“I had such a wonderful childhood … I want so much for other children to experience the beauty here.” —Oma Bell Perry
Big Springs Ranch, located 9 miles north of Leakey, was given to HCYR in 1996 by Oma Bell Perry to build a children’s home. Miss Perry settled here in 1928 at age 15, ranching its rugged canyons with goats and cattle for 75 years.
Oma Bell loved the land and she loved children. Though she never had children of her own, Miss Perry delighted in visiting the girls and boys who came to live at their new home on the Frio during its formative years. Until her death in 2003, Miss Perry enjoyed being a grandmother to the children.
The Ranch surrounds the headwaters of the Frio River and four miles of its banks. The healing qualities of canyons, with the sounds of the river and wildlife, were well-known to Oma Bell, who believed they would help wounded children, and they have.
BSRC is now a thriving village, with 8 family-style houses for children, grandparent cottages nearby, and K-12 charter schools. Horseback riding, animal care, and cattle ranching are cornerstones, and there are also athletic fields, a gym, a chapel, a vocational shop, a general store, a community center, and a library.
There are few places on earth that can match the breath-taking beauty of Big Springs Ranch. Known as “the country of 1100 springs”, the Ranch existed for centuries as home to Native Americans, and eventually to European pioneers. Its most recent purpose is a tribute to the visionary who saw its possibilities for children and dreamed a dream that in the end came true.