Yesterday’s outing was to Stonewall, Texas which is home to the Texas White House of Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President of the United States. We began the tour by watching a movie at the visitor’s center. As with all National Parks, it was a very well done and informative movie.
The National Park Service now oversees the LBJ Ranch which includes Johnson’s birthplace, his earliest school, the Texas White House, and the Johnson Family Cemetery. We began our tour with a stop at Johnson’s first school which is the actual school on it’s original location.
Next we came to the site of Johnson’s birth. Johnson had the house rebuilt to it’s original specifications just as it was in 1908. It is furnished with original pieces owned by the Johnson family. This is the actual bed where Lyndon Baines Johnson first made his appearance into this world.
We also passed by Lyndon Johnson’s grandfather’s ranch house as well as the original entrance to the ranch. The original entrance ran across a damn on the Pedernales river where they actually drove through the water to get onto the property. This is one of the President’s many cars on display.
The drive to the house took us around the end of the 6,300 foot runway where the President’s plane would land and taxi right up behind the house – “Honey, I’m home!!” This is still a working ranch so we encountered several herds of cattle which are offspring from the herds owned by the Johnson family.
Finally, we arrived at the ranch house itself. The house is located along the banks of the Pedernales River. The house has 28 rooms and is 8,000 square feet. As you can see, the President and Lady Bird were on hand to welcome us.
President Johnson spent about 25 percent of his presidency working out of his office on the ranch. He was the first President to have a satellite office outside of Washington, D. C.. This is the Texas White House portion of the house.
Pictures weren’t allowed in the house, but it was a very good tour with a National Park Service guide narrating. Here are a couple of pictures of the house itself.
The President’s shuttle plane, which he dubbed Air Force One Half, was on display as well as several of his automobiles.
The Johnson Family Cemetery, where the President and Lady Bird were laid to rest, is located on the ranch and right next to the Pedernales river. This ranch was a major part of Lyndon Baines Johnson’s life and it’s only fitting that his remains get to spend eternity on it.
It was farewell to the LBJ ranch and way past time to find something good to eat so we hustled on back to Fredericksburg for some mighty fine German cooking. We met Jim and Ellie at Der Lindenbaum on Main Street where our hunger pangs were more than satisfied. After lunch we took a short stroll around Fredericksburg which is a neat little city. We’ll be back again to visit the Nimtz and Pacific War Museums and to spend sometime shopping (girls that is).
So, thar ya have it from the Texas Hill Country. Hope you enjoyed the tour and be sure to check back tomorrow to see what today brings. It’s going to be a slow paced day, but we’ll be out and about none the less.
May God Bless - - - - - - - - -