The Texas Old Missions and Forts Restoration Association
"That their relics shall not be lost or their memories vanish in the mists of time"

TOMFRA is a statewide organization of historians and early architecture enthusiasts joined in our interest in preserving the mission and fort heritage of Texas. Our purpose is to encourage continued study of our missions and forts as well as to support the restoration of sites significant to our Texas frontier heritage.  TOMFRA's emphasis on appropriating funds for education and preservation projects extends to our support of other
organizations, agencies, and individuals with similar aims.
What TOMFRA Does

  Awards two annual Raiford Stripling Memorial Scholarships to an outstanding student in restoration architecture at Texas A & M University
  Presents the annual TOMFRA Award in Historic Preservation Studies to a student of an accredited school of architecture within the state of Texas
  Supports programs for Junior Historians and Texas History Day administered through the Texas State Historical Association
  Sponsors an annual cash award for an Outstanding Book on Spanish Colonial History & Texas Forts through the Civil War
  Publishes the periodical El Campanario to inform and connect our members and concerned institutions on issues related to the preservation
    and research involving Texas historical sites
  Sponsors a Winter Meeting in Dallas and a Spring Weekend Conference at changing locations around the state featuring tours of
    significant mission and/or fort sites for members and their guests
What is special about TOMFRA?

TOMFRA members recall highlights from our spring trips:
  A three-fingered chain mail glove that Coronado dropped.  The canyon where he slept and his soldiers ate around the campfire throwing
    their bones over their shoulders.  The archaeologist who plotted Coronado's march into Kansas from Floydada.
  The tiny office where Stephen F. Austin worked after the revolution and the canopied bed in which he died.
  The illegal river crossing strewn with discarded clothes outside the twelve-foot fence beside the Rio Grande at Laredo.
  The ruts of the first overland stage on a crossing of the Clear Fork of the Brazos on a remote ranch near where Robert E. Lee commanded
    Fort Griffin.
  Cannons cast in brass with fleur-de-lis that we saw in the archaeologists' lab in Victoria; they had been buried by the French under La Salle
    before the Spaniards came.
  The reenactment of Don Juan de Onate's crossing the Rio Grande at San Elizario on April 3, 1958, to settle New Mexico.
  Lunch at a pioneer family's ranch near Mason; dinner at sunset on a ranch near Fort Davis.
  The entrance of the Spanish soldiers in front of the missions near El Paso enacting Don Juan de Onate settling New Mexico.
Why join TOMFRA?

An organization for busy people, TOMFRA holds just two events a year.  In January, we gather in Dallas for our Winter Meeting with a noted
speaker and sometimes a tour.  

Usually, in April, our annual Spring Conference takes us to Texas forts, missions, and other historic sites.  Uniquely, we gain access to privately owned sites and are guided by expert archaeologists and historians.  Frequently we enjoy reenactments by militia, local enthusiasts.  This is why so
many of us join TOMFRA.

Recent Spring Conferences have taken place in
Nacogdoches, Fredericksburg, Brazoria, Lubbock, Gonzales, El Paso, San Angelo, Laredo,
Albany, San Antonio, and Goliad.  When TOMFRA went to El Paso, we saw the reenactment of April 30, 1598, when Don Juan de Onate and his
followers crossed the Rio Grande at San Elizario, settling the province of New Mexico.  We have been welcomed onto private ranches near Mason,
Fort Davis, and Lambshead, near Albany. In Laredo we visited the ranch home where Houston oilmen entertained Ethiopian Emperor Haile
Selassie on hunting trips.  In 2010 we were privileged to see Stephen F. Austin's huge canopied bed and tiny office on the plantation once owned
by his sister in Brazoria County.   In Floydada, near Lubbock, we stood where Coronado's soldiers had eaten around a campfire, tossing their
bones over their shoulders, saw a mesh gauntlet, and learned from archaeologist Donald Blakeslee how he identified the canyon campsite that is
now on private land.  On our Victoria trip we toured the archaeologists' laboratory and saw the cannons salvaged from La Salle's shipwreck with
that day's smaller "finds."

“We would like to ask everyone to please check the 2020 Membership Booklet and let us know of any contact information corrections. Please e-mail updated information to Elizabeth Small ( and/or Pat Coggan (


TOMFRA 2021 Winter Meeting
Saturday, February 6, 2021

TOMFRA 2021 Spring Meeting
Postponed to Fall of 2021 (Covid)

More Information

Texas Old Missions and Forts Restoration Association is a 501(c)(3) organization.