A BRIEF HISTORY OF PECAN PLANTATION
Comanche Indians first used the 4,200 acres of land that is now the Pecan Plantation residential community and the Leonard Bend Pecan Orchard as hunting and camping site. Due to the unusual configuration of the Brazos River virtually encircling this peninsula of land, the property has long been a distinctive landmark in North Central Texas.
The property was known as the deCordova Bend, named for Jocob deCordova, a noted surveyor who mapped not only the areas around Hood County, but also many other large areas of the early Texas Republic.
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 the Kristen’s in the late 1920’s. The community was known as Kristenstad, but by the late 1930’s, the settlement had failed and was abandoned.
In 1949, O. P. Leonard, a prominent Fort Worth businessman, purchased the property with the intention of developing it into a large pecan and peach orchard. By 1956 the Leonard Bend Pecan Farm had 3,300 acres of orchard on the peninsula, and had become the largest contiguous pecan orchard in Texas, and the second largest in the United States.
Part of the Leonard Bend Farm was acquired in 1967 by the Brazos River Authority for the purpose of building the deCordova Dam. The opening of Lake Granbury in 1969 completely changed the dynamics of the area.
Following the development of the deCordova Bend Estates (about 1,000 lots) in 1968, Leonard family members Paul and Bob Leonard, Jim Anthony and Leland Hodges formed Republic Land Company for the purpose of developing the Indian Harbor subdivision on Lake Granbury. Then in 1970 about 800 acres of the Leonard Bend Farm was taken out of the Farm and sold to the Republic Land Company for the purpose of creating Pecan Plantation as a residential community.
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.
In 1978 all assets of the PPOA were conveyed to the property owners by the developers. Lenmo, Inc., a wholly owned Leonard family corporation, retained its ownership of the remaining orchard, and resumed its primary business of pecan production. The Anthony family acquired 100% ownership of the outstanding shares of Lenmo, Inc. from their previous partners in 1988, and continued the operation of the pecan orchard. Today, the pecan orchard consists of approximately 1,500 acres and is an active year round operation.
In 1991 the Anthony’s donated the land required for a second golf course at Pecan Plantation, and the golf course now known as The Nutcracker Golf Club was built by some of the residents of Pecan Plantation. At this time, the Anthony’s resumed the development of additional residential lots around The Nutcracker Golf Course and in various portions of the remaining orchard.
Now, in cooperation with the Owners Association, the Orchard Development Company (a business formed by the Anthony’s for the purpose of continuing the development of the orchard) is now engaged in expanding the existing infrastructure and amenities of Pecan Plantation in preparation for the future growth of the community.
The Pecan Plantation community now consists of about 3,200 residential lots, with approximately 2,500 homes having been built. The developer, Orchard Development Company, and the PPOA have agreed that in the future the total number of developed lots on the original 4,200 acres will not exceed 4500.
The Anthony family and the Pecan Plantation Owners Association are committed to maintaining Pecan Plantation and its unique setting as one of the most outstanding residential communities in the Southwest.