Rio Vista Farm Historic District
Rio Vista Farm Historic District800 Rio Vista Rd.
Socorro, TX 79927
Beginning in the early 1900s, counties across Texas established poor farms to provide housing, healthcare, and other necessities to those in need. The Rio Vista Farm, established in 1915, served homeless adults and orphaned children, most of Hispanic descent. The life-saving camp became a close-knit community where children learned skills such as gardening and canning, and earned money picking cotton in the neighboring fields that still surround the historic district. In the 1950s and 1960s, the farm served as a reception and processing center for the Bracero Program, a U.S.-Mexican government collaboration that brought temporary laborers from Mexico to work on U.S. farms.
At the height of its use, the 14-acre camp had 21 buildings in the Prairie School and Mission Revival styles. Seventeen remain, including the main building, which was constructed in 1915 and now serves as the Rio Vista Community Center. Rio Vista Farm is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.