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Boone Pickens' Mesa Vista Ranch: Over 100 Square Miles of Prime Eastern Texas Panhandle Ranch with Outstanding Improvements
#230169
Roberts, 
64,809.00 acres
With the recent passing of Boone Pickens, the listing price of the Mesa Vista Ranch has been reduced from the original price of $250,000,000 to $220,000,000. LOCATION: The Mesa Vista Ranch is located in Roberts County in the Eastern Texas Panhandle. The ranch is located about 30 miles north of Pampa, Texas, and approximately 85 miles northeast of Amarillo. ACRES: 64,809 +/- Acres HISTORY: In 1971, Boone purchased approximately 2,900 acres along the south side of the Canadian River in Roberts County, Texas. Over the years, Boone began to assemble additional adjoining land positioned along the Canadian River corridor, and today the Mesa Vista Ranch comprises over 100 square miles of prime Eastern Texas Panhandle ranch land. As Boone's assemblage continued, he spent millions and millions of dollars to make Mesa Vista one of the best improved ranches in the United States. He used cutting edge conservation practices to enhance the wildlife on the property. Today Boone proudly boasts that the Mesa Vista Ranch is, "the world's best quail hunting." PROPERTY DESCRIPTION: As Boone expanded his holdings, his focus always remained centered along the Canadian River. Today, the Mesa Vista Ranch stretches approximately 25 miles along the south side of the Canadian River. This lush river bottom land creates the centerpiece for the property, but the ranch features an unmatched variety of land types ranging from rolling sand hills to elevated ridges, mesa points and gently rolling, open prairie lands. The river bottom and numerous major drainages support abundant massive cottonwood trees, as well as willows, hackberry trees and others. Much of the river bottom is sub-irrigated and suitable for native hay production. Live spring water is found throughout several of the major drainages. In an effort to enhance wildlife on the property, over the years, Boone has been a leader in conservation practices that are now followed by many other sportsmen in the country. As a testament to Boone's conservation efforts, in 2008 he was named the recipient of the prestigious Park Cities Quail Unlimited Lifetime Sportsman Award. Boone maintains a small cow herd on the ranch, 400-500 cows Boone has placed over 1,000 quail feeders and numerous deer feeders on the ranch. He has created a number of food plot areas and added a network of buried waterlines with small water outlets to create wet areas for quail. LODGE COMPOUND: The Lodge, along with multiple support structures is located in a manicured, tree covered "park-like" setting. It is common to view whitetail deer and turkey in the mornings and afternoons, with turkey roosting in the trees in the late evening. This Lodge Compound has been the major gathering area for Boone's family and guests over the years. It has served an important role as a place where corporate heads have met to discuss and craft multi-million-dollar business transactions, politicians and large donors have gathered for political events. Few if any facilities can match the beauty of the Lodge Compound. Initial construction on the Lodge began in 1988, with numerous updates and additions added over the years. Presently, the Lodge itself comprises in excess of 25,000 square feet with an additional approximately 10,000 square feet of porches and patio areas. Surrounding the Lodge is significant landscaping, in-ground sprinkler systems, and underground electrical service. Adding to the ambiance of the Lodge are numerous bronze sculptures tastefully positioned on the grounds. In addition to the Lodge and support structures, the compound features a lighted tennis court, a skeet/trap range, and a small golf course with two fairways and greens and nine tee boxes. The Family House, which was completed in 2009, is located west of the Main Lodge. This house is a two-story with a third floor lounging and viewing room. The Family House contains over 6,000 square feet of living area and approximately 2,500 square feet of porches and patios. The Pub is located north of the Family House and is a two-story structure containing approximately 2,250 square feet of air-conditioned area. The Gun Room is a freestanding, single-story structure containing over 400 square feet. This building was constructed in 2005 and features a lounge area, bathroom, and kitchenette. The Gate House, adjacent to the golf course, is a single family, two-story residence with partial basement. This house has approximately 2,300 square feet of living area, an attached two-car garage, and a deck area. In 2007 Boone constructed a charming Chapel located on the north end of the Lodge Compound area. This chapel is situated along the banks of a flowing creek and lake area. Adjacent to the Chapel is the Memory Garden, which was constructed in 2014. There are pergolas and a beautiful stair-cased waterfall feature behind the structure. In addition to the above, the Lodge Compound includes other support structures such as storage buildings and the Hilltop House, which is a children's play house. Overall, the Lodge Compound area is the most user-friendly facility on the ranch. It is designed to house large groups for entertaining or business functions. LAKE HOUSE: Boone's Lake House has been featured in Architectural Digest Magazine and Cowboys and Indians Magazine. The Lake House contains approximately 11,500 square feet of living area and over 3,800 square feet of porches and patios. The front entry door was originally the front door to Bing Crosby's home. The upper level of the home features a large living/great room with fireplace, dining area, master bedroom and bath, 1 1/2 bathrooms, kitchen, utility room, and elevator. A spiral staircase with stone imported from France leads to the lower level where there are two guest bedrooms, three bathrooms, wine cellar and tasting room, office, exercise room, utility room, cedar closet, mechanical room, and storm/safe room. Outdoor balcony railings are bronze and all balconies and porch areas overlook astonishing water features, such as lakes, ponds, waterfalls, and aqueducts. The landscaping, topography features, and water enhancements make the Lake House truly "fit for a king." AIRPORT AND HANGAR: The airport is located on the western portion of the ranch. The runway is approximately 6,000 feet long and 100 feet wide. The airport facility was designed and built with FAA approval and meets all of their requirements and regulations. Approach lights are installed along the runway. The runway itself is constructed of one-foot thick concrete. This airport runway is designed to handle most any size private aircraft. Adjacent to the runway is a 52,600-square foot concrete tarmac, which connects the airport to the hangar. The hangar facility contains approximately 25,000 square feet with epoxy coated concrete floor. It features a heated electric hangar door opening system, an attractive lounge and restroom area downstairs and a two-bedroom, two-bathroom pilot's apartment upstairs. The entire airport complex is located within an 8-foot-high game fence constructed of 2 1/2 inch steel posts with heavy gauge net wire. In addition, the facility is equipped with a standby 350KW generator system for auxiliary power. DOG KENNEL: The Dog Kennel is located east of the Lodge complex, between the Lodge and the highway. The Kennel contains approximately 11,000 square feet of usable kennel area, with approximately 3,600 feet being enclosed and air conditioned. There are 40 chain-link dog pens, 20 on each side of a concrete center alleyway. The Kennel is equipped with full office facilities, a large meat processing-center. The facility includes a veterinary lab, upper level storage, overhead crane and bathroom. WATER FEATURES: The Canadian River itself generally forms the north boundary of the ranch for a distance of approximately 25 miles. This river bottom is wide and fertile with a shallow water table. In some areas, standing pockets of water are common and portions of the river bottom are sub-irrigated. In the early 2000's Boone began a massive water enhancement project, likely never before conceived or duplicated by a private citizen. By dredging and building a chain of dams, waterfalls, lakes, and other water enhancements, Boone created possibly the largest individual water park ever envisioned. In addition to the countless lakes and ponds, he created a flowing, man-made creek called "Boone's Creek," which basically parallels the Canadian River. By dredging into the standing water table in the Canadian River bottom, this creek was formed. Boone, however, was not satisfied with standing water in the creek and wanted ever flowing running water throughout the creek bottom. With the use of well water injected into the creek, Boone's Creek flows several thousand gallons per minute throughout this stretch of roughly 12 miles of creeks, lakes, waterfalls and ponds, all of which are man-made. With a system of pumps and pipelines, much of this water can be recirculated and used over and over. Without question, Boone has created an unmatched oasis in the Texas Panhandle. WILDLIFE: The Mesa Vista Ranch supports a variety of wildlife. Whitetail deer thrive in the productive creek bottom areas and mule deer are found throughout the sandhills, broken ridges, and mesa points on the southeast side of the ranch. Aoudad are also viewed from time to time in this rougher portion of the property. Antelope are found on the open plains country on the southwest side of the ranch. Besides quail, dove are also abundant and water fowl are seasonally present on many of the lakes. Hundreds and hundreds of turkeys are common throughout the tree-covered bottom lands. Most all of the lakes have been stocked with a variety