We stayed at the Seawind RV Resort in Riviera Texas for several days. The Resort is on Bayfin bay along the Gulf of Mexico. We took in a tour of the “King Ranch” during our stay. The short story of the King Ranch is this: The Rio Grande river boat captain Richard King bought up some good for nothing arid land in Texas. Nobody wanted it. He was an inventive sort a guy, and raised longhorn cattle. He did cattle drives to Kansas City for market sales. The Longhorn’s can exist with little water, but they are not very tasty, but good enough for the times. He successfully cross-bread Brahman bulls, native to India, with British Shorthorn stock, and called his new breed the Santa Gertrudis, which did very well. He also bred his own quarter horse’s fit for the Texas climate. Drilling for water they found oil, but there was no real need for it in the 1870’s. The ranch now is over 1.2 million acres in size, and privately held by family. The nearest city is Kingsville. I found it interesting that a beef purchaser can order whatever quality, and quantity of meat they want, and the ranch will produce it. Ten’s of thousands of head at a time.
In 1852 Captain King went to Mexico to buy his Longhorns, he hired the entire village to work on his new ranch including the woman, and children. Ms. King had a passion for schooling the children, and also hiring traveling ministers for their church. The community grew, the families all lived on the ranch, and for the most part Mr. and Mrs. King respected and took on the responsibility of taking care of the entire population.
There are thirty managers responsible for there own section of land. Everyone has been inventive on doing what it takes to, “Get ‘er done.” I thought the bump-gates were cool. You drive up to a gate, bump it with the front of the truck and it opens, and then closes behind the truck. Sweet. With over a million acres to cover, the bump-gates save time.