Salt Flat in Hudspeth County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
Frijole Historic Site
This West Texas ranch home is the most complete remnant of early farming and ranching enterprise in the Guadalupe Mountains. Two pioneer ranchers, the Rader brothers, settled here in the 1870’s with a few cattle. Their home, which consisted of the front rooms, is considered to be the oldest substantial building in the area.
The Smith family moved here in the summer of 1906. Although keeping some livestock, they made a living primarily from truck farming and a small orchard. They used the first hydraulic ram in the area to pump water for the house and farm use. The nearest market for their produce was Van Horn, Texas, a dusty, jolting 60 mile wagon trip away. The family would leave in the evening after covering the fruits and vegetables with wet paper and rags to protect them from heat and arrive in time to meet the next morning's customers. During their 34 years here, the Smiths added the kitchen, two bedrooms and upstairs to the original ranch house. They also built the spring house, guest house, and double bath house. The red building to your left was periodically used as a bunk house, storage shed, barn, and school house for the eight local children. All these structures were built entirely of native materials. Over the years, this complex served as the community center for dances and other social gatherings and the site of the "Frijole" Post Office from 1912-1940, named by the local folks for their abundant diet of beans!
In the early 1940's Judge J.C. Hunter bought the Smith's "Frijole Ranch” and many of the surrounding ranches. He renamed his purchases the Guadalupe Mountains Ranch and covered the mountain with thousands of Angora sheep and goats. Today, with its critical spring water supply, this homestead is a reminder of that intriguing chapter of history during the days the pioneer rancher and the settling of the West.
Location. 31° 54.454′ N, 104° 48.077′ W. Marker is in Salt Flat, Texas, in Hudspeth County. Marker can be reached from Frijole Ranch Road 0.6 miles north of U.S. 62, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is near the entrance to Frijole Ranch Cultural Museum. Marker is at or near this postal address: 400 Pine Cyn, Salt Flat TX 79847, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Frijole School House (a few steps from this marker); Butterfield Overland Mail (approx. 1.3 miles away); Ruins of "The Pinery" or "Pine Spring" Stage Stand (approx. 1.4 miles away); The Airmen (approx. 1.4 miles away); Groundbreaking for the Pine Springs Visitor Center (approx. 1½ miles away); The "Committee of Five" (approx. 1½ miles away); Stephen Tyng Mather (approx. 1½ miles away); Guadalupe Peak (approx. 4½ miles away).
Also see . . .
1. The Frijole Ranch - Pioneer Legacy of the Guadalupes. Artifacts reveal that the Frijole area has been a popular place of settlement for many centuries. This is not surprising when one considers that Pine, Juniper, Smith, Manzanita, and Frijole springs are all within a 2 mile radius of the Frijole Ranch History Museum. Mescal pits, petroglyphs, and artifacts (Submitted on February 25, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. The Frijoles Ranch. In 1906, John Thomas Smith filed on the Frijole site as vacant land, calling it the Spring Hill Ranch. Smith had moved from Wisconsin to Texas, where he married Nella May Carr in 1889. The Smith family produced a wide variety of crops in their fifteen-acre orchard and garden, including apples, peaches, apricots, plums, pears, figs, pecans, blackberries, strawberries, and corn. (Submitted on February 25, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
3. Frijole Ranch - Desert Paradise. Frijole Ranch is a delightful oasis on the edge of the dry, lower slopes of the Guadalupe escarpment which truly captures the rugged sprit of the American West. The cold, spring water which is channeled through the courtyard (once essential for subsistence and farming) provides precious moisture for the large shade trees and the grass that surrounds them. Shade and water, both scarce commodities in the desert, are coveted by a variety of species that frequent the area at dawn and dusk. As you look around, imagine what life may have been like in this remote West Texas locale. (Submitted on February 25, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Categories. • Agriculture • Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on April 27, 2018. This page originally submitted on February 24, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 77 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on February 24, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 3. submitted on February 25, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 4. submitted on April 27, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 5, 6, 7. submitted on February 25, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 8. submitted on April 27, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.