Lunch at Guadeloupe Mountains National Park: Frijole Ranch Museum

The Rader brothers settled here in the 1870’s with a few cattle. This was the first cattle ranch in the area and this is the oldest house in the area.

The Smith family moved here in the summer of 1906. They made a living primarily by farming and with a small orchard. They would take their produce to the closest town 60 miles away to sell via an old truck along poor roads. They added an additional story to the house, built the spring house, built the school house and a small guest house.

The red building was used as a bunk house, storage shed, barn and schoolhouse for the 8 local children. The teacher was paid $30/month plus room and board and a horse.

The Frijole Ranch, named after the standard diet of the area: beans, was the center of community activity. From 1912 to 1940 it was the site of the US Post Office.

In the early 1940’s Judge JC Hunter bought up this property and many surrounding properties to raise Angora sheep and goats.