from the first inhabitants of the Coastal Bend region through the French, Spanish, and Mexican colonial efforts. The Fort St. Louis exhibition explores several subjects relating to the first French settlement in Victoria County and the first European settlement in Texas. From French explorer La Salle’s early expeditions, to life at the fort and archaeological research on these subjects, each segment of this amazing story is told through informative text panels, photographic images, and original artifacts found at the site.

Must See

La Salle's French settlement was viewed as a threat by the Spanish, who almost immediately began to settle Texas as a respond to the French incursion. See objects from this early Spanish period, including swords, jewelry, and even a pot for making hot chocolate.

For Kids

Children and families can get to know the creatures that roamed Texas more than 11,000 years ago and can experience interactive programming, such as throwing spears like the ones the inhabitants of the Coastal Bend region have thrown for thousands of years.

Banner image courtesy Texas Historical Commission