|One place on my must-see list in Port A was the King Ranch. My friend Beth borrowed a car and we drove about an hour to find it. The town of Kingville grew around the ranch and many places in it were direct subsidiaries of the ranch. The family has also donated many parcels of land over the years for schools, churches and other needs. There was a museum in town with lots of blown-up photos, saddles and various vehicles used on the ranch or by the family. We also watched two videos - one about the history of the ranch from the 1840s to modern day. At one time it was the largest in the world, now it's only one of the biggest with 825,000 thousand acres in Texas. Then we went to the ranch for our bus tour. Here is where it started
See these pics of the various animals we saw
All horses now used on the ranch are descendants of one stud. They have also have had one Triple Crown winner and several other derby winners. Some of the 700 head of cattle they send to market each week!!
Again, King cattle were actually developed years ago for their own use - the reddish color is quite distinctive of their breed (I forget the name) They do have other types as well like these longhorns
This is yet another item first invented on the King ranch and now used many other places. It was a result of young oil company guys who were sick and tired of opening and closing gates all the time to keep stock in. You push on it with the bumper of your vehicle and it will open and then continue on around 180 degrees and shut behind you.
Here's a photo of the big house, which we also watched an interesting video aboout. This is the 3rd family home on the same spot. The first one was outgrown by the original Capt King. The second one burned down and his widow had this one built to replace it. It was finished in 1915 and family still use it. Tour buses aren't allowed to stop so pic was taken thru windows of the bus.
This building is right across from the big house and I forget what it is used for now but it shows Mrs. King's love of Texas history since it is built in an Alamo style
It shows the original name of the ranch - it wasn't named KING Ranch until both the Captain and his wife were deceased. A son in law and daughter took over its management and it grew and prospered during that time. They also named it King Ranch then.
We returned to the visitor center and this cool live oak tree grows right outside
Next we returned to town to the King Ranch saddle shop where custom saddles are well known and regarded in the horse world
My last night in Port A had this awesome sunset so I thought I'd share it with all of you