Texas Forts Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Menard: Sacred Heart Catholic Church

Now known in Menard as the “old Catholic church,” the original Sacred Heart Catholic Church is a few blocks away from its 1955 replacement. Before its construction along the Ditch Walk acequia, local Catholics—many of them descendants of 18th-century Hispanic settlers at nearby Presidio de San Saba—could only celebrate Mass when a traveling priest came through town. But in 1899, Father Baudrillard directed the construction of this church, using limestone quarried by hand and transported via horse and wagon. By 1955, the congregation had outgrown the structure, and the parish was relocated to the New Sacred Heart Church.

The small town of Menard owes its eventual settlement to an early irrigation system, or acequia, created by Spanish inhabitants in 1757. The approximately 10-mile canal used gravity to provide water for farming the San Saba River Valley, including the area surrounding the nearby Presidio de San Saba. Operated by the Menard Irrigation Company since 1905, the canal is still part of a functional irrigation system. The half-mile section of the canal system that runs through downtown is known as the historic Ditch Walk.  


  • 136 Bevans S
  • Menard, Texas
  • 76859