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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Kings Ranch

We've been out and about with the Carlows, yesterday we went to Donna's flea market and today we got up early and headed north to Kingsville to tour the King Ranch. We were there for the first tour at 10 am. good thing too as the other tours filled up fast. The tour lasted 1 hour and half. King Ranch is a national Historic Landmark, is recognized as the birthplace of the American ranching industry. Founded by Captain Richard King in 1853, King Ranch developed the Santa Gertrudis breed of cattle a cross of Brahma and Texas longhorn, and produced the first registered American Quarter Horse. It also had a triple crown racehorse, Assault. Today, King Ranch sprawls across 825,000 acres of South Texas land, is the home of 60,000 cattle and 300 Quarter Horses. King Ranch is one of the largest ranches in the world today. It employs 250 people today in the past up to 800. The employees live in nice homes on the ranch and have company pickups.
Beto Maldonado our driver and guide was born on the ranch, he and his father took care and showed one of the ranches prize bulls Macho. Beto is 79 years old and has lots of stories and has a book coming out in June.

The ranch keeps a herd of Texas longhorns for their historical value.

The original house burned down in 1912 and this beautiful 35,000 sq ft home was built. It is not included on the tour just a drive around it, in the museum they show a video of some of the rooms.
We had a long day but an interesting one. We saw Sandhill Cranes on the ranch and several coveys of quail. The ranch also has several nature tours which we hope to take sometime. We ended the visit with ice cream at an old fashion sofa fountain and a walk thru the Saddle Shop store.
The Carlows have decided to stay only one week and are leaving Sat. we've been having a great time and visit with them.

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