OAKVILLE – Albert Davila, owner of the town square in Oakville, is moving the old and vacant Shiloh Primitive Baptist Church building at 316 Mosqueda St. in the Atascosa Addition of Three Rivers to Oakville to restore it.
Davila recently bought the building.
“We will begin Monday, June 3, preparing to move the building,” said Davila, “and expect to have it in its new location across from the Oakville jail by Wednesday.”
For several years, Davila has been restoring Oakville’s old town square as a historical tourist attraction, bed and breakfast, and “a quaint and nostalgic place for weddings.”
According to Oakville Cemetery Association President and Live Oak County Historical Commission (LOCHC) appointee Bernard Lemley, “Local folks like what Davila’s been doing restoring our old town square. He’s engaged the whole community in preserving Oakville’s colorful past.”
LOCHC Chair Ross Harris says, “We need more people like Davila with an interest in restoring our county’s past. It makes us proud of our heritage and brings valuable tourism to our county.”
“We’ve had over 50 weddings underneath the oaks since restoring the place,” said Davila, “especially the old hanging tree. Folks find it fun and interesting. Brings lots of people to Live Oak.”
The old church building allegedly was moved from Ray Point to the Atascosa Addition in Three Rivers. A second wave of German immigrants settled Ray Point in the 1920s, according to the Live Oak County Historical Commission.
Davila did not know when the church was built, nor did he know when it was moved to Three Rivers. “But I’m going to find out,” he says.
“I’ve asked the LOCHC for some help with a little research on the building’s history,” said Davila. “The marker chair said they’d check the accuracy of any information I come up with.”
Once the building has been moved to its new location in Oakville, Davila said his crew would begin restoring it to its original condition using vintage materials.
According to LOCHC Marker Chair Richard Hudson, the church building may qualify for a historical marker depending on the period authenticity of materials used in the restoration.
“I’m really excited about restoring this old church building,” Davila said, “because it’s part of this county’s fabulous history.”
Albert Davila is owner and CEO of Davila Electric Company in San Antonio. He’s often in Oakville overseeing the restoration of the old town square.
“My wife Mari and I just love the place,” said Davila. “Have since we first saw it.”