tv History of Ranching in the American West CSPAN July 7, 2018 11:41am-12:01pm EDT
american history tv at c-span.org/history. >> the national ranging heritage center in lubbock tells the story of cattle ranching west of the mississippi river. part of the center is the historical park that preserves historic structures dating from the 1780's to the 1950's. jim bret campbell, the executive director, will show us some of these structures and how they helped ranchers adapt to a harsh environment. jim: the ranging heritage center really came about as a great public private partnership, really with the vision to create for the ranching industry west of the mississippi, what colonial williamsburg is to the eastern colonies. and to be able to capture the reaching heritage and history, and be able to interpret and tell the story of ranching, how it developed over 200 years from
the spanish land-grant all the way to modern-day. so they started off with the spanish land-grant in the early 1970 hundreds, that is represented -- early 1700s, that is represented by -- here. and it goes back to the german integration and when the major grants were given out during austin's time here, when a significant number of german immigrants came and created different settlements through central and south texas. then we come around to the frontier moving west, and almost a ft. worth and -- county, that really became the frontier. but the comanches still maintained control over everything west of that. but the structures go on and tell the story as architecture changed, as the railroads came and they were able to get lumber, then the architecture
and the types of things they were able to build changed over time. but in a most all of those cases, the ranches donated the structure, plus paid for it to be transported and reconstructed the way that it would have originally been during that initial time period. so many of the stories capture people's imagination and attention. i think as much as anything, probably some of our dugouts, we have the matador half dug out, that is now a multi-thousand acre ranch and it is a brand and name known around the world. out in basically a hole dug into the side of a hill with a simple structure in front of it. so those kinds of stories really capture our visitors.
and of course, we talk a little ranch.ut the four 6's we had the original barn. that structure continues to capture people's imagination, how theof the mystique, brand has become famous all across the world. they have shipped cattle and horses all across the world, so people identify with that brand who was they of -- classic example of bringing himself up by his own bootstraps. he got 100 head of cattle that had the 6666 brand on it and created a cattle empire by becoming friends with parker, who was the comanche chief who was half white, making a deal with him to be able to graze cattle in indian territory. but then that name has really become synonymous with the
american west. so that garners a lot of attention. we are going to walk through proctor park, our 19 acre historical park that features are 50 historic structures at the national ranging and heritage center. it starts with the spanish land-grant period. we are here at the little corral. it was built in 1780 on a spanish land-grant, just north of the rio grande river in south texas. it really represents the spanish influence, which pregenerated or were the originators of the ranching history and a started to develop ranching in mexico, then into texas. so, most correlated with -- los correlitos represents that time. the spanish were the ones who first brought cattle, sheep, goats and horses to the new world. so this is really the beginning
of the story. and it helps tell the spanish influence that really resonates becauseall of ranching, many of the words that we use like, even our word for rope, it comes from a spanish word. ramuda, which is what we call the herd of horses, all of those are spanish terms that have a significant influence on what we do on ranches, even today. an adobeas originally structure. it was built to be a dwelling. plus, to be a defense mechanism. and really a fort against bandits or indian attacks. so the walls are three feet thick. there are rifle ports in the walls where the defenders inside
were able to be able to fire out through the rifle ports. it also has these on the inside of the windows, so the defender could have a wide range of field of fire to be able to defend the four to itself. -- fort itself. it is a very substantial structure. it is our only preproduction here -- reproduction here. there was an original structure, but at one time in its history it was used as a burial site for members of the family, so in respect to that our historians did not want to disturb that site. so we actually reproduced it exactly as it was on its original site. at hedwig's who. -- hill. it was named that from the
family that originally built the structure. and it represents insignificant time period in ranching history. this was built during the time when -- the republic of texas, when there were grants given to a large blocks of primarily german immigrants, who immigrated from germany and settled significant portions of central texas. and so, this is structure was originally built to house a family, but in later times it was used as a general store. it was used as a way station, a post office, for a lot of different things that this was used for in central texas. but it was very common architecture that enabled the settlers to be able to take advantage of cooling winds. is essentially two cabins
built with a common roof, and a central breezeway or dog trot that did provide cooling winds, obviously in the summertime. and in fact, oftentimes in significant heat the family would probably sleep in this area, rather than actually sleeping in the bedrooms. so in this particular cabin, we can go ahead and walk over and we can see -- it would have been in theom for the adults family. there is a secondary bedroom also in one of these rooms. and then above us are actually two bedrooms above that the children would have slept in. obviously, the kitchen area. it began to be able to have more
the wagon trains and freight trains came from back east. so it was very important for the families to have mementos, photographs, things that reminded them of either the old country or back east. , very usable.y and utilitarian. back in this area, this would have been a storeroom for tools. many bulk items. corn, as well as a large trough to store milk and eggs. now we are at the division headquarters of the 3 million ranch, which has
