A fortified visita of Mission Espada, founded 1731 in San Antonio.
Situated near Paso de las Mujeres ("Crossing of the Women"), an important ford on the San Antonio River, known to most parties obliged to travel between Mexico and San Antonio. Meadowland along the river and near the crossing was used to pasture cattle owned by Mission Espada. Indians under Espada's protection were kept here to herd the cattle. For the care of souls of the herdsmen, a chapel was built.
The 1895 guide, "San Antonio at a Glance," described the Old Cabras site as a 2-acre, diamond-shaped lot with bastions at each end. After secularization of the missions in 1794, lands here were owned by one of the descendants of Spain's colonists from the Canary Islands, Ignacio Calvillo. In turn, the Cabras site was inherited by Calvillo's flamboyant daughter, Dona Maria Del Carmen (born in 1765). Noted for her independent spirit, she forsook her husband, Gavino Delgado, and personally managed the ranch, her long black hair flying in the wind as she rode a great white horse. She kept down Indian troubles by paying tribute in beef. In her time and for a century afterward Old Mission Cabras remained in use for rites of the church. (1970)