Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Park is located in central Texas about 50 miles west of Austin in Texas Hill Country. The park protects the birthplace, home, ranch and final resting place of Lyndon Baines Johnson, 36th President of the United States.
The park consists of the Johnson City District and the LBJ Ranch District which is located about 14 miles west of Johnson City. The ranch is on the north side of the Pedernales River and was the Johnson family retreat area and site of the family cemetery. To access the ranch visitors first enter the Lyndon B Johnson State Park and Historic Site which then leads to a self-guided auto driving tour to the National Historic Park. A permit is required and is obtained free of charge at the State Park.
The LBJ Ranch is 1570 acres of land of which 674 acres are federal property which have been donated by the Johnson family. The land is where President Johnson was born, lived, died, and was buried. After the President’s death in 1973, Mrs. Johnson continued to live part-time at the ranch until her passing in 2007. The land was a true working ranch complete with 400 head of registered Hereford cattle. Even while serving as a Senator, Senate Majority Leader, Vice President, and President of the United States, LBJ still was involved in the day-to-day operations of the ranch.
LBJ attended Junction School, a one-room schoolhouse located near the family ranch prior to moving to Johnson City. In 1972 the National Park foundation purchased the land and made it part of the National Historic Site.
The LBJ Ranch is also known as the “Texas White House” as the President spent considerable time during his time in office there. The doormat at the house states “All the World is Welcome Here” and that sentiment remains true today as the home and ranch are open to anyone wishing to visit. Although the ranch tours are free, tours of the White House are $3 per person.
Adjacent to the National Historic Park is the Lyndon B Johnson State Park. It houses a visitors center that contains memorabilia from President Johnson’s presidency and interactive displays about the land and people of the area. The park is free to visit and offers picnicking, fishing, swimming, and wildlife viewing.
A short hike down a wooded path from the state park is the Sauer-Beckmann Farmstead which is a living history farm presented as it was in 1918. Interpreters wear clothing reminiscent of the era and conduct farm and household chores as they were done in the early 1900’s. Present on the farm are chickens, turkeys, beef cattle, dairy cattle along with deer and other wildlife. The farm is also free to visit.
We enjoyed our visit to the area and highly recommend it as a day-trip for people of all ages.
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