captured imaginations around the world. this branch was originally developed by illinois developers, who exchanged building the capital building in austin for 3 million acres of ranch in west texas. so this was one of seven division headquarters located throughout the ranch. each one of the headquarters basically operated baton immensely. n, and woulds ow report to an office in channing, texas, north of here. oc this was in far west -- county, my home county. headquartersstone that was really built to be the central location, it was meant to be the ranch managers'headquarters --
manager's headquarters, along with the headquarters of that division, with an eating room for the cowboys where they could come and have at least two meals a day. loft wheres a huge 50-60 cowboys could sleep at one time. so it is a significant structure in our history, in our ranch history, because the xit, 3 million acres at one time it was the largest ranch under one fence in the united states. it was almost 6000 miles of fence to put this ranch under fence. but it really represented the time of changing from the open range to relieve the closed the range or barbed wire period, that came together really with the combination of the railroad moving west, the development of the windmill, and shipping of barbed wire into this part of the world. now we are at the 80 john house,
one of my favorite stories represented here at the national reaching heritage center. was daniels name webster wallace, and he was born to formerly slave parents, but he went to work for the man iench, which ran the add brand. he got his name because he was running that brand and always branded all of the calves with that brand and that name stuck with him his entire life. but he actually began to save his money. he was very frugal. he saved up enough to buy some cows of his own. he was able to buy some acres south of here. and eventually, he established his own ranch. so it is a great story of some
but it coming in and making their own way. and establishing their own ranch. and so, he actually built this framed structure. it is actually unique, it is built in the shape of a cross. so it has four porches on each side. that has enabled great airflow and it is a great design that really took advantage of capturing the cooler winds, protecting the house from the elements, and so it was a great design for this part of texas. but really the part i get enthralled about is just the story of addie john and how he could establish his own ranch, and made his own way. toward the end of his life, they actually discovered oil on his land, so he died a millionaire. and it made for his family to
actually go on and for those generations to go to college. and they continue to live through the land today. and we have actually had members of the family who have come back here to celebrate family reunions here at the house, so we are proud of that fact. those legacies of many of these ranches continue to carry on until the story -- and tell the story through this family lines. so we talked a lot about the cookhouse that was used to feed cowboys. this is a more modern version, this cookhouse came from the pitchfork ranch and it was built in 1900. it was used until 2010, when it was moved here. but twice a day, for almost 100 years, it said the cowboys of - - fed the cowboys of the ranch.
they would come here most days. and it really was the start of the day. so that is where they planned for the work that was going to r aawne when the stronaw boss would tell them where they were going to work that day. in a former lifetime, i was able to dine in this cookhouse with a lot of the cowboys and the manager was a great friend of mine. let's take a look inside the cookhouse. so inside of the cookhouse was where the day's work it got started. there was a pecking order and a hierarchy to his sat. so, when i was dining at the cookhouse, the ranch manager sat at the first place and then would pass around the rest of the breakfast to everybody else. but at the end of the meal, each cowboy was expected to get up,
take care of their own place. they washed their own plate, brought it back and turned it face down back at their place. and we have talked to historic cowboys that still remember where their place was when they were working on the pitchfork ranch. the pitchfork is another famous brand in cattle country and in ranch country. it has been visited by presidents, heads of state, many significant historians and folks that have come to learn about the pitchfork, and about ranching all across the united states. but it really culminates, this structure was continuing to be used in 2010 when it was brought here to become part of our historical park. but there are cookhouse is like this all across ranch country, where the cowboys come to start their day. there were certainly times when
it was lonely work and the lone cowboy and his horse are out in a lonely cabin, and certainly that is part of the story, but it also -- there is a strong family culture in the ranching industry. there is also a huge amount of camaraderie between a cowboy crew and it really is true that cowboys road for the brand. so, they treated that brand as if it was their own. and a lot of that camaraderie started in cookhouses like this or out of the chuck wagon, where they all gathered to eat every meal together for months at a time. and the chuck wagon really evil into the cookhouse -- evolved into the cookhouse. this is where the culture developed and the values and standards that were expected of those men, you know, really was set in stone and became part of
what we know as cowboy culture today. is an important part of the american tapestry. it was those folks that came out, that wanted to create a new life, that had vision and build this new industry, that has really resonated with people all over the world. we have folks from china, germany, europe, and south america who come and they want to hear about the ranching history. periodreally is a time that resonates with people all across the world. staffcer: are cities tour recently traveled to lubbock, texas to learn about its rich history. learn more about lubbock and other stops at c-span.org/citiestour. you are watching american history tv, all weekend, every weekend, on c-span3.
announcer: next on "the presidency," we hear about the evolution of decorative arts and design at the white house and its british roots. speakers are the surveyor of the queens works of art with the royal collection trust, and white house curator. this was part of a day long symposium hosted by the white house historical association and focused on the history of british and irish connections with the white house. this is an hour. curtis: for those of you who are here this morning, i'm dr. curtis sandberg. i direct the rubenstein center. i mentioned earlier that we spent the morning, for those of you who are back from the a.m., considering 200 years in the -- of the u.k. and ireland connections in the white house. we examined the role of james hoben. we have chronicled the contribution of scottish stonemasons. hopefully you have gone back and