The George Ranch Historical Park in Texas is considered as a living history site because it authentically interprets and preserves the remarkable storyline of George’s family of Texas from 1824 to the 20th century. George Ranch Park is a 23,000-acre working ranch that has historic homes, livestock, and costumed interpreters. Its mission is to educate people of all ages about the rich Texas history and its unique heritage by using different activities and events. In this article, we are going to know more about the history of George Ranch Park in Houston, Texas.
Mamie Davis was the heir to the ancestral lands that were initially granted by Stephen F. Austin. The said land was deeded down through the female family lineage; that is why when Mamie Davis married Albert George in 1896, they inherited the said land. In 1900, the couple decided to construct a new home on the land and hired Nicholas Clayton to be their architect. During the early 1900s, George’s started to expand their land holdings, starting with their acquisitions and additional inheritance. In the first half of the 20th century, oil was discovered on the George Ranch; this increased the family’s wealth significantly. In fact, up until today, gas and oil royalties continue to finance the George Foundation.
The said foundation aims to share the family’s legacy by telling the story of four generations, preserving the family homesteads, and presenting interpretive and educational programs that tell about the heritage of Texas ranching. The George Ranch Historical Park offers year-round presentations and events that feature an outdoor kitchen, gardens, and barns. The park also gives you a glimpse of the 1860’s Ryon Prairie Home Site, which is a post-Civil War residence, a sharecropper farm, as well as a blacksmith shop. Besides that, you can also explore the George Ranch Cattle Complex that offers tours, chuckwagon breakfast, cattle demonstrations, and participatory, hands-on programs that happen throughout the year – https://www.georgeranch.org/.
Sites to See at George Ranch Historical Park
1830s Jones Stock Farm – This site offers a tour that lets you see one of the earliest settlements during Southeast Spanish Texas, the Henry and Nancy Jones homestead. Learn more about the first tales of Texas while you’re wandering through gardens, outdoor kitchen, barns, and the historic log cabin.
1930s George Home and Cattle Complex – A.P and Mamie George were considered to be the last generation of the Henry and Nancy Jones’ descendants to supervise the ranching operation. In this part of the park, you will get to listen to the last chapter of the family’s incredible story as well as explore their original family home. Aside from that, you can also watch the cowboys rope and sort the cows and how they run them through the dipping vat.
1890s Davis Victorian Complex – In this part of the park, you will get to explore the waning days of the 19th century while you learn about the third generation of the family at the Davis Mansion. You can wrap your tour around this site by seeing the sharecropper farm and working on the blacksmith shop.
1860s Ryon Prairie Home – This park allows you to imagine what it’s like living in post-Civil War Texas by giving you a glimpse of the home of Polly Ryon during the rapid expansion of their ranching operations. In this site, you will also get to learn more about the family’s second-generation story during the time of both significant change and great struggle.