of fish, and fishing is reported to be excellent. The southern portion of the Mesa Vista Ranch is improved with pivot sprinkler systems and irrigation wells. Portions of this land are planted in a combination of wheat and millet, providing outstanding habitat for pheasant. All in all, with the water features, varying terrain, and conservation measures in place on the Mesa Vista Ranch, it would be hard to find a better recreational property in this area of Texas. RANCH RESOURCES: Roberts County is known to have prolific saturated thickness of quality Ogallala ground water, along with substantial oil and gas resources. The Mesa Vista Ranch is located in an area of prolific quality ground water, being in the Ogallala Water Formation. Over the years, hundreds of thousands of acres of water rights have been sold in Roberts County for municipal water purposes. Recent commercial water sales in the area indicate that water rights have a commercial value in the range of $400 - $500 per acre. As previously discussed, Boone acquired the Mesa Vista Ranch in a series of purchases over the years. Boone obtained water rights in the earlier purchases, but in more recent years, as he acquired adjoining land, the commercial water rights were already sold, due to their commercial value. Overall, Boone owns approximately 42,000 acres of water rights, which will convey with the sale. This is considered to be an extremely valuable asset. In addition to this water resource, minerals are also considered to be a valuable resource in Roberts County. Like the water, Boone obtained a portion of the minerals on the earlier land purchases, but as he expanded to the east and west in more recent years, he was unable to obtain minerals with these acquisitions. There is scattered oil and gas activity on the Mesa Vista Ranch. All of Boone's owned mineral interests will convey. In 2015, Boone's oil and gas royalty income totaled approximately $2,560,000. In 2016, with oil and gas prices declining, the total royalty income dropped to approximately $771,000. For the first nine months of 2017 the royalty income is approximately $541,000. Again, all owned water rights, all owned mineral rights, and royalty will convey with the property. There are a number of large, operating wind farms located in the Texas Panhandle. All wind generation royalty rights are also included. PRICE AND REMARKS: The Boone Pickens' Mesa Vista Ranch is offered for sale at a price of $220,000,000. It seems impossible to comprehend all of the improvements made to this property, whether it is structural improvements, water enhancements, landscaping, wildlife conservation features, or others. As example, thousands of tons of landscaping rock, trees, shrubbery, plants, etc. were imported to the property over the years. Early on, Boone hired Tommy Ford, an architect from Dallas, Texas, to help in the planning, drafting, and construction of the many improvements placed on the ranch. Together, Boone and Tommy had the vision to take raw ranch land and transform this property into what now represents Mesa Vista Ranch. In a recent conversation with Tommy Ford, he estimated that the total volume of building materials, landscaping rocks, trees, and other enhancements delivered to the ranch would exceed 120 trains, with each train load containing 110 cars of materials. Having overseen most all of the major structural construction on the property, Tommy estimated replacement cost of over $140,000,000, not counting the added cost of dredging and developing the lakes and creek water systems on the property. To our knowledge, no other ranch can replicate Boone's Mesa Vista Ranch. He has spent nearly 50 years transforming this Texas Panhandle Ranch into a wildlife paradise with spectacular water features and improvements fit for a king. The sale of the Mesa Vista Ranch is basically "turn key," including all rolling stock, equipment, pick-up trucks, hunting vehicles, farming equipment, furnishings, bird dogs, etc. The only exclusions are Boone's personal effects, livestock, and his vast art collection. The livestock are available to be purchased separately, as is the majority of the art collection. "You do everything to make the land perfect, hoping the next owner has the same passion." - T. Boone Pickens Qualified buyers can schedule a showing of the property by contacting the Brokers. Offered Jointly and Exclusively By Chas. S. Middleton and Son and Hall and Hall
$220,000,000
Dawson Elk Valley Ranch
#383251
Colfax, 
50,658.00 acres
A truly expansive holding set amongst a community of large and famous ranches, Dawson Elk Valley Ranch is comprised of 50,658+/- deeded and contiguous acres. The ranch is located in beautiful Colfax County where it rises from the most western reaches of the Great Plains to the front range of the rugged Cimarron Mountains. This regions wildlife habitat and elk herds are of great renown and best exemplified by this property and its unmatched size and location. The lifeblood of the ranch is the Vermejo River, which bisects the property for 11 miles. Numerous canyons, tributary creeks, and lush valleys feed into the river all converging at the heart of the ranch. The lowest elevations along Highway 64 are found at the bottom of the river valley at approximately 6,150. The elevation rises as the property climbs through a series of valleys and ridgetops, achieving 2,000 of elevation gain at the backdrop of Ted Turners 560,000+/- acre Vermejo Park Ranch, which is famous for many of the same features offered at Dawson Elk Valley. The mountainous and timbered northern reaches of the ranch, locally known as the Sangre de Cristos, yield to mesas and valleys which in turn, give way to the river valley and lower prairies. Such a combination of diverse habitat types clearly supports a rich biome and diversity of game. The ranch is located within New Mexico Game Unit 55A, a newly designated Special Management Zone. This Special Management Zone occupies an area of quality elk habitat that is largely held by private landowners. As such, private land elk authorizations are now allocated through a negotiation between the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and ranch managers. Because of its flourishing resident elk herd, the ranch has been able to obtain all of the authorizations it has needed though ownership has conservatively hunted the ranch. Large numbers of mule deer, black bear, coyote, bobcats, mountain lion, Merriams turkey, and the occasional white-tailed deer reside on the property. Offered with the ranch is a 50% interest in the privately held York Canyon Branch rail line. The line traverses nearly 37 miles from I-25 just west of the community of Maxwell, passing though the ranch for 11 miles, and terminating in the Vermejo Park Ranch. It is a rare opportunity for such a unique asset to be on the market within a ranch offering of this quality. Dawson Elk Valley Ranch is rich in history, ecological and physical assets, and diversity of game and habitat. The Facts: ~ Approximately 50,039+/- contiguous acres in Colfax County, NM. ~ Adjoins the 560,000+/- acre Vermejo Park Ranch ~ 15 miles to Raton Airport offering a 7,620 runway and full services ~ Vermejo River descends through the ranch for 11 miles ~ World-class elk hunting ~ 50% interest in 36.9 mile York Canyon Branch rail line ~ 50% of sellers owned minerals and 100% of executive rights convey. ~ All owned water rights convey. ~ Estimated 110 million tons of high BTU low-sulfur coal reserves convey
$96,000,000
Bluffs of St. Teresa
#183085
Franklin, 
17,080.00 acres
Situated among rolling hills along the scenic shore of the Gulf of Mexico, the Bluffs of Saint Teresa is over 17,000 acres of magnificent land with characteristics that are truly unique. There is nothing like it in Florida or on the northern Gulf coast today. The Bluffs of St. Teresa represents what early Florida visitors called paradise, and for a savvy land buyer, offers a rare opportunity to invest in it. Floridas allure, from its early days to the present, begins with three fundamental traits that set it apart from every other state our abundant sunshine, year-round beautiful weather, and easy access to water. While these qualities are in ample supply at the Bluffs of St. Teresa, they are just the beginning of its story. This property is secluded, yet accessible to the Big Bend area of Floridas eastern panhandle and shares a contiguous border with Bald Point State Park on the Gulf of Mexico. US 98 fronts the acreage for a total of 9 miles and the capital city of Tallahassee is a short 45 minute drive away. The beaches of Alligator Point, communities of Panacea, and St. Teresa are all just minutes from this property. There is an astounding 17 miles of frontage on some of Floridas most beautiful waterways, including 2 miles on the Gulf of Mexico, over 6 miles on Ochlockonee Bay and 8.5 miles on the lazy winding Ochlockonee River. No large, single property available in the state of Florida today can lay claim to this same feature. The majority of the acreage is uplands high and dry with sandy soils and picturesque bluffs that quickly rise to 20 feet in some areas. The soils are well drained, ensuring opportunity for residential and commercial development. The Bluffs of St. Teresa is currently managed for timber production with most of the uplands planted to pine. Continuation of the forestry program can produce an uninterrupted revenue stream until the property is developed. However, the fundamental attraction of this land is its sheer beauty, uniqueness, and future potential. An investor with vision will also see this propertys long-term appreciation and wealth preservation as solid reasons to invest in its future. The Bluffs of St. Teresa, located in paradise and accessible, with uncommon attributes and future potential make it difficult to imagine a piece of land with more appeal.
