where it all started
In 1913, the J.K. Weldon family invested the money earned from cotton and cattle sales in the purchase of a ranch near McAdam's Peak. Today, this land located in the northern-most extension of the famed Texas Hill Country is called The Ranch On Possum Kingdom. The original homestead and barn built in 1913 still stand and are in use today. Plows, wagons and other farming equipment used by the Weldon family remain here as a reminder of how the “good old days” must have been. For over 90 years, this land has remained a working cattle ranch. Hills once inhabited by Indians now are called home by a few lucky families.
Just as The Ranch has a spirited past, so does the scenic region of Texas of which it is a part. Known as the cradle of the cattle industry in America, its wooded hills and valleys were home to Oliver Loving and Charles Goodnight, the pioneering cattleman who inspired Larry McMurtry's legendary tale "Lonesome Dove". Running right through the middle of this famed cattle country is the Brazos River. Legend has it that the Brazos River got its name from early Spanish explorers. Exhausted and close to death after running out of drinking water, they came upon the river and christened it "Brazos de Dios", meaning "Arms of God", in thanksgiving. Another tale says it was named this because of the great spread of its tributaries - far reaching like the "Arms of God".
In the 1930s the damming of the Brazos River created Possum Kingdom Lake. The official name of the lake project was Morris Sheppard Dam and Lake Possum Kingdom. Sheppard, a Senator from Texas who had supported the project during the Depression, was given the naming honor for ensuring the project's completion. But spunky residents in the area resented the lake being named after a highbrowed Yale graduate and insisted on a name that would better fit the local area. Hence, the shortening of the name to the more popular Possum Kingdom Lake - a name coined by local fur trader Ike Sablosky who dubbed the area "possum kingdom" because it was his best source of possum hides.
Today, the area's lively history is still an integral part of modern life at The Ranch. Herds of longhorn cattle still roam the pastures, and arrowheads and limestone fossils are a special reminder of bygone days. The integrity and traditions of those who came before are honored and preserved for new generations. Now you can embrace this timeless piece of Texas history, available for just a select few to enjoy.