Written by Shirley T
Tuesday, 19 January 2010 09:17
Not too far from Sam Nail Ranch is Homer Wilson Ranch. It is one of many examples of frontier ranching in Big Bend. The ranch house were made from native materials whereby the reed ceiling was from the river, timbers from the mountains while large stones were brought from Blue Creek Canyon in early 1900s. But it was abandoned in 1945.
In the early days, the Big Bend country was a rancher’s dream. Native grasses grew in abundance and there was adequate water flowing from the creeks and springs. Land at that time was cheap. It held promise for anyone with the guts to struggle and willing to make an effort.
Open ranches were practised during that time so there was no fencing on their land. Cattles, sheeps, and goat herds were grazing freely. Life as rancher in Big Bend was challenging but they made this desert land their home.
With the notion to create Big Bend National Park, these ranchers eventually had to give up their home and sold their lands in 1930s and 1940s. Decision was not easy. Finally these ranchers gave way to the dream of creating a park to preserve and promote the wonders of the Big Bend.
Big Bend National Park was officially established on June 12, 1944 with the first year welcoming 1,409 visitors. In recent years, annual visitation has increased to over 300,000! However, it is still one of the least-visited national parks in United States even though its size is one of the largest in the country!
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