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Rancho Santa Maria

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c. 1870. U.S. 281, 0.5 miles east of Santa Maria

Also known as Casa Blanca, the ranch fulfilled many functions, including subpost to Forts Brown and Ringgold, telegraph office, general store, stagecoach stop, and steamboat landing. Although altered and damaged as a result of a devastating hurricane in 1933, the complex of whitewashed brick buildings still commands a presence with a two-story main house that has a long, one-story side wing that housed the stables and telegraph office. To the rear and to the sides, a detached kitchen, armory with brick quoins, octagonal bathhouse, gabled tenant cottage, and cisterns cluster around the main house. The house has a well-proportioned brick cornice and corbeled chimneys revealing that adept brick craftsmanship extended even to the rural areas of the border.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "Rancho Santa Maria", [Brownsville, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas: Central, South, and Gulf Coast, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013, 306-306.

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