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Living Texas Ranch History

George Ranch Offers Historic Cowboy Life Not Far From the City

Article by Erica Hernandez

Photography by Courtesy of George Ranch Historical Park

Originally published in Cypress Lifestyle

Take a short drive and travel back in time at George Ranch Historical Park in Fort Bend County. 

The park, located just 45 miles south of Cypress, tells 100 years of Texas history across four homes where time appears to have stood still.

“Our goal is to immerse families in Texas history so you’re not only seeing it, you’re hearing it, you’re touching it,” says Jennifer Farrell, director of marketing for the Fort Bend History Association. The group partners with the park to offer educational programs for kids and families.

The 20,000-acre working ranch is home to four historical sites. At the Jones Stock Farm, visitors can experience 1830s settler life complete with hands-on weaving demonstrations and live animals. Next, the Ryon Prairie Home depicts Civil War-era living while the 1890s Davis Victorian Complex features elaborate decor and a working blacksmith shop. The last stop for visitors is the 1930s George Home and Cattle Complex where aspiring cowboys and cowgirls can learn roping skills or watch live cattle demonstrations.

1. A Settler's Daily LIfe

Location: 1830s Jones Stock Farm

Tour a historic log cabin, and talk with historical interpreters who might be grinding corn, spinning wool, weaving textiles or tanning hides just like a pioneer family would have. The ranch also offers a special fabric-dyeing workshop to show how settler women brightened their clothing using materials found in nature.

2. Walk Through History

Location: 1860s Ryon Prairie Home

Visitors can meander through the Greek Revival-style home which is adorned on the inside as it would have been in the 1860s when owners Polly and William Ryon were in the midst of expanding their ranching operations. Visit the detached kitchen to see a fully adorned dinner table, or mosey over to the chuck wagon camp to hear stories of Texas cattle drives.

3. Watch a Blacksmith

Location: 1890s Davis Victorian Complex

Watched a skilled blacksmith forge farming tools, horseshoes and even an artistic iron rose. Attend a class to learn the trade for yourself.

4. Learn Cattle Roping

Location: 1930s George Home and Cattle Complex

Watch cowboys as they herd, sort and rope cattle during a daily cattle demonstration. Try your own hand at lassoing during a quick lesson with a cowboy. While at this site, swing by the George Home, the original home of Mamie and A.P. George. The home was designed by renowned Galveston architect Nicholas Clayton, the designer of the famed Bishop’s Palace.