$50,000,000
Swenson Family Flat Top Ranch
#245957
Jones, 
41,000.00 acres
This property has been recently reduced from $1200 per acre to $985. The Flat Top Division of the legendary Swenson Ranch was established in 1853 – 1854 and the ranch contains 41,000 ± acres. Elevations on the ranch range from approximately 1,600’ feet to around 1,750’. The terrain over the eastern portion of the Flat Top Ranch is described as nearly level to gently rolling and sloping towards several noticeable drainages, all draining to the northeast. A very prominent elevated mesa, known as Flat Top Mountain, is located on the west-half of the ranch. The elevation change from the country below the mesa top to the country on the upper edge of the mesa is approximately 100 feet. The east face of the mesa is steep and rocky, but much of the mesa top is level and gently sloping. Views from the mesa edge are very impressive. To the west of the large mesa top, the level country transitions to header draws, becoming deeper canyon drainages, all flowing to the northwest to the Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos River. Native grass cover is considered to be good to excellent over much of the property. Principal native grasses include several varieties of bluestem, side oats grama, Texas winter grass, Arizona cottontop, blue grama, buffalo grass, tobosa, vine-mesquite, western wheat grass and sand drop seed. With favorable winter moisture, wildrye and filaree are abundant over major portions of the ranch. Approximately 6,300 acres are in cultivation, scattered over about a dozen fields throughout the ranch. All of the cultivated land is farmed on a dryland basis, principally farmed in wheat for seasonal grazing of livestock. With large areas of the ranch having very productive soils, it is estimated that an additional 10,000 acres could be broken out and farmed, if desired. With normal precipitation, this area of Texas is considered desirable wheat pasture country. LOCATION The ranch is generally located immediately west of Stamford, Texas, but two small non-contiguous tracts are located north and east of Stamford. Access to all major portions of the ranch are by paved highways and county roads. The ranch has an extensive network of well-maintained private ranch roads, making the property very accessible overall. Abilene, Texas is approximately 40 miles south of the ranch, with Fort Worth being approximately 180 miles to the east and Lubbock being approximately 140 miles to the northwest. The ranch is located on the Texas Rolling Plains, which is an area widely recognized for ranching, farming, mineral production, and in more recent years, outstanding hunting. HISTORY The historic Swenson Ranches trace their origin to Svante Magnus Swenson, the first Swedish immigrant to arrive in Texas, landing near what is now Galveston in 1838. The famous SMS brand, with two backward S’s was one of the first registered in Texas and was derived from Swenson’s initials. Swenson, a close ally of Sam Houston, played an active role in the state’s early history. He served as Travis County Commissioner in the 1850’s and as the first Treasurer of the State Agriculture Society. Swenson opened one of the first stores in Austin, introduced the Colt revolver to the frontier, and established the Swedish Pipeline which brought thousands of Swedish families to settle in Texas after the Civil War. A cabin from Swenson’s farm east of Austin, called Govalle, is enshrined today at Zilker Botanical Gardens in Austin as part of the Swedish Pioneer Village. By 1850 Svante had established himself in the general merchandise business in Austin. His large frontier trading post traded saddles, boots, blankets and many other supplies. Through his trading, Swenson began acquiring substantial amounts of land. Swenson also invested in railroad bonds and school bonds which entitled him to even more acreage. By 1860 Swenson had accumulated over 680,000 acres in Texas, much of it the unsettled territories on North Texas, north of Abilene. It was from these lands that the Flat Top Ranch was organized and is still owned by S.M. Swenson’s direct descendants. Because he was an ally of Houston’s and a vocal opponent of secession from the Union, Swenson was nearly assassinated at the beginning of the Civil War. With continuing threats on his life, he fled to Mexico in 1863 hidden under straw in a covered wagon. After the Civil War he settled in New York City where his wife and children joined him. He sold off his holdings around Austin, but maintained ownership of the land in the northern parts of Texas. In 1882 these lands were fenced and organized by Swenson’s sons, Eric and Swen Albin, and the vast ranching operations began. Initially the sons leased the ranches from their father and when Svante died in 1896, they inherited the properties. At this time there were three ranches: Ericsdahl, Eleonora and Mount Albin. The Ericsdahl Ranch which was located 7 miles east of Stamford was split up and sold to Swedish immigrants in the early 1900’s. Eleonora became known as the Throckmorton Ranch because it was in that county. The Mount Albin Ranch became known as the Flat Top Ranch because of a prominent mesa on the property. This is the ranch that Chas. S. Middleton and Son, LLC, has for sale today. The Swenson brothers hired one of S.M. Swenson’s nephews as the first manager of the overall operations. He was responsible for stocking the ranches and overseeing the construction of the headquarters, barns, and corrals, as well as the drilling of water wells. The first herds were comprised of 1,800 high-grade Durham Shorthorns and 180 Hereford-Shorthorn crosses along with registered Hereford bulls. The original remuda was driven up the Chisolm Trail from Round Rock, Texas where many Swedes had settled. The horses were a mix of Spanish and Arabian stock. The first ranch hands were mostly Swedish immigrants who had settled first in towns around Austin, like Round Rock, New Sweden and Elgin and many others came directly from Sweden. The ranches continued to grow as the family purchased the Scab 8 Ranch in 1900, adding another 79,000 acres of land to their holdings and renamed it the Tongue River Ranch. In 1906 they purchased the Espuela Ranch with other partners which gave them access to over 200,000 acres more. This ranch became the Spur Ranch and while much of it was sold off in the 1920’s, the family still owned 65,000 acres of it until the 1970’s. In order to make it easier to get their cattle to market, the Swenson brothers convinced the Texas Central Railroad to extend its rail line from Albany, Texas, 38 miles to the east, to the place that is now Stamford, Texas. The family donated the initial 640 acres from the Flat Top Ranch for the town and helped lay it out. The present headquarters for the Swenson Land & Cattle Co, was built in the town, on Swenson Street, in the 1920’s. Some of the property that is part of the Flat Top Ranch remains inside or adjacent to the town limits, including a recent purchase of about 132 acres that contains substantial cattle pens for feeding, weaning, etc. The Texas Cowboy Reunion Rodeo grounds, still the largest working cowboy rodeo in the US, was founded in Stamford by the Swenson heirs in 1930 on land that they also donated from their Flat Top holdings. In 1902 the Swenson brothers hired Frank S. Hastings as manager of their far-flung ranches and over the next two decades committed to the breeding and improvement of the SMS cattle. Under Hastings’ supervision, SMS became among the first ranches to participate in the “mail order” calf business. The cattle won many awards and developed a reputation for quality that remains today. Eric Swenson, Svante’s oldest son, remained as president of the ranches until his death in 1945. He was succeeded by one of his sons, Swen R. Swenson. In 1978 the holdings totaling over 250,000 acres were divided among four family groups. Three of the groups have since sold their ranches. The remaining group, whose land includes the Flat Top Ranch, was headed by Bruce B Swenson, one of Swen R. Swenson’s sons, and included Bruce’s brothers, Rod and Perry Swenson. The three brothers have passed away and the company that owns the Flat Top Ranch is now the Swenson Land & Cattle Co. and is chaired by Steve Swenson, one of Bruce’s sons. All the board of directors and shareholders are descendants of Svante Magnus Swenson. In recent years Swenson Land & Cattle has continued as a strong cow/calf operator and almost always gets the highest price for its class of cattle at Superior Livestock Auctions and other venues. Cattle buyers for Whole Foods have purchased the ranch’s cattle over the last 