Welcome to Panna Maria, Texas
The Oldest Permanent Polish Settlement In The United States.
Panna Maria, Texas is located in Karnes County, where FM 81 & 2724 meet near the San Antonio River & Cibolo Creek junctions. Panna Maria is the oldest Polish settlement in the United States, and it was created in 1854 by 100 Polish families seeking freedom. Eight hundred men, women, and children landed at Galveston, Texas, 200 miles away, and walked, some barefoot, with everything they owned to their new home over two months. Finally, they arrived on Christmas Eve in 1854, held mass under a live oak tree, and decided to name the town in honor of the Virgin Mary.
Panna Maria, and the surrounding area, was able to become a Polish enclave mainly because the railroads bypassed the vicinity, and their religious practices maintained close ties to their homeland.
Sights Around Panna Maria, Texas
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MAMIYA 7II & KODAK TRI-X
Panna Maria Post Office
The Panna Maria Post Office was built in 1855 as the town's first store by John Twohig, who had sold the town its land. The Snoga family added a brick front to support the original limestone facade when they bought the store in 1918. The Panna Maria Post Office is still open today.
The most profound Polish influence on Texas culture is in Texas music. Did you know that the fiddle is the instrument that distinguishes Polish polka from German and Czech polka?