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"Texas out buildings" Topic

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Razor78 Supporting Member of TMP20 Oct 2017 2:52 p.m. PST

What kind of outbuildings would go along with Miniature Building Authority's Texas Ranch House?


Would it just be corrals? And if a barn would it be made of similar material? Or wood like most barns?

Grizzly7120 Oct 2017 3:40 p.m. PST

Gonna need a well, and maybe a open sided barn.


Leadpusher Supporting Member of TMP20 Oct 2017 7:43 p.m. PST

Don't forget the outhouse and a shed or two.

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP21 Oct 2017 12:51 p.m. PST

If a good-sized spread, there would be a bunkhouse for the hands and perhaps a separate cook house. Kitchen fires burned down a lot of homes in the old days.

Razor78 Supporting Member of TMP21 Oct 2017 2:30 p.m. PST

Would they be made out of wood or the Sod(?) That the house is made from?

Andoreth21 Oct 2017 10:27 p.m. PST

Early buildings were made out of locally quarried caliche blocks and had thatched roofs. Later ranches used combinations of stone blocks sun dried bricks and wood.

In "El Rancho in Southern Texas" by Joe S Graham a larger ranch built during the 1850s is described as

"the house was low and rambling, built of frame, with an attic or half second storey, and an inviting bannistered front gallery. The dining room and kitchen, built of stone to avoid the hazard of fire, formed a separate building at the rear and was connected with the living quarters by an unroofed walkway open to the weather. A little to the north of this main house was the stone built commissary and store, together with a kitchen, eating space and sleeping quarters for extra hands, teamsters and those seeking work at the ranch. By the commissary stood a watchtower, and a men's dormitory for buyers, visitors and chance travellers. Further to the north were stables, corrals, carriage and wagon sheds, a busy blacksmith's shop and a rough line of small houses where ranch employees lived with their families. Sometime in the 1860s a one room school was established for children on the ranch.

Much of the lumber used to build these structures was secondhand material bought from the government when the Army post and depot in Corpus Christi was abandoned in 1857. Other lumber came from Louisiana and Florida brought through Corpus Christi and hauled to the ranch by ox cart and heavy wagon."

Atomic Floozy22 Oct 2017 7:27 p.m. PST

The type of outbuildings and the ranch house itself depends on when and where in Texas it was built.

The sod buildings you mention appeared in the Panhandle & on the Llano Estacado in the 1860s & 1870s. There were few of these ranches because the Indians still controlled the area. Ranch houses made of sod had few or no outbuildings, just a few lean-tos & covered shelters.

West Texas ranch houses were built of stone & in some cases sun dried brick. Sheds were made of the same material.

The large ranching operations that Andoreth describes in Central & South Texas did not come into existence in West Texas & the Panhandle until after 1875 when the Comanche were finally defeated. Many ranchers could not live full time on their ranches until the Indians were finally forced onto the reservations.

Most of this changed in the late 1880s as the railroad advanced from Dallas to El Paso and with better safer roads from San Antonio to El Paso. With the railroad came easier access to lumber for buildings.

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