5-6 years. As a result, the Global Animal Partnership (GAP), Whole Food’s third party certification partner, has made on-site inspections of the ranch’s operations twice in the last 5 years. The ranch received a GAP 4 rating indicating it uses best practices for humane treatment of its cattle for an operation of this size. The ranch hands, now headed by Mark Voss, have won several ranch rodeo competitions over the past several years in places like Wichita Falls and Abilene. Wildlife is abundant at Flat Top and hunting leases have contributed substantial revenue in the past 10 years or so. The company sells a small amount of cattle to Svante’s Ranch Direct, a company owned by several S.M. Swenson descendants. They sell grass finished beef through farmers markets, a web site and food truck in the Austin area. As the years have gone by and the family tree continues to grow, shareholders have become more and more dispersed throughout the US and their interests have become more diverse. With many shareholders now in their mid-to late 60’s, the board reluctantly voted to sell Flat Top in order to provide some liquidity to those who wanted some. Selling Flat Top was not an easy decision for the family especially knowing that this heritage that traces directly to S.M. Swenson would pass from his great great-grandchildren and future descendants. However, the family has concluded that this the right time in their lives to do this. Sources: Clark, Mary Whatley - The Swenson Saga and the SMS Ranches (Austin, Texas: Jenkins Book Publishing Co. 1976); Baize, Wayne – Swenson Land & Cattle Company (2014); Anderson, H. Allen - SMS Ranches (Texas State Historical Association) WATER FEATURES The Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos River flows in a northeasterly direction through the ranch for approximately seven miles. Large tree cover is common along the river bottom with cedar found along the ridgelines and canyon side slopes. This area of the ranch is considered very scenic and offers great recreational appeal. Additionally, there are a number of smaller seasonal creeks throughout the property. The ranch is well watered by over 40 water wells, being a combination of windmills and electric submersible wells. These water sources distribute water to an extensive network of approximately 25 miles of waterlines and over 100 drinking troughs. Other water sources include approximately 140 earthen ponds, some of which are seasonal, with others being very large and considered to be a desirable year-round source of livestock water. Overall, the ranch is considered to be well watered. LIVESTOCK/CATTLE OPERATIONS Historically, the Flat Top Division of the Swenson Ranch has been operated as a cow/calf operation. Depending on weather conditions, the ranch is typically stocked with 850 – 1,000 mother cows, plus bulls and replacements. The ranch maintains a quality cow herd and while the cattle are not included in the sale, they are available to be purchased at market price. Current livestock inventory is approximately 855 bred cows, 90 bred heifers and 70 bulls. HUNTING, WILDLIFE AND RECREATION The Flat Top Division offers great hunting opportunities, including white tail deer, quail, dove, feral hogs and seasonal water fowl. Fishing is available in the river and several of the larger ponds. IMPROVEMENTS The ranch owns a small grow yard located just west of Stamford. The pens are of pipe construction with complete working facilities, scales and some covered pens. This tract has some adjoining pasture and farmland, which compliments the grow yard. The property is adequately improved for the day to day ranching operation. In addition to the grow yard, other structural improvements include the main headquarters, the Taylor Camp, the Farm Center, and approximately 17 sets of livestock shipping/working/branding pens. The headquarter improvements consist of the ranch manager’s home, several employee houses, barns, horse stalls and a large set of livestock shipping pens, which are equipped with scales. The Taylor Camp is improved with a camp manager’s home, bunk house and shipping pens equipped with scales. The Farm Center improvements include a metal barn/shop with a fenced area for housing farm equipment and fuel. The Flat Top Division of the Swenson Ranch is fenced and cross fenced into many multiple pastures, and most all of the fences are considered to be in average to above average condition. Totally, there are approximately 166 miles of fencing on the ranch. RESOURCES There is scattered oil production on the ranch. The original oil production was first discovered in the early 1950’s and some of this original production is still producing. In 1978, as briefly mentioned in the History of the Swenson Ranches, the four Swenson Families agreed to partition all of the ranches into four separate family divisions. After the ranches were partitioned, the three other families began selling off their divisions. At the time of this partition, each division of the Swenson Ranches had all or most all of the minerals intact. Each of the four families received one-quarter of the minerals under each of the four divisions. That being the case, the Swenson Family members owning the Flat Top Division have approximately 25% of the minerals under this ranch. Current royalty income is fairly substantial. New drilling is now underway, and recent development would suggest the possibility of a substantial new income source from oil. Since it is very difficult to determine the present value and future potential of the minerals, the family has elected to negotiate on the mineral conveyance based on the final offering price for the property. Based on the family owning approximately 25% of the minerals under the Flat Top Division, current royalty income is approximately $200,000 per year on the original production and approximately $600,000 per year on the newly discovered production. In addition to the income derived from the cattle operation and farming income, other sources of income include hunting lease revenue, periodic surface damage income and income derived from oil and gas leases and oil and gas royalty production. The hunting is leased on a year to year basis and can be extended if a buyer is not interested in hunting, or terminated, if the buyer wants possession of the hunting. The ranch just negotiated a gas pipeline easement crossing approximately 7 miles of the ranch. This pipeline has just been installed and the utility company has re-seeded this easement with grass. The ranch collected $1,300,000 for this easement. While there are no major electric transmission lines currently located on the ranch, many large wind farm developments and transmission lines are located throughout this region of Texas. With this in mind, the owners of the Flat Top Division propose to reserve 25% of any future wind energy royalty income, but the purchaser of the ranch will have full control of negotiating any future wind energy leases. PRICE AND REMARKS The Flat Top Division of the Swenson Ranch is very reasonably priced at $985 per acre. It is very seldom that a ranch of this magnitude and history becomes available in this area of Texas. The owners of the ranch are currently in the process of surveying the entire property in order to establish the exact acres of the ranch. This survey is being paid for by the owners. Property taxes are approximately $63,000 per year or about $1.50 per acre. BROKER COMMENTS The ranch is generally operated with approximately eight full-time employees. In addition to the very knowledgeable ranch manager, there is clerical help at the office in Stamford along with additional farm/ranch employees, including the Taylor Camp manager. All together this efficient staff keeps the books, pays bills, manages the day to day farming and ranching operation, maintains the property and meets with the family on a regular basis. As the broker selected to market this property, it is apparent the current employees are a valuable asset to the ranch and a buyer of this property should strongly consider keeping everyone on board. All employees are anxious to remain with the ranch. This long-term ownership ranch has not been offered for sale throughout the 165-year history of the property. This first time offering of the Swenson Flat Top Ranch is an historic opportunity to own a quality working cattle ranch, which includes an extensive farming operation that can be expanded, if desired. In addition to farming and ranching, the property offers excellent hunting opportunities, potential future wind farm development, periodic surface damage income, and the potential to share in some portion of the mineral income.
