Monday, June 23, 2014

Z Bar Ranch

First established in the late 1870's as the Spring Hill Ranch by a Texas cattle baron named Stephen Jones, it was known more recently as the Z Bar Ranch.  It was purchased by the National Park Trust in 1994.  180 acres were set aside by Congress in 1996 as the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve. The TPNP is managed by the National Park Service to preserve, protect, and interpret the ranch home site and the surrounding tallgrass prairie rangeland.  The property was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1997.
On a bluff overlooking Fox Creek Valley is the stately Second Empire style ranch house, built in 1881 of native stone - with a huge stone barn and stone outbuildings.
A view from the front...
This massive ranch overlooks the Kansas Prairie.
This is located in the Flint Hills. I love the Flint Hills...and why???
because it looks like it did when the early settlers crossed it in covered wagons.
I imagine the lives of these settlers. The hardships, the courage...
the heat, the bugs, snakes, lack of food, water...
A covered wagon traveled about 12 miles per day...on a good day. This fact just amazes me.
I drove there in about two hours. About 125 miles from my house to Strong City.
hmmm...by wagon train, that same distance would have taken over 10 days.
Now, is that not amazing???
The Chicken Coop
Outhouse
I've never seen one built with limestone.
and just look how fancy it was...
hahaha
A 3 holer ...pretty spiffy!

A beautiful view of the Kansas prairie. I can imagine what it must have looked like in the 1890's.
First of all, there would be no paved roads.
A huge limestone barn.
Lower Fox Creek school was built of locally quarried (beautiful) stone circa 1880 and served the educational needs of the rural area until the 1930's.

This  was a great adventure!
 Adventure
It is usually fairly easy to follow a direct route to our goals. But as the sage knows, it is the interesting distractions along the way that bring a deeper understanding of life. - Lao Tzu 
ommmm

18 comments:

Debra She Who Seeks said...

That's the fanciest shitter I've ever seen!

Arkansas Patti said...

I had a great, great aunt that traveled by covered wagon. She said no one rode, that the wagons were full of possessions. Everyone walked. She had a baby on the way and was given about an hour to recoup before walking again. Wow.
Loved that 3 hole'er. Rich people in my area had 2 hole'ers. Three is awesome.

ellen abbott said...

One of my greats grandmothers came to Texas in a covered wagon.

turquoisemoon said...

Debra, I thought it was very fancy too! Built of limestone, so it would have been fairly cool in the summer and fairly warm in winter...them was rich folks...hahaha!

Patti, The hardships they endured was amazing. I can't imagine only having an hour to recoup...sheesh! They were so hardy and so brave.

Ellen, Do you know much of her travels? It would be interesting.

Out on the prairie said...

Love that limestone, there is a real charm with it.

turquoisemoon said...

Steve...it also was cool in our hot Kansas summers.

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

Thank goodness for modern travel!

Beautiful photographs. What a fun photographic adventure.

turquoisemoon said...

Martha, I always think I would have made a good settler. I love the history and maybe the romance, but reality is. I love my modern conveniences too...

Cathy Sherman said...

Great photos. The flag wasn't flying when I photographed the Lower Fox Creek school. There was also an employee truck parked in front of the Chicken Coop. I felt cheated of my photo ops, ha, ha!

I've been taking photos of one-room schoolhouses, inspired by the fact that my mother attended one in South Dakota and then taught at the same one for one year. Her younger brother was an eighth-grader when she taught there. She has some great stories.

My mother's wood frame schoolhouse wasn't nearly as substantial as some I've seen in Kansas, such as Lower Foxhill School. The stonework is spectacular.

turquoisemoon said...

Cathy, Knowing you, you'll go back and get another photo. hahaha

Cathy Sherman said...

Ha, Ha, I'm already plotting my "triumphant" return to the Tallgrass Prairie.

I really admire the stamina of the pioneers and am amazed how they created such beauty, despite hardship.

I'm really glad you posted these photos. You are the pioneer! Most of my Tallgrass photos are still sitting in my computer.

turquoisemoon said...

Cathy, I'm going to wait till there's a storm coming. I've seen some beautiful shots of storms in the Flint Hills and I want one!!!

Linda Starr said...

what a place to visit, love rock buildings, the chickens lived in luxury, I also love the quote it's so true the distractions bring meaning.

Dee said...

Dear Turquoise Moon, I so need to follow your example and do some day trips! I've always been somewhat of a recluse, but your photos and text have me changing my mind. I'm going to take to the road. Thanks. Peace.

turquoisemoon said...

Dee, I've been doing so much running around, I've neglected this blog. I've also neglected my yard, my house, etc. I thought I'd try to get as many photos this summer as I could, then do some catching up as the weather cools. Thanks for visiting.

barbara judge said...

Limestone as a building material sure produced some lovely buildings featured in your post. I especially got a kick out of the curtains in the outhouse. Your Lao Fzu quote at the end of your post is so true!--barbara

Linda said...

Hi TM.... Hope all is well I LOVE that chicken house...I want it...I think the girls would like it too...hehehe :)

turquoisemoon said...

Barbara, That certainly was a beautiful outhouse.

Linda, I'm sure the "girls" would love that ole chicken coop.