The real life working ranch that inspired both the book and the film was started in 1852 in the Wild Horse Desert of South Texas by Captain Richard King. He bought a Spanish land grant of 75,000 acres and began to breed the famous Santa Gertrudis breed of cattle. Today, the Ranch and its historic buildings have been given National Historic Landmark status. You can spend the entire day visiting the Ranch and its world-within-a-world. Buildings to see on foot, or by the Ranch's own motorbus tour, include Mrs. King's carriage house, the Commissary, and the Mansion home built by Richard King's widow Henrietta (played by Elizabeth Taylor in the movie).