Three years later, Spanish explorers discovered the abandoned colony, buried its cannons, and erased the last traces of La Salle's journey. That might have been the end of the story. But in 1995, divers in Matagorda Bay discovered a bronze cannon from La Belle, and an excavation uncovered more artifacts. Today, the ship itself lies in the hands of conservationists at Texas A&M University, but many of the ship's artifacts can be seen at museums throughout the state.
A seven-museum cooperative called the La Salle Odyssey–the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History (361/883-2862), the Texana Museum in Edna (361/782-5431), the Matagorda County Museum in Bay City (979/245-7502), the Palacios Area Historical Association Museum (361/972-1148), the Calhoun County Museum in Port Lavaca (361/553-4689), the Museum of the Coastal Bend in Victoria (under construction; 361/582-2511), and the Texas Maritime Museum in Rockport (361/729-1271)–will complete their exhibitions detailing La Salle's exploration into Texas by summer 2003. You can visit throughout the year to watch the projects take shape; be sure to check out the museums in Bay City, Corpus Christi, and Rockport, which already feature cannons, scale models, and dioramas.