From the Author

The Mystic Shores lands were part of the premier 711 Ranch,
1949 – 1999. Prior to the ranch, the area’s 35 land grants date to 1838. Learn your property’s unique history!


     My husband and I moved to the lands of the 711 Ranch in the Texas Hill Country in 2001. We purchased the former home of 711 Ranch founders L. A. and Pearl Nordan in what is now the Mystic Shores subdivision in Comal County. For several years, we traveled to our home over three miles of unpaved ranch roads without another house in sight. Accompanied by amazing wildlife, we explored the lands as if they were our own. At night, we gazed into dark skies filled with brilliant stars while listening to mating calls of great horned owls. The spectacular aura of the 711 Ranch land seemed likely to endure forever.

     Our enchantment with the 711 Ranch lands sparked a curiosity to learn more about the history of the ranch and the people who lived here. In June 2003, we invited members of the Nordan Trust to dinner. In addition to trust employees, Anita Nordan Lindsay, daughter of L. A. and Pearl, and Sidney, Jr., Anita’s son and a Nordan grandson, attended. The evening proved to be remarkably special.

     During our time together, Anita and Sidney Jr. provided intriguing first-hand recollections of the Nordans and their 711 Ranch. With a good sense of humor, Anita described her parents’ personalities and accomplishments. Sidney, Jr. shared touching stories of time spent at the ranch. My husband and I savored every detail.

     Shortly thereafter, Anita shared with us her recent diagnosis of terminal cancer. Within a few months, she passed away; we were so saddened. somewhere on the periphery of our emotions, her passing left us with a strong sense that important history was fading fast.

     Meeting Anita and Sidney, Jr. was the seminal event that ignited my interest in learning about the 711 Ranch. I began collecting memories from former ranch employees. In short order, my interest turned into a serious endeavor. While researching old homesteads and cemeteries on these lands, a relentless question persisted: “Who used to live here?” Seeking answers provoked a deep dive into history. An unexpected panorama unfolded: stories of ancient man, Native Americans, Texas Revolution patriots, early Texas railroads, hardy settlers and talented ranchers. After generations of silence, the vast history raised its voice. Truly, these are “The Heritage Lands of the 711 Ranch.”

     Over the past twenty years of residential development, dramatic changes have taken place in these heritage lands. Lessons from other Texas Hill Country subdivisions reveal that, if not purposely embraced, heritage of the lands simply withers: newcomers lose any link to the history of their land; neighborhoods become generic. In contrast, the inevitable benefits of embracing local history are these: a greater love for the land and a stronger sense of community.

     For the 711 Ranch and Mystic Shores, the heritage of the land is now recorded. This historical panorama is sure to educate, enlighten and inspire. Read at your own pace, but please stay the course. Be inspired by the remarkable people that came before us. Stories, pictures and maps will help you connect the people to your own backyard. Allow this rich heritage to speak to you. Then enjoy the inescapable connection of this history to our community.     

To enhance your journey through these heritage lands, I am honored to introduce a genuine 711 Ranch cowboy, Pepe Gutierrez, as your personal tour guide. He will soon become as dear to you as he is to me. Riding together deep in the brush of this book, Pepe will inform and entertain you with real-life stories. I now step aside and let him take the reins. Happy Trails.