If you have a big interest in the 36th President of the United States, you’ll get a satisfying dose of history in Johnson City. There are three historical sites worth exploring: the LBJ Settlement, which is at the edge of downtown Johnson City, the LBJ Boyhood Home in downtown Johnson City (on Elm Street), and the LBJ Ranch, 14 miles west of town on US 290.
Since I was born in the 70’s, and therefore think that’s when history began, I didn’t have a huge interest in getting an LBJ history lesson. While I didn’t drive out to the Ranch, I did spot the Settlement alongside US 290, and decided to check it out.
From the highway, you’ll walk past a few pastures where Longhorn cattle are grazing.
After snapping a few pictures of the photogenic longhorns…
… continue down the path to the windmill, water tank and cooler house. They were added to the settlement by James Polk Johnson, LBJ’s grandfather’s nephew. He’s also the man for which Johnson City was named.
JPJ also built this barn, located near the windmill.
In addition to the longhorns, you might find a horse on the property, ready to pose for pictures.
The highlight of the walking tour of the LBJ Settlement is the Johnson Cabin, also known as Dog-Trot Cabin (because it had a breezeway, or “dog trot”, in between the rooms). LBJ’s grandfather, Samuel Ealy Johnson Sr., moved here with his new bride in 1867. It served as a home, and the headquarters for Sam’s and his brother Tom’s cattle business.
You can’t step inside, but you can peer through the glass. Inside, the rooms are furnished the same way as they would have been in the late 1800’s.
[tmt_info =””]To get your bearings, stop by the LBJ National Historic Park Visitor Center, in downtown Johnson City. It’s on Ladybird Lane at G Street, just about a block away from the Boyhood Home, and a short walk from the Settlement. You can park at the visitor center, or at a turnout on US 290 (which is a little closer to the settlement’s main attractions).[/tmt_info]
[tmt_info =””If you decide to drive out to the LBJ Ranch, you’ll get to tour the “Texas White House”, which LBJ’s ranch house which he used while on vacation as President. You can also see his grandparents’ house, and his reconstructed birthplace.][/tmt_info]