So I took a week of vacation from work and decided to take a trip to Houston to visit my brother. We took a trip to Brazosbend park, and that was fun. We saw an alligator, the Brazos River, and lots of walking trails. There were also some herons hanging around the water. We took one of the longer trails a walked for a few miles while enjoying the sunshine and good weather. The Brazos River was very muddy, but it was peaceful sitting on the banks and looking at the flowing water.
On the way to Brazosbend park, we passed the George Ranch Historical Park. I decided to take a trip back to this park a few days later and really enjoyed the trip. The cold weather meant there weren’t too many visitors, and I had a front row seat to the cattle roundup show. I was advised to stay seated or stand in the back row when “Tex” made an appearance. Tex was a very large longhorn cattle who did not seem to be super enthusiastic at his role in the cattle drive production. After a quick few minutes in the pen, he was ready to return his barn. I learned all about the cattle drives and cowboy lifestyle on the ranch back in the 1800s.
There was quite a progression from the initial settlement house which was basically a log cabin to the later Victorian mansion on this property. The sharecropper’s quarters were pretty minimal with an entire family sleeping in one room. The blacksmith shop was definitely one of the highlights. The blacksmith workers were truly enthusiastic about their role in the historical park and were actively forging iron works during the tour.
The staff for this entire park were really friendly and knowledgeable. The tour of the last house was also a highlight with many aspects of the family home discussed. A recurring theme was men would discuss business and politics only in the parlor where women were not present. They would also drink, gamble, and smoke during this time. It sounds like the George patriarch was quite the character. He smoked cigars so often he had to put tobasco sauce on all his food as his taste buds had been destroyed from the smoking. He also had quite an impressive game trophy collection in the business room with a gift of a stuffed golden eagle from the King Ranch. It sounds like the owners of these respective ranches were good friends. While the King Ranch has the distinction of a well-known special edition Ford truck line, the George Ranch Historical Park is another Texas ranch that allows a glimpse into the life of cowboys and cattle ranches from a bygone era.