HABS: Perez Ranch – Short Report


Pérez Ranch, HABS No. TX-3539-A


(Pérez Ranch, Goat Herder’s Shack)


Location: Left bank of Medina River, west of Applewhite Road, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas.

Significance: The jacal may represent the last original standing structure associated with the Pérez Ranch used during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to house ranch hands.

Description: The jacal or goat-herder’s shack on the Pérez property has elements of traditional jacal construction with additional commercial elements. It has a severe lean to the east and is in danger of total collapse. The rear addition of the more recent materials has already seen structural damage, likely by livestock. The interior has been vandalized. To keep these threats to at minimum, the City of San Antonio has enclosed the area with a chain-linked fence. The area surrounding the jacal was cleared for architectural and archeological investigation, but prior to this, secondary vegetation had overgrown the structure. The height of the jacal at the time of documentation was approximately 107 inches at its highest peak at the gable in the western wall. The plan is 15 feet by 15.6 feet with a front porch extending an additional 5.6 feet from the front door. Sandstone was placed around the perimeter of the jacal, including the rear addition and front porch (Figure C-2). Original photographs are available to research in the field records. Scanned images of these follow the narrative (Figures C-3 through C-13).

The floor plan shows a front porch, one interior room of hand-hewn oak posts, and a rear addition made entirely of commercial materials (Figure). The posts are set in the ground an unknown depth and range from 6 feet 10 inches to 7 feet 3 inches and average 4 inches in diameter. The eastern wall is constructed of 12 long hand-hewn posts and 5 saw-cut short posts under the window and 6 saw-cut short posts above the window, with an opening 20 inches by 30 inches. Read more.