PRADE RANCH. Prade Ranch, located on the West Frio River and Farm Road 336 north of Leakey in north central Real County, was the first resort ranch in the county; it foreshadowed the later importance of tourism to the local economy. Its 10,000 acres include some of the most scenic land in the Hill Country. In 1926, during the administration of Governor Pat Neff, the state of Texas had an option to buy the ranch for a state park but declined because the location was remote. The site was converted to a resort ranch in 1935 by E. T. Prade. A United States post office was established there on May 22, 1940, and operated until June 30, 1954, when it became a rural post office.
The limestone bed of the West Frio, which passes through the ranch, was at one time maintained as a road connecting Leakey with State Highway 41 and Rocksprings. Farm Road 336, which now serves this purpose, closely follows the west bank of the stream, ascending the Frio canyon on the Balcones Escarpment to the Edwards Plateau. The West Frio also begins on the ranch, and some of the better-documented Indian pictographs in Real County, probably produced by Lipan Apaches or Comanches during the historic period, were painted in a shallow rockshelter on the eastern wall of the canyon near the springs. These paintings, though less ambitious than those of some sites of West Texas, are significant since they represent the eastern periphery of Indian rock art in the state.
Forrest Kirkland and W. W. Newcomb, Jr., The Rock Art of Texas Indians (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1967). Grace Lorene Lewis, A History of Real County (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1956).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.John Minton, "PRADE RANCH," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/app04), accessed September 01, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.