I Can’t Believe It!

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By Baxter Black.
After standing watch on the Rio Grande for nearly a century, Fort Clark was finally deactivated on Feb. 9, 1946 and turned into, of all things, a dude ranch. Sam Maverick, well-known signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, drove a hard bargain with the Army in July 1852. He talked the free-spending strangers into paying $50 a month for the rights to 4,000 acres of western range they could have bought for a nickel an acre on the open market. The isolated site was on Las Moras Creek, 150 miles west of San Antonio and a 25-mile horseback ride from the Rio Grande River. It was a hot, inhospitable area where the handful of hardy inhabitants lost count of 100-degree days and rarely saw more than 20 inches of rain in the course of a bone-dry year.

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