The George Ranch Historical Park is open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays. Get tickets here!

The George Ranch Blog

31 Aug2020

Prairie Rescue Card Game

By ALLISON HARRELL Texian Time Machine & Outreach Coordinator SCENE: You are a pioneer who has been living in Texas for a year, and a few new settlers have been staying with you for the past few days. This morning when you got back from taking care of the chickens, you found a note: “We...

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09 Jul2020

Make Your Own Soap

By MEGAN CROMEENS Site Lead, 1860s Ryon Prairie Home Soap in some form has been around for nearly 5,000 years, as evidence of soap-making was found in ancient Babylon. However, the Egyptians are credited with developing soap as we know it. Here at the Ranch, we have made our own soap many, many times...

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05 Jun2020

Recipe: Cowboy Donuts

Cowboy Donuts 1 cup brown sugar 1 egg, beaten 1 cup milk 2 tsp melted lard 1 tsp. soda 1 tsp. grated nutmeg pinch of salt 2 1/4 scoops of flour pan of melted lard sugar to coat donuts Grate the nutmeg. Blend the sugar and egg. Add the milk and lard, mixing well....

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29 May2020

‘Optic Wonder’ – Make Your Own Thaumatrope!

The thaumatrope was at the cutting edge of science in 1824 — and is still a favorite hands-on activity for kids (and adults!) today. This simple historic toy was a precursor to modern animation. Part science, part history and part art, the thaumatrope works on the idea of “persistence of vision,” a flaw in...

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13 May2020

Spiritualism in the Victorian Age

By ALLISON PARROTT Site Lead, 1930s George Ranch House The next time you visit the George Ranch Historical Park, you’ll get to take a look at upper-class Victorian life during a tour of the 1890s Davis Victorian Mansion. Upstairs, you’ll see the family’s bedrooms – including the childhood room of Mamie Davis (later Mamie...

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08 May2020

Magic Elixir: Snake Oil Salesmen and Patent Medicine of the Late 1800s

By Cassie Munnell and Allison Harrell While the concept of “patent medicine” in America can be traced back at least to the Colonial era, its heyday lasted from the Civil War through the early 1900s. The term “patent medicine” usually refers to elixirs, tonics or liniments protected by trademark – but often containing questionable...

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06 May2020

Five (Unusual!) 1860s Recipes You Can Cook for Dinner Tonight

By MEGAN CROMEENS Site Lead, 1860s Ryon Prairie Home Sometimes the past dishes up some…unusual…dinner options. The following five recipes were immensely popular in the mid-19th century and were found in “Mrs. Beeton’s Every Day Cookery and Housekeeping Book,” which was originally published in 1861. If you had to try one today, which one...

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05 May2020

Historic Graveyard Symbolism

By ALLISON PARROTT Site Lead, 1930s George Ranch Home If you have ever visited the 1890s Davis Victorian Mansion, you may have noticed the original family cemetery fenced off to the side underneath some beautiful large oak trees. Most of the family’s first and second generations are buried there; later generations were buried at...

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05 May2020

Willie Thomas: A George Ranch Legend

Willie Thomas was born on January 30, 1930 in Richmond, Texas. He was born to Johnnie and Josephine Thomas who had worked on the Ranch since 1925. He attended school in Crabb, just down the road from Richmond, until the age of 9 when he left school to help his family. Willie started working...

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04 May2020

Plants in Our Victory Garden

By ALLISON PARROTT Site Lead, 1930s George Ranch Home Curious about the plants we’re growing in our Victory Garden at the George Ranch Home? Here are the plants that are currently growing or will be growing later this summer in our garden, along with planting tips. Did you plant a Victory Garden this spring?...

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