Monthly Archives: February 2012

Bunny Acres Ranch

Texas is loaded with hidden gems for those who are adventurous enough to turn off the main highways and explore the endless number of county dirt roads beckoning for your attention. These largely ignored roads are bumpy, narrow, twisting, dust kicking scenic joys for the wanderlust at heart. You will find yourself thrown into the heart of real Texan life, unknown communities peacefully hidden behind the subtle changes in the landscape and scrub brush. It can, at times, feel like wonderland.

I came across Bunny Acres on one such county road adventure sometime in February of 2011; thanks to a wonderful couple who were kind enough to point me in the direction of some interesting buildings they knew of. I met them through a local historian in Coleman, TX who knew that they could answer some questions I had in regards to another house in the area that I had my eyes on. The couple was more than helpful and through them I have gained an even greater appreciation and love for the homes that I found.

The little ranch house of Bunny Acres was not completely abandoned; both the property and the house were still actively in use by a local rancher as a place for storage. The house was filled with bales of hay and around the property were some loose bits of equipment, a tractor and evidence of recent tire tracks. There was no easy way into the house without causing damage, and the doors and windows were locked. Because the house was still in use I wouldn’t want to mess around inside in case the rancher should come by.

The house looked like it could be a hundred years old; perhaps a little less, but not by much. It is definitely prewar. The small size of the house combined with the oversized and oddly attached porch roof gives the home a strange whimsical wonderland like vibe, though I don’t think that was the intention of the original builder. The entire house was gently resting on several stacks of cinderblocks, a common sight found in parts of the South. I assumed at first that maybe the current homeowners had the building relocated from another location – something that I have already encountered a few times within the area. See: Dance Hall. But recently I had also learned that, due to issues with the clay soil, many people in the area would choose to rest their homes on cinderblocks as a simple solution to avoid the expensive problems that the shifting soil would have on a foundation. Because of the soil, you will rarely find older houses in the area built with a basement.

 

I didn’t spend too much time at the Bunny Acres, but the little ranch did leave its mark on my imagination. I almost would have passed by it if I were not so lucky to be looking in another direction.

Lucky me and Lucky you!


Unknown, Texas

It was a beautiful early Spring day when I found this muted little house. I was originally en route toward another abandoned home known as The Green Roof House located a short distance away; when I noticed the Unknown House quietly existing amongst its naked shrubs and dry golden grass.  The setting was like any other rural Texan home left abandoned for reasons unknown; it was isolated from its neighbors, simple in structure and – despite its close proximity to the highway –  it was barely noticeable by most who would drive by.

What I remember most about the Unknown House was the masculine vibe that seemed to silently ooze through the broken boards and missing windows. When poking my head through one of the glass less window frames for a better view of the interior, I could almost faintly detect the rustic scent of cologne mixed with sweat and dirt. It is not very often that a house comes across to me as being so decidedly masculine. Normally it is the feminine presence that I would sense in these old homes. It is usually the stentorian remains of  someone’s “feminine touch” such as the revealing layers of decorative wallpapers that would linger behind long enough for me to find and photograph.

I have wondered a few times if this building might have been used to house the unmarried men who may have worked the ranch belonging to the earlier mentioned  The Green Roof House; though nothing inside or on the property was found that could prove my theory right or wrong.

I don’t remember why at the time I chose not enter the house.  I can’t recall a feeling of unwelcome as I walked around the building and I cannot see anything in the photos that showed any real danger in entering. There was no basement to fall into nor any wasp swarms to avoid.

I left the house, undisturbed, and continued to the Green Roof House.

NOTE: The Green Roof House’s story has not been publish as of yet.