The Jackson Ranch

National Historic Landmark

Since early 1800, many prominent Texans have labored on this beloved Estate. But, before anyone built any buildings, being the highest land in the area, the Native Americans used it for ceremonial grounds. You can feel the peace as soon as you enter the grounds!

Then the paper trail: Originally belonging to Maria Trinidad Guerrero; Then granted in 1832 to Manuel Tarin Leal for his military services (Spanish Land Grant), his family sold to Francois Giraud. Giraud was a city surveyor, architect of the old Ursuline Academy and of the Gothic portion of San Fernando Cathedral as well as a Mayor of the City of San Antonio. The property transferred from Giraud to local tax assessor and rancher WILLIAM H. JACKSON in 1853 who created a ranch with his 636 hectares. Neither the San Antonio Conservation Society nor I could find a deed of sale for this transaction, so we believe the property changed hands via a card game! Jackson also put a Stagecoach Stop on the property which he called "The Watering Hole". You see, Interstate 10 was 'Overland Pass', the thoroughfare for stagecoaches across the country. I10 is not far from the Jackson Ranch.

Al Drake and his wife, Alamo Heights socialite, Lanier Halstom-Drake, purchased the property in 1915. They turned the Jackson Ranch home into one of lavish style similar to that of the McNay Museum. Lanier Halstom was a friend of Marion Koogler McNay, who supported the arts and housed visiting aritists. When Diego Rivera had his shows in San Antonio in the 30's, Marion Koogler had no room for he and his wife. So, Diego and Frida stayed at the Jackson Ranch!

Passing through the hands of a few more with minor changes; One of the most recent owners vacated the property, leaving it abandoned for several years. The current owner has registered the property as a Historic Landmark.

The Jackson Ranch is utilized for many activities, including, a bi-annual Renaissance Faire and other festivals, concerts and recording sessions, weddings, mystery dinners and other private events, yoga, tai chi and other healing activities in the Chakra Garden, Haunted Mansion Sleepovers, and houses a film studio, Dream Sets SA.