Volunteers from the South Texas Independent School District gathered Thursday at the Old Jagou Plantation site in Southmost to help with restoration of a dry resaca bed beneath a 125-year-old bridge that officials hope will become the centerpiece of a new public park.
Celestine Jagou built the bridge in 1893 after purchasing 640 acres of what was once the La Esperanza Plantation, local historian Gene Fernandez said. The bridge was built to allow for crossings from the delta in the lower Southmost area to upper areas during floods, he said.
The bridge and dry resaca bed, including an ancient cypress thicket, are part of the plantation’s last remnant, which sits at 1325 La Posada Drive. The City of Brownsville and Keep Brownsville Beautiful are in the process of restoring the area into a park and museum.
The city purchased the site several years ago, and Fernandez organized the restoration effort in about 2013. The city hopes to turn a former Boys & Girls Club on the site into a museum about the bridge and plantation, and the grassy field surrounding it into a park, said Eli De Leon, city communications services specialist and project coordinator.
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