Just a week after becoming president, Lyndon Baines Johnson picked up a ranch in Blanco County — Johnson City, to be exact — as a hideaway where he could relax a bit.
And when he announced he wouldn’t be running for re-election in 1968, it was his 800-acre spread that he retreated to, giving staffers strict instructions to keep the press at bay for a while.
After LBJ died in 1973, Lady Bird stayed on — at least part of the time — until her death in 2007.
And while that spread isn’t for sale (it’s now part of a national park), another nearby parcel along the Pedernales River that he bought from his aunt much earlier — in the 1950s — is. Johnson sold this parcel in 1971.
The 142-acre property — currently owned by the sculpture Benini and his wife, Lorraine — has been transformed into an ode to artistry, but it still hangs on to some of the LBJ-era trappings, including the house that served as Secret Service quarters.
The current three-bedroom, two-bath home was built on the foundation of Johnson’s former home, but still boasts Johnson’s original bedroom and bathroom (including his tub).
“This Hill Country ranch boasts some of the most scenic 360-degree views in Central Texas,” enthuses listing agent Dave Murray of Coldwell Banker United, Realtors Northwest Austin. “The updated hilltop home sits at an elevation of over 1800 feet, has multiple outdoor porches and unencumbered views in each direction.”
In addition to the home, the Secret Service quarters have also been renovated, and a 12,000 square foot hangar that the artist has used to showcase his work is also part of the deal.
The Hill Country spread is located at 377 Shiloh Road in Johnson City, and is listed for $2.8 million.