SANTA ANNA, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The Texas Ranger Motel and RV Park in Santa Anna now has a new set of owners, who want to let others know about the history of this location and even let them experience it for themselves.
New owners, Todd and Vicki Virden, said they drove by the site at least ‘a million times,’ since they grew up in the area.
“I never really knew there was anything up here or even behind this main building,” Todd revealed.
The couple said what they knew about the site wasn’t much, until they heard it was for sale and decided to have a look at it for themselves.
“When we walked in, we were just taken back – literally back,” Vicki recalled.
The Virdens decided to buy the property, and when they officially took over, the then manager had just one concern; preserving its history.
We learned about this history by speaking with local historian, Monti Guthrie, who told KTAB/KRBC about a group of Native Americans who stayed in the area.
“The Penateka Comanche were in this area and dominated two-thirds of Texas for 200 years,” Guthrie explained. Pointing to the mountain behind the motel, he continued, “This mountain is where Chief Santana had his headquarters.”
Guthrie said he used to play on the mountain as a kid. But it wasn’t until later that he realized that was where the Comanches sent smoke signals and were run off by a new group that came in.
“They called themselves the Texas Ex-Rangers. These were the old Indian-fighters that came here in the late 20’s and early 30’s,” Guthrie chronicled.
The Texas Ex-Rangers used what is now the office building, and Guthrie said what happened at this location is a part of what gave the town Santa Anna its name.
“Learning about what was before us, is just learning about us,” gushed Guthrie.
Now, the Virdens are dedicated to preserving this story and old artifacts in this location, including the original floors and walls of the Texas rangers building.
Even though they are preserving everything they can, the Virdens said they are also working to expand the property. Their latest project is the construction of a pool in front of the office building.
“We’re just hoping to enhance Santa Anna, enhance Coleman County,” Vicki assured.
Anyone can rent an RV spot, book a room, or even rent out the office building for a special occasion.
The Texas Ranger Motel and RV Park has motels rooms, two cabins, and an RV park. Activities around the area can be found on its website.