Rancho Blanco, c 1924
“Rancho Blanco” c.1924 was collected in many parcels by Ryall Luther White-(1878 Jasper Tx-1962San Antonio). Grandfather’s wife was the granddaughter of George Washington Smyth, a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence.
The builder of the Pavilion on the lake was a German-descent man called Mr. Edwards, and his drawings and paperwork are long lost. The designer of the lodge was Gilbert Underwood Stanley (1890-1960), of National Park lodges fame, including the Lodge at the N Rim of the Grand Canyon, and the Old Faithful Lodge at Yellowstone National Park.
The lake was dammed twice: the first dam was 10’ high and built by RLWhite, Jr who died just before graduating from MIT in Civil Engineering in 1927, and a 40’ dam was built by his father RLWhite in approximately 1930. Grandfather White then went on to build 26 more dams on the 10,000 acres.
There is a historic stage coach inn, cemetery, and out-buildings on the West-most part of the ranch, and a cemetery dating back to the mid-1800s on the East-most part of the ranch. The Big Barn on the parcel to the South once housed the largest Hereford herd in Bexar county, which became the subject of a lawsuit against the IRS.
In approximately 1977, the 10,000 acre ranch was divided between the extended family into 3300 acre parcels, and again in 2006 between the current siblings into 1100 acre parcels, which are the sizes today. This tract is 1100 acres.
The ranch received its historical designation in May 26, 2008 from the Texas Historical Commission and the National Register of Historic Places.