Day Trips: Kenedy Ranch Museum, Sarita
South Texas ranching family's history is told through colorful murals
The Kenedy Ranch Museum in Sarita mixes art with history. The story of the ranch, the pioneering family, and South Texas
is told through a series of murals and bronze statues adorning the ranch's former office.
Mifflin Kenedy came to the Rio Grande Valley at the opening shots of the Mexican-American War to make his fortune. After an amicable split in 1868, with his partner, Richard King, Kenedy built a ranching empire on the plains south of Corpus Christi. When his granddaughter, Sarita Kenedy East, died in 1961, much of Kenedy's assets passed to a charitable foundation that continues to operate 235,000 acres of the ranch that covers most of Kenedy County.
Even though it is the county seat, Sarita is very much a company town. The museum opened in 2003 in what was once the ranch's business office. Instead of a collection of family mementos, the museum's organizers chose to tell the family's history using traditional Mexican murals with an accompanying audio guide. Mexican muralist Daniel Lechón produced the paintings in his Houston studio. The noted illustrator of children's books in Spanish and English covered the walls of the 1927 brick building with colorful pictures that bring the story of South Texas to life.
The Kenedy Ranch Museum, at 200 E. La Parra Ave. in Sarita, is modest, but elegant. Ranch offices still occupy the upper floor. The museum is closed on Mondays and major holidays. For more information, go to www.kenedy.org.
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