The town was founded in 1834 at the site of Mission Nuestra Se?ora del Refugio, which was relocated here from the wetlands of Calhoun County in 1795. Today, this is the seat of Refugio County and a center for oil production, ranching and farming. Public parks offer picnicking, playgrounds, tennis courts and a swimming pool. Fishing and water sports are available on nearby coastal bays. Hunters seek waterfowl, deer, wild turkey and wild boar.