Juan Dominguez de Mendoza, the first Spanish explorer into the area, leaves well-documented records of his foray into the Independence Creek and Pecos Valley area. He reported herds of bison roaming the land.
1800s – For centuries, this uninhabited land is traversed by Native American tribes, including the Mescalero Apache, Comanche, Pawnee, Kiowa, and others.
1850s – Early day settlers begin to move into the Trans-Pecos. Cattle companies run immense herds on open range.
1859 – During a trial period, a herd of camels is driven from San Antonio by an Army reconnaissance group to Ft. Davis. The camels are watered at the mouth of Independence Creek on June 15 during their successful trek.
1875 – The last of the Indians are removed by military force.
Charlie Chandler leaves his home in London, Texas, to work for the Western Union Beef Company. When the company goes out of business, the young cowboy decides to stay on and begins to work for early day ranchers and to buy his own ranch, a section at a time.
1908: Chandler Ranch
1930s: Mildred and Joe B. Chandler
1946: Jenny and Charlena posing with Charlie and a ranch employee in front of two bucks
1954: Destruction from record-breaking flood
1960s: JoBeth and Charlena with Joe B. at the old wagon wheels near the entrance of the ranch
1980s: The Whetrock Gang of Odessa, which organized tournaments at the ranch for several years
2014 – Joe “Joey” A. Chandler, the Chandler’s grandson, leases the ranch and starts a rebuilding program. Many of the older structures have to be demolished, but several are saved for renovation.
2015 – Work continues, with the reconstruction of the swimming pool a major project. Guests will be welcomed after a “soft” opening in late August. A future grand opening will be scheduled as renovation progresses.