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The “Birth” of Scurlock Farms Vacation Rentals

Published on October 3, 2016 by sherons

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.

Winding road to pecan bottom at Scurlock Farms

Winding road to pecan bottom Scurlock Farms

 

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 at Scurlock Farms

The Palette Pad at Scurlock Farms

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 at Scurlock Farms

Rocky Overlook at Scurlock Farms

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.

indian-bluff-flowers

Indian Bluff at Scurlock Farms Vacation Rentals

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.

fishing-guide-Scurlock-Farms

Our fishing guide, John, giving lessons to guests to Scurlock Farms

 

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.

vacation-family-group

Thweatt/Scurlock Clan Vacation at Scurlock Farms Vacation Rentals June, 2016

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.

Meet The Author
Dan and I were childhood sweethearts and will celebrate our 53 anniversary in May. We moved to the country in 1971 and have loved raising our two boys on the farm. After my parents died, we acquired the 112 acre farm and bought the adjoining 60 acre farm. We now have 172 beautiful acres with a little over one mile of San Gabriel River frontage. We remodeled the three homes on the farm and have offered them as vacation rental homes since 2010. We have hosted guests from every state and 21 countries and have loved meeting many different people. We raise cattle, goats, hay and pecans on the farm and there is always something going on! I love giving tours of the farm to our guests in a Polaris and show them the river, animals, hiking areas and give a little history of the farm. Well behave pets are welcome and the owners and the pets love being able to be off-leash. Wildlife is abundant and guests love seeing deer, bobcat, fox, coyote, raccoon, possom, rabbits, skunks, and armadillo. The farm is a birder's delights with the varied terrains - prairie top pastures, wooded hillside and bluffs, heavily wooded areas, and the river wetlands. Many bird watchers have seen lifers while visiting (a bird they have never seen in person before). Roadrunners are a favorite! Our youngest son was only 6 weeks old when we moved to the farm and he has built a home along the bluff and raised his family here. Our oldest son owns a business in Dallas and when he retires, he will move back to the farm. Guests have loved fishing and tubing the river, looking for fossils, or simply skipping rocks and wading with their little ones. Others have enjoyed hiking the spring-fed creek bed, looking for arrowheads, and hiking about the 172 acres. Others have enjoyed sitting in the outdoor areas of the homes and soaking up the peace and quiet as they enjoy the beauty from the bluffs and watch the birds and wildlife that comes by.
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