Mission, known as the "tourist mecca of South Texas," is in southwestern Hidalgo County on U.S. Highway 83, the Missouri Pacific line, and State Highway 107. It is 3½ miles north of the Rio Grande, four miles northeast of Anzalduas County Park, five miles northeast of Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Scenic Park, and twenty-three miles northwest of Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge. It is midway between the beaches of South Padre Island and International Falcon Reservoir. Mission lies between 100 and 143 feet above sea level in the wide agricultural delta of the Rio Grande. It is known as the home of the grapefruit. For nearly 250 years the descendants of the original Spanish settlers in this area have ranched the huge porciones-oblong blocks of land nine-thirteenths of a mile wide at the Rio Grande and extending up to sixteen miles north. The settlement of La Lomita (see LA LOMITA MISSION) began in the area with a small chapel built by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Land surrounding the chapel was deeded to Oblate fathers Pierre Yves Keralum and Pierre Fourrier Parisot. The town was first located at La Lomita chapel and was built about 1865 on the farm that later became the mission.
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