Written by Shirley T
Saturday, 06 February 2010 18:04
A visit to experience the 'circle of life' the late President Lyndon Baines Johnson or fondly known as LBJ is incomplete if one misses out the LBJ Ranch Tour.
Located 14 miles west of LBJ Boyhood Home in Johnson City in between Hye and Stonewall, LBJ Ranch lies along the beautiful Pedernales River in Texas Hill Country. Visiting LBJ Ranch requires a driving permit and it can be obtained free of charge at the Texas State Park and Historic Site Headquarters, right after park's entrance along Park Road 52. The small printed chit also comes with a CD containing narrative audio to assist a self-guided tour.
Succeeding the title as the 36th President of The United States of America following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963, LBJ sworn for his commitment in the Air Force One. Despite his busy schedule and duty for the nation, LBJ had a deep attachment for his roots and communal heritage. LBJ Ranch was where President Johnson was born, lived, died and buried.
Our self-guided tour began with first stop at Sauer-Beckman Living History Farm. A lady dressed in authentic costumes greeted us as we walked into the compound and described briefly the history of this farm, its daily operation which is exactly the farm life during 1910s. Gathering eggs, feeding livestock, making candles and cooking with wood-burning stove are demonstrated. Practically, they live the farm life like the yesteryears!
Next, we headed back to Visitors Center and continued moving along Ranch Road 1 which is adjacent to Pedernales River. Lutheran Church appeared next, followed by a bridge to cross the Pedernales River. Very soon, we approached Junction School - one classroom school where young Lyndon learned to read.
Advancing on the road on the same side of the school is LBJ Birth Place which was reconstructed in 1964. Today, it is operated as a guest house. At one time, Johnson's family faced financial crisis and had sold the ranch which resulted to the demolition of LBJ's original birthplace. The land were repurchased and the house was built as close as possible to the original architecture. Slightly opposite, by the river side is the Johnson's family cemetery.
Several yards ahead stands a double-story white ranch house - the 'Texas White House'. Gated and pretty shady as the trees here are huge. Originally, it was a century-old rock farmhouse, then enlarged over the years and served as the first U.S. White House outside the capital of Washington D.C. Public visiting inside the Texas White House is allowed with small fee (USD 1) made at the airplane hangar. It is a ranger guided tour for 20 minutes.
Personally, it was an eye-opener tour for me. Like what the ranger mentioned, we are the younger generations which hardly know what the farm folks went through during the ranching frontier and little about the past!
From LBJ Boyhood Home in Johnson City, TX - Take Highway 290, 14 miles westbound
From Fredericksburg, TX - Take Highway 290, 16 miles eastbound
Did not find what you are looking for? Do a search...
(Type what you are looking for in the textbox below)
Flower Arrangement Series
Like flowers, want to get creative? Step by step with images on how to design what you always wanted.
Need itinerary of a week? Attractions in Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Floating Market, Kanchanaburi...
Big Bend US National Park (Texas)
From canyons, rivers, basins to mountains, a journey into wilderness!
Spring in Tokyo
Hanami and Sakura at Ueno, Akibahara, Imperial Palace, Sensoji Temple, Ameyoko Shopping Street...
The Best of Taipei
Our stories at Yangmingshan, Yehliu, Keelung, Jinshan, Danshui, Taipei...
Live, Do, Eat, Sleep in Texas
4 Seasons experience in The Lone Star state; hopping Austin, Blanco, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Fredericksberg, Houston, New Braunfels, San Antonio, Terlingua, Vanderpool, Waco & more