The earliest civilized settlement in present Zapata County was Hacienda Dolores, founded by Jos Vasquez Borrego in 1750. The ruins are designated a state historic site. The town was named in honor of Antonio Zapata, a Mexican army officer and fierce fighter. The historic old town on the banks of Rio Grande was relocated to higher ground with the completion of Falcon Dam. A new Zapata was built on U.S. 83. Hunting and fishing are abundant.
Zapata joins Texas under six flags, but also boasts a seventh flag--the Republic of the Rio Grande--that flew over the area from March-April 1840.
Zapata has excellent birding opportunities.
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