NOTE: Plan to visit early and beat the heat--our last cattle demonstration each day during the summer begins at 2 p.m. The Dinner Belle Cafe is closed. We apologize for the inconvenience.

1860s Ryon Prairie Home

Picture life in post-Civil War Texas with a visit to the home of Polly Ryon and her husband William during the rapid expansion of their ranching operations. Learn about this remarkable second generation story amidst a time of both great struggle and great change in both Texas and the United States.

  • Ryon Prairie Home:  Explore this Greek Revival home first built in 1851 for a first hand glimpse into the lifestyle of the unique family who lived and prospered here.
  • Ryon Prairie Home Outbuildings: Explore the gardens, chicken coop, and pig pen which made a Ranch a home in the mid-19th century. Then take a short walk to discover a reproduction sugar cane press at the back of the property.
  • Chuck Wagon Camp: Visit the chuckwagon camp and learn about the golden age of the cattle drive in this immersive outdoor environment.

Ryon Family History

The Joneses’ eldest daughter and third child, Mary Moore aka Polly would go on to inherit the majority of her family’s wealth. Before marrying, Polly inherited land from her godfather, Wily Martin, and from her father when he passed on. She bought parcels of land from her siblings as well. At 18 years of age, she was one of the region’s largest landholders. In 1845, she married William M. Ryon who would help her build a thriving ranching and farming empire that would span over 27,000 acres of land. When she passed in 1896, she would leave her sole-surviving child and grandchildren a booming cattle and farming operation and a legacy of a strong Texas woman.

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