About Historic Tarrant Ranch

Elam Tarrant, who came from Talladega County, Alabama, built the old homestead and cemetery in 1850. The original house, which is still standing, was built 22 years before Jacksonville was established. In 1850, cotton was king, and the Tarrants had their own cotton gin and hauled the baled cotton in wagons to the river port in Jefferson to be sold. Jefferson was the largest town in Northeast Texas at the time and was an entry into Texas. One of very few properties in the State of Texas under same family ownership for over 160 years (7 generations).

In 1946, Robert Tarrant began raising cattle. At one time, the second largest herd of Brahman cattle in the United States lived on this ranch. Through special breeding, the Tarrants began a herd of black Brahman, and in 1957, registered the first-ever black Brahman. The cattle were shipped all over the world and were in high demand. In 2005, the cattle were sold, and the property was leased to other cattlemen.

The ranch became a recreational area in 2005. It now offers a lake lodge for short term rental, and if you love horseback riding and camping in the woods, this is the perfect place for you. Tarrant Ranch has more than 50 miles of marked trails cut into the woods with campsites available. Portable toilets are available; however, there is no electricity at the campsites. You can bring your recreational vehicle, pitch a tent and sleep under the stars.

The ranch is located on the Mount Selman/Loves Lookout earthquake fault line, and the geological activity has definitely shaped the property. Unique ponds with sundry rock formations are found in numerous locations. There is cold, crisp, clean water and more than 30 ponds and lakes on the property. Peaceful nights await you as you listen to crickets, coyotes and other critters that come alive at night.

This is a perfect place to bring a troop of Boy or Girls Scouts, your riding club or family for a quiet, inexpensive getaway.

Located on the same property but away from the trails and camping areas, James Foster leads a hog-hunting adventure with bows and arrows. For more details, visit Foster's website; Stretch-A-String. The bunkhouse for the hog-hunting adventure is something to behold. This perfect man cave has seperate sleeping and lounging areas. You can sleep or stay up all night with your buddies.

The cost is $8 per horse per day and $5 per rig a night to camp. The ranch is open 24/7 all year. Lots of memories are waiting to be made in this perfect setting.

Tarrant Ranch asks that you follow a couple of simple rules: No four-wheelers or utility vehicles and pick up your trash when you leave.


James R. Tarrant Sr.


Old Tarrant Homestead - Built in 1850

Elam & Perneitia Tarrant (Mother of 17 Children)

Robert Tarrant at Business Location - 1937

Robert Tarrant at Business Location - 1937