Texian Stomping Grounds Page: 59
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RANCHO BUENA VISTA:
Its Ways of Life and Traditions
By Fermina Guerra
In the extreme northeastern part of Webb County, fifty miles
from Laredo by highway and ranch road, and twenty-one miles
from Encinal, lies the Buena Vista Ranch. It is not large as
ranches go, containing only about three thousand acres; but it
has its full share in the romantic traditions of the ranch country.
The land is typical brush country, covered with mesquite,
black chaparral, coma, huisache, granjeno, brasil, sapote, amar-
goso, and other shrubs. There is an abundance of prickly pear,
pitahaya, zacasil, tasajillo and other forms of cactus. Mesquite
grass abounds, and, in the lower places, foxtail and other tall
grasses grow. In early times, the plains for twenty miles around
were covered breast high with zacate de bestia, but all this tall
grass is gone now. The hardy bunch grasses best survive drouths
The country is broken by many gravel hills, the slopes of
which are covered with fragments of petrified wood. From them
a grotto twenty-five feet in length, six feet in width, and eight
feet in height has been erected at the ranch house.
A stone's throw west of the ranch house flows a creek,
generally a mere trickle of water interspersed with esteros, deep
pools. In time of flood it overflows to cover a half-mile-wide
valley, and brings destruction in its wake. It rises in the high
land to the south and empties into the Nueces River, eighteen
miles to the north. Near its source, it is called El Pato, (Duck),
in its middle course, La Becerra (Heifer Calf), and near its
mouth, La Parida, this last name meaning a female-perhaps a
cow, perhaps a woman-with a new-born offspring.
The country is, comparatively speaking, newly settled. For
instance, there had been ranches and towns along the Rio Grande
since 1755, but in 1860, when Don Justo Guerra and his two
sons, Florencio and Carmen, brought their herds of sheep and
goats across the Rio Grande at Laredo, the country to the north
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Dobie, J. Frank (James Frank), 1888-1964. Texian Stomping Grounds, book, 1941; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc67663/m1/67/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Press.