$40,385,000
Swenson Family Flat Top Ranch
#245958
Haskell, 
41,000.00 acres
This property has been recently reduced from $1200 per acre to $985. The Flat Top Division of the legendary Swenson Ranch was established in 1853 – 1854 and the ranch contains 41,000 ± acres. Elevations on the ranch range from approximately 1,600’ feet to around 1,750’. The terrain over the eastern portion of the Flat Top Ranch is described as nearly level to gently rolling and sloping towards several noticeable drainages, all draining to the northeast. A very prominent elevated mesa, known as Flat Top Mountain, is located on the west-half of the ranch. The elevation change from the country below the mesa top to the country on the upper edge of the mesa is approximately 100 feet. The east face of the mesa is steep and rocky, but much of the mesa top is level and gently sloping. Views from the mesa edge are very impressive. To the west of the large mesa top, the level country transitions to header draws, becoming deeper canyon drainages, all flowing to the northwest to the Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos River. Native grass cover is considered to be good to excellent over much of the property. Principal native grasses include several varieties of bluestem, side oats grama, Texas winter grass, Arizona cottontop, blue grama, buffalo grass, tobosa, vine-mesquite, western wheat grass and sand drop seed. With favorable winter moisture, wildrye and filaree are abundant over major portions of the ranch. Approximately 6,300 acres are in cultivation, scattered over about a dozen fields throughout the ranch. All of the cultivated land is farmed on a dryland basis, principally farmed in wheat for seasonal grazing of livestock. With large areas of the ranch having very productive soils, it is estimated that an additional 10,000 acres could be broken out and farmed, if desired. With normal precipitation, this area of Texas is considered desirable wheat pasture country. LOCATION The ranch is generally located immediately west of Stamford, Texas, but two small non-contiguous tracts are located north and east of Stamford. Access to all major portions of the ranch are by paved highways and county roads. The ranch has an extensive network of well-maintained private ranch roads, making the property very accessible overall. Abilene, Texas is approximately 40 miles south of the ranch, with Fort Worth being approximately 180 miles to the east and Lubbock being approximately 140 miles to the northwest. The ranch is located on the Texas Rolling Plains, which is an area widely recognized for ranching, farming, mineral production, and in more recent years, outstanding hunting. HISTORY The historic Swenson Ranches trace their origin to Svante Magnus Swenson, the first Swedish immigrant to arrive in Texas, landing near what is now Galveston in 1838. The famous SMS brand, with two backward S’s was one of the first registered in Texas and was derived from Swenson’s initials. Swenson, a close ally of Sam Houston, played an active role in the state’s early history. He served as Travis County Commissioner in the 1850’s and as the first Treasurer of the State Agriculture Society. Swenson opened one of the first stores in Austin, introduced the Colt revolver to the frontier, and established the Swedish Pipeline which brought thousands of Swedish families to settle in Texas after the Civil War. A cabin from Swenson’s farm east of Austin, called Govalle, is enshrined today at Zilker Botanical Gardens in Austin as part of the Swedish Pioneer Village. By 1850 Svante had established himself in the general merchandise business in Austin. His large frontier trading post traded saddles, boots, blankets and many other supplies. Through his trading, Swenson began acquiring substantial amounts of land. Swenson also invested in railroad bonds and school bonds which entitled him to even more acreage. By 1860 Swenson had accumulated over 680,000 acres in Texas, much of it the unsettled territories on North Texas, north of Abilene. It was from these lands that the Flat Top Ranch was organized and is still owned by S.M. Swenson’s direct descendants. Because he was an ally of Houston’s and a vocal opponent of secession from the Union, Swenson was nearly assassinated at the beginning of the Civil War. With continuing threats on his life, he fled to Mexico in 1863 hidden under straw in a covered wagon. After the Civil War he settled in New York City where his wife and children joined him. He sold off his holdings around Austin, but maintained ownership of the land in the northern parts of Texas. In 1882 these lands were fenced and organized by Swenson’s sons, Eric and Swen Albin, and the vast ranching operations began. Initially the sons leased the ranches from their father and when Svante died in 1896, they inherited the properties. At this time there were three ranches: Ericsdahl, Eleonora and Mount Albin. The Ericsdahl Ranch which was located 7 miles east of Stamford was split up and sold to Swedish immigrants in the early 1900’s. Eleonora became known as the Throckmorton Ranch because it was in that county. The Mount Albin Ranch became known as the Flat Top Ranch because of a prominent mesa on the property. This is the ranch that Chas. S. Middleton and Son, LLC, has for sale today. The Swenson brothers hired one of S.M. Swenson’s nephews as the first manager of the overall operations. He was responsible for stocking the ranches and overseeing the construction of the headquarters, barns, and corrals, as well as the drilling of water wells. The first herds were comprised of 1,800 high-grade Durham Shorthorns and 180 Hereford-Shorthorn crosses along with registered Hereford bulls. The original remuda was driven up the Chisolm Trail from Round Rock, Texas where many Swedes had settled. The horses were a mix of Spanish and Arabian stock. The first ranch hands were mostly Swedish immigrants who had settled first in towns around Austin, like Round Rock, New Sweden and Elgin and many others came directly from Sweden. The ranches continued to grow as the family purchased the Scab 8 Ranch in 1900, adding another 79,000 acres of land to their holdings and renamed it the Tongue River Ranch. In 1906 they purchased the Espuela Ranch with other partners which gave them access to over 200,000 acres more. This ranch became the Spur Ranch and while much of it was sold off in the 1920’s, the family still owned 65,000 acres of it until the 1970’s. In order to make it easier to get their cattle to market, the Swenson brothers convinced the Texas Central Railroad to extend its rail line from Albany, Texas, 38 miles to the east, to the place that is now Stamford, Texas. The family donated the initial 640 acres from the Flat Top Ranch for the town and helped lay it out. The present headquarters for the Swenson Land & Cattle Co, was built in the town, on Swenson Street, in the 1920’s. Some of the property that is part of the Flat Top Ranch remains inside or adjacent to the town limits, including a recent purchase of about 132 acres that contains substantial cattle pens for feeding, weaning, etc. The Texas Cowboy Reunion Rodeo grounds, still the largest working cowboy rodeo in the US, was founded in Stamford by the Swenson heirs in 1930 on land that they also donated from their Flat Top holdings. In 1902 the Swenson brothers hired Frank S. Hastings as manager of their far-flung ranches and over the next two decades committed to the breeding and improvement of the SMS cattle. Under Hastings’ supervision, SMS became among the first ranches to participate in the “mail order” calf business. The cattle won many awards and developed a reputation for quality that remains today. Eric Swenson, Svante’s oldest son, remained as president of the ranches until his death in 1945. He was succeeded by one of his sons, Swen R. Swenson. In 1978 the holdings totaling over 250,000 acres were divided among four family groups. Three of the groups have since sold their ranches. The remaining group, whose land includes the Flat Top Ranch, was headed by Bruce B Swenson, one of Swen R. Swenson’s sons, and included Bruce’s brothers, Rod and Perry Swenson. The three brothers have passed away and the company that owns the Flat Top Ranch is now the Swenson Land & Cattle Co. and is chaired by Steve Swenson, one of Bruce’s sons. All the board of directors and shareholders are descendants of Svante Magnus Swenson. In recent years Swenson Land & Cattle has continued as a strong cow/calf operator and almost always gets the highest price for its class of cattle at Superior Livestock Auctions and other venues. Cattle buyers for Whole Foods have purchased the ranch’s cattle over the last 5-6 years. As a result, the Global Animal Partnership (GAP), Whole Food’s third party certification partner, has made on-site inspections of the ranch’s operations twice in the last 5 years. The ranch received a GAP 4 rating indicating it uses best practices for humane treatment of its cattle for an operation of this size. The ranch hands, now headed by Mark Voss, have won several ranch rodeo competitions over the past several years in places like Wichita Falls and Abilene. Wildlife is abundant at Flat Top and hunting leases have contributed substantial revenue in the past 10 years or so. The company sells a small amount of cattle to Svante’s Ranch Direct, a company owned by several S.M. Swenson descendants. They sell grass finished beef through farmers markets, a web site and food truck in the Austin area. As the years have gone by and the family tree continues to grow, shareholders have become more and more dispersed throughout the US and their interests have become more diverse. With many shareholders now in their mid-to late 60’s, the board reluctantly voted to sell Flat Top in order to provide some liquidity to those who wanted some. Selling Flat Top was not an easy decision for the family especially knowing that this heritage that traces directly to S.M. Swenson would pass from his great great-grandchildren and future descendants. However, the family has concluded that this the right time in their lives to do this. Sources: Clark, Mary Whatley - The Swenson Saga and the SMS Ranches (Austin, Texas: Jenkins Book Publishing Co. 1976); Baize, Wayne – Swenson Land & Cattle Company (2014); Anderson, H. Allen - SMS Ranches (Texas State Historical Association) WATER FEATURES The Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos River flows in a northeasterly direction through the ranch for approximately seven miles. Large tree cover is common along the river bottom with cedar found along the ridgelines and canyon side slopes. This area of the ranch is considered very scenic and offers great recreational appeal. Additionally, there are a number of smaller seasonal creeks throughout the property. The ranch is well watered by over 40 water wells, being a combination of windmills and electric submersible wells. These water sources distribute water to an extensive network of approximately 25 miles of waterlines and over 100 drinking troughs. Other water sources include approximately 140 earthen ponds, some of which are seasonal, with others being very large and considered to be a desirable year-round source of livestock water. Overall, the ranch is considered to be well watered. LIVESTOCK/CATTLE OPERATIONS Historically, the Flat Top Division of the Swenson Ranch has been operated as a cow/calf operation. Depending on weather conditions, the ranch is typically stocked with 850 – 1,000 mother cows, plus bulls and replacements. The ranch maintains a quality cow herd