George Ranch Historical Park was the last stop on our Houston adventure. After all our artistic, educational and cultural pursuits of Houston we wanted to do something with a big more cowboy flair. Studying trip adviser brought us to George Ranch. Situated about 50 km outside of Houston. We were ready for cowboy fun and a taste of life on a ranch in Texas.
George Ranch is a type of living, functioning museum of four generations of the same family. The first generation came down from Arkansas in 1824, and were of the first settlers to set up farms in Texas. If you visit the ranch you can hear the entire history about these settlers, and the conflicts between America and Mexico for the state that is Texas. In accordance with the time, the land of the ranch was handed down to the daughters. The ranch consists of the four family homes of these four generations of women and their families. It also has a number of farm animals.
As George Ranch is a kind of “living” museum of the time, the guides of this museum function live within it. Here there are no grey suited or skirted museum guide walking with you from attraction to attraction. At George Ranch the guides play the historic characters who occupied these homes. Complete the costume, accent and information, the guides of this museum “go about their daily tasks” and tell you about their lives and their homes when you come to visit. This makes for a completely different museum experience. The guides can be found fixing their homes, making different articles for their daily use, or tending the gardens and animals around their homes. Which brings me to the horses.
It just wouldn’t be a ranch without cowboys and horses. At scheduled times during the day you can watch an exhibition of skill as riders rope and herd cattle. They farm hands also demonstrate how cattle were dipped before being sent north. If you stand too close to this one expect to get wet!
What to bring
While we were visiting the park the restaurant was closed, and there wasn’t much in the way of buying anything to eat. So be sure to make sure that you bring something along with you to eat.
Another reason to fuel up is because you will probably be spending a lot of time on your feet. There is a tractor that takes visitors to the different houses and locations, but you might want to walk too. The views and the grounds are beautiful and a large part of the experience is walking through them. On this note, remember to bring a hat and sunscreen. This is Texas, after all, and you don’t want to look like a pair of cowboy boots by the time you leave. Although there is shade at most of the points where you might wait, or watch, I always recommend keeping some sunscreen handy. As well as a bottle of water if you are visiting in the summer months.
When you look at the photos I took, I’m sure I won’t need to advise you on bringing a camera with. Every corner and nook offers an amazing photo, or view.
Would I Recommend the Ranch?
Without a doubt. Considering what you are seeing and experiencing the entry fee is very cheap. Especially in comparison to other attractions in America. It is also a completely unique experience. Everything from walking around the old homes, to the fantastic tour guides is something a little different. You also walk out of the park with a completely new way of looking at Texas and ranch life. The hosts/museum guides were friendly, and more than able to ask any questions thrown at them while remaining in character. They were also not shy about asking about our lives when they heard an accent which they couldn’t place easily.
As we are not American, I knew very little about what life was like for the first farmers of Texas. George Ranch definitely changed that, but in a way that was fun. Almost like being immersed in your own Spaghetti Western.
If you are planning a trip to Houston be sure to CLICK HERE for our post on the awesome city! Or CLICK HERE check out this post on the out-of-this-world Johnson Space Center.
The series on Houston is dedicated to the Scheepers family. Writing and remembering has been bittersweet.