The History of Pecan Plantation comes to us from several sources. You will find that there are several contradictions in the sources shown below, but overall they tell the same story.
Comanche Indians first used the 4,200 acres of land that is now the Pecan Plantation. Due to the unusual configuration of the Brazos River virtually encircling the peninsula of land, the property has long been a distinctive landmark just south of Granbury, Texas. The property was known as the De Cordova Bend, named for Jacob De Cordova, an early Texas pioneer who explored and surveyed it in the 1850s.
Virtually abandoned for about 50 years following the exodus of the American Indians from the area, the property was finally settled by a communal group of families led to the site by John B. Christensen in the late 1920s. The community was known as Kristenstad, but by 1938 the settlement had failed and was abandoned. In 1949 O.P. Leonard, a prominent Fort Worth businessman, purchased the property and renamed it Leonard Bend. By 1956 the Leonard Bend Pecan Farm had 3,300 acres of orchard on the peninsula.
The Brazos River Authority in 1966 started building the De Cordova Dam. The opening of Lake Granbury in 1969 completely changed the dynamics of the area. The Leonard family started development of the pecan farm as a residential community in the late 1960s. The country club, golf course, airport and several recreational areas and parks were opened in 1971, and the Pecan Plantation Owners Association (PPOA) was formed in 1972 by the developers.
For additional and in-depth history on the bold items above, please click on the following Web links. These are arranged in chronological order.
A poem written in 1916 about life in the De Cordova Bend.
A story written about Kristenstad in 1931 which was picked up and published in the national press: Kristenstad: A Practical Utopia by C.M. Hammond in the Texas Weekly.
A story in the Texas Parade, May 1971, by Mary Fickle, titled Texas' Lost Utopia.
Toward a History of Kristenstad a thesis presented to the University of Texas at Arlington in May 1979 and included on the Hood County Texas Genealogical Society Web site. (about 70 pages). http://www.granburydepot.org/z/biog/Kristenstad.htm
Coins used in exchange for merchandise in “Kristenstad, Texas the Utopian Community on the Brazos”. Tokens
A History of the De Cordova Dam and the Brazos River Authority. http://www.granburydepot.org/z/biog/DeCordovaBendDam.htm
“The Depot” Granbury, Texas ... Home of the Hood County, Texas Genealogical Society Research Archive. http://www.granburydepot.org/
Kristenstad article by Jon McConal in Fort Worth Star-Telegram, August 2000.
Assembled by John and Jo Campbell, Pecan Plantation residents