and while the cattle are not included in the sale, they are available to be purchased at market price. Current livestock inventory is approximately 855 bred cows, 90 bred heifers and 70 bulls. HUNTING, WILDLIFE AND RECREATION The Flat Top Division offers great hunting opportunities, including white tail deer, quail, dove, feral hogs and seasonal water fowl. Fishing is available in the river and several of the larger ponds. IMPROVEMENTS The ranch owns a small grow yard located just west of Stamford. The pens are of pipe construction with complete working facilities, scales and some covered pens. This tract has some adjoining pasture and farmland, which compliments the grow yard. The property is adequately improved for the day to day ranching operation. In addition to the grow yard, other structural improvements include the main headquarters, the Taylor Camp, the Farm Center, and approximately 17 sets of livestock shipping/working/branding pens. The headquarter improvements consist of the ranch manager’s home, several employee houses, barns, horse stalls and a large set of livestock shipping pens, which are equipped with scales. The Taylor Camp is improved with a camp manager’s home, bunk house and shipping pens equipped with scales. The Farm Center improvements include a metal barn/shop with a fenced area for housing farm equipment and fuel. The Flat Top Division of the Swenson Ranch is fenced and cross fenced into many multiple pastures, and most all of the fences are considered to be in average to above average condition. Totally, there are approximately 166 miles of fencing on the ranch. RESOURCES There is scattered oil production on the ranch. The original oil production was first discovered in the early 1950’s and some of this original production is still producing. In 1978, as briefly mentioned in the History of the Swenson Ranches, the four Swenson Families agreed to partition all of the ranches into four separate family divisions. After the ranches were partitioned, the three other families began selling off their divisions. At the time of this partition, each division of the Swenson Ranches had all or most all of the minerals intact. Each of the four families received one-quarter of the minerals under each of the four divisions. That being the case, the Swenson Family members owning the Flat Top Division have approximately 25% of the minerals under this ranch. Current royalty income is fairly substantial. New drilling is now underway, and recent development would suggest the possibility of a substantial new income source from oil. Since it is very difficult to determine the present value and future potential of the minerals, the family has elected to negotiate on the mineral conveyance based on the final offering price for the property. Based on the family owning approximately 25% of the minerals under the Flat Top Division, current royalty income is approximately $200,000 per year on the original production and approximately $600,000 per year on the newly discovered production. In addition to the income derived from the cattle operation and farming income, other sources of income include hunting lease revenue, periodic surface damage income and income derived from oil and gas leases and oil and gas royalty production. The hunting is leased on a year to year basis and can be extended if a buyer is not interested in hunting, or terminated, if the buyer wants possession of the hunting. The ranch just negotiated a gas pipeline easement crossing approximately 7 miles of the ranch. This pipeline has just been installed and the utility company has re-seeded this easement with grass. The ranch collected $1,300,000 for this easement. While there are no major electric transmission lines currently located on the ranch, many large wind farm developments and transmission lines are located throughout this region of Texas. With this in mind, the owners of the Flat Top Division propose to reserve 25% of any future wind energy royalty income, but the purchaser of the ranch will have full control of negotiating any future wind energy leases. PRICE AND REMARKS The Flat Top Division of the Swenson Ranch is very reasonably priced at $985 per acre. It is very seldom that a ranch of this magnitude and history becomes available in this area of Texas. The owners of the ranch are currently in the process of surveying the entire property in order to establish the exact acres of the ranch. This survey is being paid for by the owners. Property taxes are approximately $63,000 per year or about $1.50 per acre. BROKER COMMENTS The ranch is generally operated with approximately eight full-time employees. In addition to the very knowledgeable ranch manager, there is clerical help at the office in Stamford along with additional farm/ranch employees, including the Taylor Camp manager. All together this efficient staff keeps the books, pays bills, manages the day to day farming and ranching operation, maintains the property and meets with the family on a regular basis. As the broker selected to market this property, it is apparent the current employees are a valuable asset to the ranch and a buyer of this property should strongly consider keeping everyone on board. All employees are anxious to remain with the ranch. This long-term ownership ranch has not been offered for sale throughout the 165-year history of the property. This first time offering of the Swenson Flat Top Ranch is an historic opportunity to own a quality working cattle ranch, which includes an extensive farming operation that can be expanded, if desired. In addition to farming and ranching, the property offers excellent hunting opportunities, potential future wind farm development, periodic surface damage income, and the potential to share in some portion of the mineral income.
$40,385,000
Swenson Family Flat Top Ranch
#245959
Stonewall, 
41,000.00 acres
This property has been recently reduced from $1200 per acre to $985. The Flat Top Division of the legendary Swenson Ranch was established in 1853 – 1854 and the ranch contains 41,000 ± acres. Elevations on the ranch range from approximately 1,600’ feet to around 1,750’. The terrain over the eastern portion of the Flat Top Ranch is described as nearly level to gently rolling and sloping towards several noticeable drainages, all draining to the northeast. A very prominent elevated mesa, known as Flat Top Mountain, is located on the west-half of the ranch. The elevation change from the country below the mesa top to the country on the upper edge of the mesa is approximately 100 feet. The east face of the mesa is steep and rocky, but much of the mesa top is level and gently sloping. Views from the mesa edge are very impressive. To the west of the large mesa top, the level country transitions to header draws, becoming deeper canyon drainages, all flowing to the northwest to the Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos River. Native grass cover is considered to be good to excellent over much of the property. Principal native grasses include several varieties of bluestem, side oats grama, Texas winter grass, Arizona cottontop, blue grama, buffalo grass, tobosa, vine-mesquite, western wheat grass and sand drop seed. With favorable winter moisture, wildrye and filaree are abundant over major portions of the ranch. Approximately 6,300 acres are in cultivation, scattered over about a dozen fields throughout the ranch. All of the cultivated land is farmed on a dryland basis, principally farmed in wheat for seasonal grazing of livestock. With large areas of the ranch having very productive soils, it is estimated that an additional 10,000 acres could be broken out and farmed, if desired. With normal precipitation, this area of Texas is considered desirable wheat pasture country. LOCATION The ranch is generally located immediately west of Stamford, Texas, but two small non-contiguous tracts are located north and east of Stamford. Access to all major portions of the ranch are by paved highways and county roads. The ranch has an extensive network of well-maintained private ranch roads, making the property very accessible overall. Abilene, Texas is approximately 40 miles south of the ranch, with Fort Worth being approximately 180 miles to the east and Lubbock being approximately 140 miles to the northwest. The ranch is located on the Texas Rolling Plains, which is an area widely recognized for ranching, farming, mineral production, and in more recent years, outstanding hunting. HISTORY The historic Swenson Ranches trace their origin to Svante Magnus Swenson, the first Swedish immigrant to arrive in Texas, landing near what is now Galveston in 1838. The famous SMS brand, with two backward S’s was one of the first registered in Texas and was derived from Swenson’s initials. Swenson, a close ally of Sam Houston, played an active role in the state’s early history. He served as Travis County Commissioner in the 1850’s and as the first Treasurer of the State Agriculture Society. Swenson opened one of the first stores in Austin, introduced the Colt revolver to the frontier, and established the Swedish Pipeline which brought thousands of Swedish families to settle in Texas after the Civil War. A cabin from Swenson’s farm east of Austin, called Govalle, is enshrined today at Zilker Botanical Gardens in Austin as part of the Swedish Pioneer Village. By 1850 Svante had established himself in the general merchandise business in Austin. His large frontier trading post traded saddles, boots, blankets and many other supplies. Through his trading, Swenson began acquiring substantial amounts of land. Swenson also invested in railroad bonds and school bonds which entitled him to even more acreage. By 1860 Swenson had accumulated over 680,000 acres in Texas, much of it the unsettled territories on North Texas, north of Abilene. It was from these lands that the Flat Top Ranch was organized and is still owned by S.M. Swenson’s direct descendants. Because he was an ally of Houston’s and a vocal opponent of secession from the Union, Swenson was nearly assassinated at the beginning of the Civil War. With continuing threats on his life, he fled to Mexico in 1863 hidden under straw in a covered wagon. After the Civil War he settled in New York City where his wife and children joined him. He sold off his holdings around Austin, but maintained ownership of the land in the northern parts of Texas. In 1882 these lands were fenced and organized by Swenson’s sons, Eric and Swen Albin, and the vast ranching operations began. Initially the sons leased the ranches from their father and when Svante died in 1896, they inherited the properties. At this time there were three ranches: Ericsdahl, Eleonora and Mount Albin. The Ericsdahl Ranch which was located 7 miles east of Stamford was split up and sold to Swedish immigrants in the early 1900’s. Eleonora became known as the Throckmorton Ranch because it was in that county. The Mount Albin Ranch became known as the Flat Top Ranch because of a prominent mesa on the property. This is the ranch that Chas. S. Middleton and Son, LLC, has for sale today. The Swenson brothers hired one of S.M. Swenson’s nephews as the first manager of the overall operations. He was responsible for stocking the ranches and overseeing the construction of the headquarters, barns, and corrals, as well as the drilling of water wells. The first herds were comprised of 1,800 high-grade Durham Shorthorns and 180 Hereford-Shorthorn crosses along with registered Hereford bulls. The original remuda was driven up the Chisolm Trail from Round Rock, Texas where many Swedes