Tuesday, November 2 – We headed out to Stonewall, TX to explore the LBJ National Park. This was a very nice adventure. Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park tells the story of our 36th President beginning with his ancestors until his final resting place on his beloved LBJ Ranch. There are two distinct visitor areas.
---In Johnson City you will find
• The National Park Visitor Center • The Boyhood Home in which President Johnson spent his childhood • The Johnson Settlement where the President’s grandparents first
settled in the 1860s.
---Stonewall, Texas you will find
• a second visitor center for the LBJ Ranch •Sauer-Beckmann Living History Ranch •Junction School •LBJ Birthplace •Johnson Family Cemetery •Sam Ealy Johnson, Sr. Farmhouse •Texas White House. This is the one we visited.]
We began at the Visitor’s Center which had many articles from the Johnson era. This was President’s Johnson favorite saddle, boots and hat.
They provided you with a CD that you can play as you do the driving tour. It was very good in describing what we were seeing and what was at each stop.
Part of the Pedernales River that runs through the Ranch.
Junction School is where four-year-old Lyndon B. Johnson learned to read. It is a one-room school. This is where he signed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
We had to take pictures through the windows.
We noticed that education has made the “circle”. Here the children used individual chalk boards to work on problems, in our schools today the children use erasable lap boards.
Today’s chalk board.
Next was the re-constructed home where he was born on August 27, 1908. The first child of Sam and Rebekah Johnson, he was born at this site and named “Lyndon Baines.” The house was rebuilt by the President in 1964 to be used as a guest house.
Doors locked..pictures through the windows.
Can you picture the President using this? Not a pretty picture.
Generations of Johnsons are buried in the Johnson Family Cemetery family plot where the 36th President was laid to rest on January 25, 1973, at age of 64, just a little over four years after leaving the White House.
His head stone has the U.S. Presidential seal. Lady Bird is next to him.
Sam Ealy Johnson, Sr. Farmhouse was the next stop. Sam Sr. and Eliza, the President's grandparents, whose first home had been in what is now called the Johnson Settlement in Johnson City, lived out their lives in the modest farmhouse.
This is a working farm, so the herd of Registered Herefords roam freely along the roadway. This is a valuable herd of over 1000 cattle. Of course the large, 2000 acre ranch, is a very valuable piece of real estate. The Johnsons donated 600 acres to The National Park Service for the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park and daughter Lucy and husband Patrick Nugent, a lawyer in Austin, remain owners of the ranch. They frequently land at the air strip and stay in one of the guest homes on the ranch.
The cattle on the LBJ Ranch are descended from the same bloodline as the herd that Lyndon Johnson owned. They look more like 1960s Hereford cattle and so they can be called "history on the hoof."
We think this one was thinking…”Who you looking at chump?”
Notice the registered Trademark on the horns.
The Texas White House. In 1951, Senator Johnson purchased the “Big House” and 250 acres of land.
The original century-old rock farmhouse was greatly enlarged over the years. This is LBJ's Ranch, that he stayed at 25% of the time he was in the White House. He was the first President to establish a working office away from the White House. The ranch is made up of over 2000 acres owned by the Johnsons and another 9000 acres he leased. We didn’t think it was the most beautiful house. No pictures were permitted inside.
The Ranch House is over 7500 square feet. Not a mansion, but a large ranch home. He has a down-home feel to it. It has all of the furnishing used during the Johnson White House years. It sets along the Pedernales River in a grove of Old Oak Trees. A beautiful setting that must have been very impressive for visitors to the Texas White House. President Kennedy, Nixon, Vice-President Humphrey and many other notable statesmen sat on the front porch and enjoyed the view.
President and Mrs. Johnson gave their home, known as the "Texas White House," to the American people in 1972, establishing a life estate for themselves.
Johnson was the first Vice president to have an aircraft assigned to him. The Ranch also contains a 6400 foot runway for landing Air Force One. Actually, the 707 that served as Air Force One during the 1960's, landed at Austin, TX and then LBJ took a smaller 4-engine jet to the ranch. A Lockheed JetStar VC-140 was called Air Force One when President Johnson was aboard. He affectionately called in Air Force One Half. This jet is now permanently parked at the ranch. The runway is restricted for family use only!
Many of Johnson's favorite automobiles are parked in the out buildings on the property.
His favorite the Presidential All-Terrain Vehicle
1962 Amphicar which was German built.
There were many others included in the showcase.
The Show Barn was built for the care and training of cattle. It continues to serve as the center of present day ranching operations.
The Wash Rack…this pictures is for Marsha’s dad. He grew up on a farm and knows all about the first step to grooming a show animal…a good bath.
With the next election coming up in 2012, do either of these people look at a potential candidate?
Whoa…that second one better either grow a few inches or get a wooden box to stand up. Maybe she is sitting down…NAAAAAAH! Another talking head..ha ha!
We really enjoy this tour and would recommend it to anyone exploring Texas Hill Country.
Thanks for visiting. Hope to see ya’ll back real soon. Have a great day!