Introduction to Mercedes, Texas
Mercedes, Texas, in Hidalgo county, is 13 miles W of Harlingen, Texas (center to center) and 118 miles S of Corpus Christi, Texas. Part of the surrounding McAllen - Edinburg - Mission metro area, the city is not isolated and is home to some 13,649 residents.
This region was originally settled by ranchers in the late 1770s. It was a part of the Llano Grande Spanish land grant that was issued to Juan José Ynojosa de Balli on May 29, 1790. For a major part of the 19th and early 20th century, the area was owned by the family of Ramón and Manuel Cavazos. The Capisallo Town and Improvement Company was formed by Lon C. Hill, Jr. on May 29, 1904, and he developed a community which was named "Lonsboro". Hill's company was taken over by American Rio Grande Land and Irrigation Company, and they renamed the community "Diaz". This name was changed a few times until the area was christened "Mercedes". According to some records, this name was in honor of Mercedes Diaz, the Mexican President Porfirio Diaz's wife. The city was officially established on September 15, 1907, and incorporated on March 8, 1909.
Mercedes and Nearby Attractions
- Weslaco Bicultural Museum
- Port Isabel Lighthouse State Historic Site
- Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge
- International Museum of Art & Science
- Bentsen Rio Grande Valley State Park
- Gladys Porter Zoo
Things To Do In Mercedes
The city of Mercedes offers easy access to the Weslaco Bicultural Museum which features exhibits on the history of the Weslaco and Rio Grande Valley, and the International Museum of Art & Science which houses collections of fine art, and Latin American folk art. Port Isabel Lighthouse State Historic Site, which marks the site of a lighthouse constructed in 1852, is of historic significance. Opportunities to play golf are available at the Llano Grande Country Club, and The Palms at Mid Valley. Visitors can enjoy fishing, boating, hiking, camping, and picnicking at the Bentsen Rio Grande Valley State Park. Residents of Mercedes also organize annual events like the Passport Fair, Texas Street Festival, and Rio Grande Livestock Show & Rodeo.
Valley International Airport is the nearest major airport.
Mercedes Higher Education
The University of Texas-Pan American, Texas State Technical College-Harlingen, and South Texas Community College are some of the colleges near Mercedes.