had settled. The horses were a mix of Spanish and Arabian stock. The first ranch hands were mostly Swedish immigrants who had settled first in towns around Austin, like Round Rock, New Sweden and Elgin and many others came directly from Sweden. The ranches continued to grow as the family purchased the Scab 8 Ranch in 1900, adding another 79,000 acres of land to their holdings and renamed it the Tongue River Ranch. In 1906 they purchased the Espuela Ranch with other partners which gave them access to over 200,000 acres more. This ranch became the Spur Ranch and while much of it was sold off in the 1920’s, the family still owned 65,000 acres of it until the 1970’s. In order to make it easier to get their cattle to market, the Swenson brothers convinced the Texas Central Railroad to extend its rail line from Albany, Texas, 38 miles to the east, to the place that is now Stamford, Texas. The family donated the initial 640 acres from the Flat Top Ranch for the town and helped lay it out. The present headquarters for the Swenson Land & Cattle Co, was built in the town, on Swenson Street, in the 1920’s. Some of the property that is part of the Flat Top Ranch remains inside or adjacent to the town limits, including a recent purchase of about 132 acres that contains substantial cattle pens for feeding, weaning, etc. The Texas Cowboy Reunion Rodeo grounds, still the largest working cowboy rodeo in the US, was founded in Stamford by the Swenson heirs in 1930 on land that they also donated from their Flat Top holdings. In 1902 the Swenson brothers hired Frank S. Hastings as manager of their far-flung ranches and over the next two decades committed to the breeding and improvement of the SMS cattle. Under Hastings’ supervision, SMS became among the first ranches to participate in the “mail order” calf business. The cattle won many awards and developed a reputation for quality that remains today. Eric Swenson, Svante’s oldest son, remained as president of the ranches until his death in 1945. He was succeeded by one of his sons, Swen R. Swenson. In 1978 the holdings totaling over 250,000 acres were divided among four family groups. Three of the groups have since sold their ranches. The remaining group, whose land includes the Flat Top Ranch, was headed by Bruce B Swenson, one of Swen R. Swenson’s sons, and included Bruce’s brothers, Rod and Perry Swenson. The three brothers have passed away and the company that owns the Flat Top Ranch is now the Swenson Land & Cattle Co. and is chaired by Steve Swenson, one of Bruce’s sons. All the board of directors and shareholders are descendants of Svante Magnus Swenson. In recent years Swenson Land & Cattle has continued as a strong cow/calf operator and almost always gets the highest price for its class of cattle at Superior Livestock Auctions and other venues. Cattle buyers for Whole Foods have purchased the ranch’s cattle over the last 5-6 years. As a result, the Global Animal Partnership (GAP), Whole Food’s third party certification partner, has made on-site inspections of the ranch’s operations twice in the last 5 years. The ranch received a GAP 4 rating indicating it uses best practices for humane treatment of its cattle for an operation of this size. The ranch hands, now headed by Mark Voss, have won several ranch rodeo competitions over the past several years in places like Wichita Falls and Abilene. Wildlife is abundant at Flat Top and hunting leases have contributed substantial revenue in the past 10 years or so. The company sells a small amount of cattle to Svante’s Ranch Direct, a company owned by several S.M. Swenson descendants. They sell grass finished beef through farmers markets, a web site and food truck in the Austin area. As the years have gone by and the family tree continues to grow, shareholders have become more and more dispersed throughout the US and their interests have become more diverse. With many shareholders now in their mid-to late 60’s, the board reluctantly voted to sell Flat Top in order to provide some liquidity to those who wanted some. Selling Flat Top was not an easy decision for the family especially knowing that this heritage that traces directly to S.M. Swenson would pass from his great great-grandchildren and future descendants. However, the family has concluded that this the right time in their lives to do this. Sources: Clark, Mary Whatley - The Swenson Saga and the SMS Ranches (Austin, Texas: Jenkins Book Publishing Co. 1976); Baize, Wayne – Swenson Land & Cattle Company (2014); Anderson, H. Allen - SMS Ranches (Texas State Historical Association) WATER FEATURES The Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos River flows in a northeasterly direction through the ranch for approximately seven miles. Large tree cover is common along the river bottom with cedar found along the ridgelines and canyon side slopes. This area of the ranch is considered very scenic and offers great recreational appeal. Additionally, there are a number of smaller seasonal creeks throughout the property. The ranch is well watered by over 40 water wells, being a combination of windmills and electric submersible wells. These water sources distribute water to an extensive network of approximately 25 miles of waterlines and over 100 drinking troughs. Other water sources include approximately 140 earthen ponds, some of which are seasonal, with others being very large and considered to be a desirable year-round source of livestock water. Overall, the ranch is considered to be well watered. LIVESTOCK/CATTLE OPERATIONS Historically, the Flat Top Division of the Swenson Ranch has been operated as a cow/calf operation. Depending on weather conditions, the ranch is typically stocked with 850 – 1,000 mother cows, plus bulls and replacements. The ranch maintains a quality cow herd and while the cattle are not included in the sale, they are available to be purchased at market price. Current livestock inventory is approximately 855 bred cows, 90 bred heifers and 70 bulls. HUNTING, WILDLIFE AND RECREATION The Flat Top Division offers great hunting opportunities, including white tail deer, quail, dove, feral hogs and seasonal water fowl. Fishing is available in the river and several of the larger ponds. IMPROVEMENTS The ranch owns a small grow yard located just west of Stamford. The pens are of pipe construction with complete working facilities, scales and some covered pens. This tract has some adjoining pasture and farmland, which compliments the grow yard. The property is adequately improved for the day to day ranching operation. In addition to the grow yard, other structural improvements include the main headquarters, the Taylor Camp, the Farm Center, and approximately 17 sets of livestock shipping/working/branding pens. The headquarter improvements consist of the ranch manager’s home, several employee houses, barns, horse stalls and a large set of livestock shipping pens, which are equipped with scales. The Taylor Camp is improved with a camp manager’s home, bunk house and shipping pens equipped with scales. The Farm Center improvements include a metal barn/shop with a fenced area for housing farm equipment and fuel. The Flat Top Division of the Swenson Ranch is fenced and cross fenced into many multiple pastures, and most all of the fences are considered to be in average to above average condition. Totally, there are approximately 166 miles of fencing on the ranch. RESOURCES There is scattered oil production on the ranch. The original oil production was first discovered in the early 1950’s and some of this original production is still producing. In 1978, as briefly mentioned in the History of the Swenson Ranches, the four Swenson Families agreed to partition all of the ranches into four separate family divisions. After the ranches were partitioned, the three other families began selling off their divisions. At the time of this partition, each division of the Swenson Ranches had all or most all of the minerals intact. Each of the four families received one-quarter of the minerals under each of the four divisions. That being the case, the Swenson Family members owning the Flat Top Division have approximately 25% of the minerals under this ranch. Current royalty income is fairly substantial. New drilling is now underway, and recent development would suggest the possibility of a substantial new income source from oil. Since it is very difficult to determine the present value and future potential of the minerals, the family has elected to negotiate on the mineral conveyance based on the final offering price for the property. Based on the family owning approximately 25% of the minerals under the Flat Top Division, current royalty income is approximately $200,000 per year on the original production and approximately $600,000 per year on the newly discovered production. In addition to the income derived from the cattle operation and farming income, other sources of income include hunting lease revenue, periodic surface damage income and income derived from oil and gas leases and oil and gas royalty production. The hunting is leased on a year to year basis and can be extended if a buyer is not interested in hunting, or terminated, if the buyer wants possession of the hunting. The ranch just negotiated a gas pipeline easement crossing approximately 7 miles of the ranch. This pipeline has just been installed and the utility company has re-seeded this easement with grass. The ranch collected $1,300,000 for this easement. While there are no major electric transmission lines currently located on the ranch, many large wind farm developments and transmission lines are located throughout this region of Texas. With this in mind, the owners of the Flat Top Division propose to reserve 25% of any future wind energy royalty income, but the purchaser of the ranch will have full control of negotiating any future wind energy leases. PRICE AND REMARKS The Flat Top Division of the Swenson Ranch is very reasonably priced at $985 per acre. It is very seldom that a ranch of this magnitude and history becomes available in this area of Texas. The owners of the ranch are currently in the process of surveying the entire property in order to establish the exact acres of the ranch. This survey is being paid for by the owners. Property taxes are approximately $63,000 per year or about $1.50 per acre. BROKER COMMENTS The ranch is generally operated with approximately eight full-time employees. In addition to the very knowledgeable ranch manager, there is clerical help at the office in Stamford along with additional farm/ranch employees, including the Taylor Camp manager. All together this efficient staff keeps the books, pays bills, manages the day to day farming and ranching operation, maintains the property and meets with the family on a regular basis. As the broker selected to market this property, it is apparent the current employees are a valuable asset to the ranch and a buyer of this property should strongly consider keeping everyone on board. All employees are anxious to remain with the ranch. This long-term ownership ranch has not been offered for sale throughout the 165-year history of the property. This first time offering of the Swenson Flat Top Ranch is an historic opportunity to own a quality working cattle ranch, which includes an extensive farming operation that can be expanded, if desired. In addition to farming and ranching, the property offers excellent hunting opportunities, potential future wind farm development, periodic surface damage income, and the potential to share in some portion of the mineral income.
