Visiting the National Park on the Pedernales River

Published in the La Vernia News on May 28, 2015

Visiting the National Park on The Pedernales River-LBJ Park

The Johnson's Home

  In 1879, at a good ole Texas barbeque on the banks of Town Creek, locals met to choose a site for a new town. The winner was a 320-acre plot of land on the Pedernales River offered by James Polk Johnson, a distant relative of our 36th President. A good place to start exploring both the town and the man it produced is at the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Park Visitor Center at the Intersection of Ladybird Lane and Avenue G in Johnson City.

LBJ Park

Johnson's Boyhood Home

    This National Park is divided into two parts. At the Johnson City location, you can visit the Visitor’s Center, LBJ’s Boyhood Home and the Johnson Settlement.

     The Visitor’s Center should be you first stop. In addition to exhibits about LBJ’s life accomplishments, campaign memorabilia, and items from the past-such as LBJ Ranch branding irons-there are two excellent 30-minute videos offered, one LBJ and the other on Lady Bird.  

     Boyhood Home: Lyndon lived here from the age of five until his high school graduation in 1924. It is furnished in the early to mid-1920s period and depicts the rural Texas lifestyle of 75 years ago. Free Ranger-guided tours are offered every half hour, from 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM and from1:00 PM to 4:30 PM. Meet the Ranger on the front porch a few minutes before the next tour is scheduled to start.

      Johnson Settlement: Johnson’s frontier heritage goes back to his Grandfather, Samuel Ely Johnson, Jr., who established a cattle droving headquarters in the 1860s on land that is now part of Johnson City, Texas. His log cabin, barns, cooler house, and windmill still stand. Visitors can take a self-guiding nature trail from the Visitor’s Center (less than one mile round trip) or can access the Settlement by car just off of Highway 290 on the way to Stonewall.

Everyday Journeys

  Harry and linda Kaye Perez

      The second part of this park is near Stonewall, 14 miles west from Johnson City and includes LBJ Ranch and the Texas White House. It was here on this land that LBJ he was born, lived, died and was buried, and where Lady Bird resided until her death in 2007.

      At the Visitor Center in Stonewall, get your free driving permit and tour route map. To get the most out of this area, a CD narrative audio tour is available for purchase for at the gift shop. Then at your own pace, you can visit his birthplace, the family cemetery, and the Texas White House.

      The 30-minute tours of the Texas White House are limited to 12 people; there is a small fee for visitors 18 years of age and older ($3.00). The Ranch is open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day; gates open from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM. Recommended time for each site (Johnson City and Stonewall) is a minimum of two hours.  

      Special events are offered throughout the year at the Ranch.  For example, on June 6, Movies Under the Stars at the LBJ Ranch will present Apollo 13, staring Tom Hanks. Gates open at 7: 00 PM. Bring lawn chairs or blankets and your own refreshments. Future movie presentations will include Sons of Katie Elder and The Sound of Music. These are free events. 

      On August 27, on President Johnson birthday, there will be a wreath laying ceremony at the Johnson Family Cemetery. The public is invited; the program will begin at approximately 10:00 AM. Tours of the Texas White House will commence following the ceremony.

Old Shed-Johnson's Boyhood Home

More To Do

     Both Johnson City and Stonewall are on the awarding-winning Texas Hill Country Wine Trail. In Johnson City you will find the Texas Hills Vineyard and in Stonewall check out the Woodrose Winery or visit the Pedernales Cellars and enjoy a one-hour tour of their unique geothermal barrel cellars. There are great eateries in all along the route.

   The Sculpture Ranch and Galleries encompasses 140 acres of woodland and grasslands in Johnson City, featuring large-scale sculptures on the grounds. The sculptures are accessible by roadways or by walk paths. Check their website for open and closing times as they do vary.

   So much to see and do we can’t possible list it all here. The 80-mile drive to Johnson City and then beyond is a wonderful way to spend time getting to know Texas

Find Out More

Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park (830) 868-7128

 Texas Hills Vineyard878 Ranch Road 2766, Johnson City, TX 78636         (830) 868-2321      

 Woodrose Winery                               662 Woodrose Lane, Stonewall, TX 78671                                                 (830) 644-2539

 Pedernales Cellars                              2916 Upper Albert Road,           Stonewall, TX 78671                                                  830-644-2037             

 The Sculpture Ranch and Galleries      377 Shiloh Road, Johnson City, TX 78636                                                        ( 830) 868-5244     


County Courthouse-Johnson City



   © Harry Perez 2012