The “Birth” of Scurlock Farms Vacation Rentals
Guests often ask how we became involved in the vacation rental business.
Scurlock Farms Vacation Rentals was “born” November, 2010. To explain that, I have to go all the way back to 1971. My mom and dad, Bill and Pauline Thweatt, bought the original 112 acres in 1968. They offered their five children a home site of their choice. The only hitch was it could not be sold while they were still living, and both were in their early 40’s at the time.
Dan and I were the only ones that took them up on their offer.
Dan worked in Austin and we had no plans on moving from the area. In 1971 we chose a spot about 1/4 mile down the drive from mama and daddy. We selected a site close to the bluff, that offers views that go for miles over the river valley, and one that had many huge live oak trees.
After my dad died in 1986, Dan and I began acquiring the farm, and eventually owned all but the six acres around the studio and mama’s home.
As mama got older, she began to worry about what we would do with the houses when she was gone.
Mama decided to leave the remaining six acres surrounding her home and art studio to Dan and me and the money to my siblings. We had raised our two sons on the farm and mama knew we would not want to sell. Our home was on the farm, and our youngest son had also built his home and raised his family on the farm. My siblings had all indicated they had no interest in living on the farm.
I thought we might move into her home, but then we would have to decide what to do with our home 1/4 mile down the road, and Dan really did not want to leave our home.
After mama died, we remodeled The Palette Pad first, then began remodeling the big house, which we named Rocky Overlook.
The Palette Pad was mama’s art studio that daddy built entirely by hand. C. P. Montague was the name she painted under, and mama was one of President Lyndon Johnson’s favorite artists.
Rocky Overlook was mama and daddy’s dream home. Mama drew the plans for the home among the huge live oaks that surround it. Daddy had the foundation poured and the framework done, then he built the rest of the home with his own hands – cabinetry, walls, everything! He was a very talented, artistic man in his own right.
My original intent was to rent both out as long-term rentals. They turned out so well I couldn’t bear the thought of someone living in them and not taking care of them.
Scurlock Farms Vacation Rentals was born!
My family has used vacation rental homes for 20 years and I decided that is what I would do with the two homes. I had a ball furnishing them and if I say so myself, they came out spectacularly! Scurlock Farms Vacation Rentals was born and we have never looked back. It has been such a wonderful experience. We have never had a bad guest.
In 2013 Dan and I bought the 60 acre farm that adjoined our farm and remodeled the three bedroom home on that property. It has been beautifully furnished and we named it Indian Bluff. It sits on the bluff, the highest point above the San Gabriel River for miles. The land was a campsite for the Tonkawa Indians. Many artifacts and arrowheads have been found there over the years.
We have had guests to Scurlock Farms from England, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, China, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia, India, Nigeria, Poland, Ukraine, Sweden, Greece and guests from Grand Cayman will arrive in April. South Dakota was the only state we had not had guest from until this week, March 4, 2017.
Our boys and grandchildren love having our family celebrations in Rocky Overlook or Indian Bluff, and family visiting from out of town really enjoy having their own “home” to go to during down times and for the night. Some are avid fishermen and have always caught fish in the San Gabriel River at Scurlock Farms. It is great having three extra homes for them to stay in!
I am the oldest of my siblings, so I am now the matriarch of the family (sounds so old doesn’t it?!) – the baton has passed.
We still have family gatherings at the “family farm” with my siblings. In June, I reserved all three vacation rental homes on the farm for all my siblings and some of our children and grandchildren. We had 19 – 25 on the farm for a week, and we had so much fun on our vacation!!
Do you have a family home you still enjoy going back to, or perhaps one you inherited? What did you do with it? Share your story with us in the comment section.