$40,385,000
521 +/- Lake Shore Brazos River Development
#243348
McLennan, 
521.00 acres
Large mixed-use property with 1.3 miles of Brazos River Frontage and Excellent road frontage on both Lake Shore Drive and MLK. Prime for Development. Good Schools, High Profile Location less than 2 miles off I-35, close to downtown, Cameron Park, Waco Regional Airport, Baylor and McLane Stadium. Easy Access, Utilities both on-site and near, City of Waco is favorable towards re-zoning and mixed-used development. Potential for a Marina. Great resort of corporate retreat site. HIGHLIGHTS High Profile location because of road traffic on Lake Shore Dr. and close to I-35 Excellent for mixed-use development 1.3 miles of Brazos Riverfront Utilities are available or currently on the property. 2 miles of road frontage on Lake Shore Drive and MLK
$42,000,000
Seven Lakes Ranch
#399665
Rio Blanco, 
11,900.00 acres
***FOR HIGH RESOLUTION PHOTO GALLERY, ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND A VARIETY OF PROPERTY MAPS VISIT HALL AND HALL PROPERTY WEBSITE *** Regarded as one of the finest trophy big game hunting and fishing ranches in Colorado, Seven Lakes Ranch is a true sporting paradise. The ranch is located in the coveted White River Valley of the Flat Tops Mountains, prized for its outdoor recreation, bucolic landscape and unspoiled beauty. This massive 11,900 deeded acre ranch straddles the trout-filled White River, rising thousands of feet in elevation to public land boundaries on both sides of the valley. The sought-after combination of big river and excellent big game habitat is aptly complemented by a magnificent setting for a luxurious lakeside lodge. This multi-faceted property encompasses a diversity of terrain and vegetation, from the lush hay meadows along the river, up through shrubs and oaks, to the aspen groves, conifers and mountain parks of the higher elevations. The ranch is located in the heart of the White River herd, one of the largest elk and deer migrations in the Rocky Mountains. Sharing 15 miles of common boundary with surrounding White River National Forest, BLM and State lands, the diverse topography and vegetation on the ranch result in excellent wildlife habitat, that not only supports large numbers of resident elk and mule deer but draws them from these adjacent public lands. Limited hunting on the ranch has resulted in a veritable wildlife sanctuary, with plentiful populations of game, especially elk and mule deer. The White River is well known as an outstanding trout fishery, and Seven Lakes Ranch encompasses nearly two miles of a premier stretch of it. This beautiful 1.9 mile reach includes both sides and is completely private. A medium gradient freestone river, the White is famous for prolific hatches, highlighted by an incredible spring caddis hatch and excellent dry-fly fishing throughout the summer and fall months. Professional enhancements to the river have further increased the number and size of fish on the ranch. The result is high quality private water, with impressive populations of rainbows, browns, cutthroat trout, as well as the occasional whitefish. Additional water resources include a small creek, dozens of ponds, historic water rights, and of course seven beautiful mountain lakes. It is befitting that a recreational ranch of this caliber would be capped off with exceptional improvements. Nestled amidst aspen forests and the propertys namesake lakes, the custom stone and log lodge is grand yet comfortable. This ideal location combines ultimate privacy with stunning views of the surrounding wilderness, stretching all the way to the mountains of Utah. The 13,907 square foot lodge with eight guest suites features massive logs and soaring double-sided moss rock fireplace, rustic bar and commanding views out the great rooms wall of windows. When gatherings spill outdoors, an expansive lakeside stone patio is perfect for entertaining, and for breathtaking sunsets. A variety of cabins provide additional accommodations and are complemented by an authentic saloon/dance hall, and operations buildings. An extensive internal road network and trail system links the improvements and a wide variety of recreational activities for multi-generational enjoyment including long distance shooting range, sporting clays, horseback riding, biking and hiking, snowmobiling and ice skating. The White River Valley is blessed by being somewhat off the beaten path and has avoided large scale development seen in other Colorado river valleys. It has been discovered, however, by handful of discreet, stewardship-minded individuals who acquired large land holdings after being captivated by the beauty and recreation of the area. Seven Lakes Ranch is one such property. Strategically assembled by legendary golfer, entrepreneur and outdoorsman Greg Norman, the ranch has served as a treasured family retreat for over two decades. Despite the secluded nature of the White River Valley, the ranch headquarters is located just 20 minutes up the valley from Meeker, a nice town of 2,400 offering a full complement of services. Meeker boasts a 6,500-foot jet-capable airstrip, and commercial service is available at the Steamboat-Hayden airport less than an hour and a half from the ranch. Photo Credit- Shawn O'Connor Photography.
$40,000,000
The Cottonwood
#219256
Sublette, 
54,883.00 acres
The Cottonwood is an 85-square-mile ranch situated in the shadow of three mountain ranges in the Upper Green River Valley of northwest Wyoming, just 70 miles south of Jackson. Offering 11,138 deeded acres and 43,745 acres of adjoining public lands, the ranch is in one block with 40 miles of meandering rivers and streams. These freestone waterways offer some of the last remaining great habitats for Colorado River Cutthroat as well as Rainbows and Browns. Through pioneering conservation efforts, the owners have enhanced and conserved miles of rivers, riparian corridors, wetlands, wildlife habitat, and open spaces, while also improving the ecological and economical sustainability of the overall ranch. A well-balanced cattle operation with a capacity to run 2,000 cow/calf pairs or 5,500 yearlings, this is an exclusive investment opportunity with 6,310 acres irrigated/sub-irrigated lands and over 76.9 cfs of historic water rights. Contact Ken Mirr.
$30,000,000
Cape Froward
#406167
235,500.00 acres
Cape Froward is an astounding 235,500 acres of beauty in Patagonia, Chile. Cape Froward views encompass the entire southern part of the Strait and the Darwin Mountains, the Magdelena Channel and all the islands to the south in the Drake Sea. The property has about 27 miles of coastline. The abundance of flora and fauna make Cape Froward an incredible opportunity to develop a nature preserve for conservation and ecotourism. There are also very good tax incentives as well as opportunities to tap the carbon bond markets. Location Cape Froward is located just 62 miles south of Punta Arenas which is the capital of Patagonia. Nature Over 50 species of birds are found on the property along with numerous species of mammals such as puma, fox, and deer (Huemel) as well as sea mammals such as humpback whales and sea otters. Co-listed with Fitzroy Tourism and Real Estate
$30,000,000