Click here to join the Eanes History Group, a live virtual program.

If you’re having difficulties, please refer to Zoom’s support information. Westbank Library is unable to provide tech assistance during the program. Please contact if you would like to schedule tech help or if you would like additional information regarding this library program.

Commons Ford Ranch Metropolitan Park: The Historic Barn & Cabin
Since becoming a part of the park system in 1983, the Commons Ford Ranch has served as a unique recreational space for Austin citizens. Given its incredible natural scenery and historic structures, the park is an invaluable resource as a cultural landscape. This research focused on developing a condition assessment for the historic barn and cabin structures, framed in a written historical context for the former ranch and landscape. Given the park’s position along the river by the former Santa Monica Springs, its proximity to the Preece Ranch and the Chisholm Cattle Trail, its period as the Resaca Ranch, as well as its connection to the Eanes community, the cultural landscape we see today is a product of many historical layers that provide a fascinating entry point into Austin’s history of settlement. I will be presenting the overall history we have put together and my work specifically on the structures themselves – as this tract of land has proven to be relatively undocumented during the 20th century, we would be thrilled to learn anything the community might have to share!

Eliza Blackman is a Master’s student in Historic Preservation at the University of Texas at Austin. A Georgia-native, she received her bachelor’s in Art History and French from New York University and has worked in museums and arts organizations. Through UT’s School of Architecture she is currently working with the City of Austin and the National Park Service on several projects to document and protect historic park resources.

Please read these ground rules ahead of the conversation:

  • Please keep your camera on for the discussion and provide your name.
  • Mute if there is background noise.
  • Respect the privacy of others by not reporting what you hear in this conversation with any specificity or attribution.
  • Be respectful and listen when others are speaking.
  • Allow everyone’s voice to be heard that wants to be heard.