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Rediscovery of the 1719 Acequia Madre

Urban growth and development along the route of the Acequia Madre have obscured most traces of its presence. Numerous archaeological projects conducted over the last 50 years along the courses of the acequia have revealed segments of the long buried ditch system. Excavations at the Hemis Fair ’68 grounds by the Witte Museum archaeologists in 1966 exposed a 95 feet-long section of the acequia that was restored. A consequence of this investigation was the designation of the San Antonio’s acequia system as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. Archaeological investigations in conjunction with the New Witte museum construction exposed a segment of the Acequia Madre and traced its course across the Witte Museum campus.

black and white photography of a section of the acequia madre in 1938 behind the Irish flats area of San Antonio
A section of the Acequia Madre in 1938 behind the Irish flats area of San Antonio. Credit, UTSA Library