Latitude / Longitude:
28° 0′ 3″ N, 97° 54′ 14″ W
Central (CST) (UTC-6)
Casa Blanca was an unincorporated community two miles (3 km) southwest of Sandia and twenty miles (32 km) northeast of Alice in extreme northeastern Jim Wells County, Texas, United States.
The Casa Blanca or White House was part of a settlement established at the site around 1754 by Tomás Sánchez de la Barrera y Gallardo, captain of Laredo, who was ordered to find a suitable site for a new settlement. After surveying the country Sánchez selected a site on the banks of Peñitas Creek. A settlement was established there, and the White House was constructed of caliche blocks known as ciares. The house was built in the shape of a square with a courtyard in the center; the well in the courtyard also served as the end of a tunnel out of the building. Toward the end of the eighteenth century the house was used as a mission.
The Wade Ranch was actually in operation from 1898 (Upon John Wade’s death in 1898, the land was divided among his family. Wallis inherited the land. Wallis and Lou Ella married in 1894.) until Lou Ella Wade’s death (96 years) in 1973. At that point it was broken up and most of the property became owned by numerous heirs through joint tenancy. The last heirs were bought out in about 2004, which meant that for the first time since about 1864, no Wade heir owned the property. Records from the ranch currently reside at Texas A&M – Kingsville and are only open by appointment.
The first dam created was called Las Frutas in 1929. In 1945, the state attempted to eminent domain to dam more of the Nueces River which was fought until 1955 at which point the state prevailed and was able to dam the river to become the water supply for Corpus Christi and thus flooding and making unusable a little over 2,600 acres (11 km2) of the 10,000-acre (40 km2) Wade Ranch.