History


Founded in 1947

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The 542-acre dude ranch came into existence when, in 1947,  Colonel Jack Lapham purchased it from the original Polish settlers. Jack’s last name is accredited for ‘L’ in ‘Flying L’.


Aviation History

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Lapham, a retired Air Corps Colonel, had a vision to create a place where modern people could go and find themselves lost in time. The Colonel introduced an airstrip and instructed his own  flight school at the ranch.

Click the link below for an informative web article: http://www.airfields-freeman.com/TX/Airfields_TX_SanAntonioW.htm#flyingl


Frank Lloyd Wright

The original Villas and Pilot’s Lounge, were designed by the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The Villas were intently designed to resemble grounded aircraft. The Villas, when viewed aerially, truly exemplify that of aeronautical design.


LIFE  Magazine

The grand opening of the Flying L was a spectacular event. Using his powerful connections, Colonel Lapham hosted a ‘Ranch & Aviation’ themed fashion show. Industry-leading fashion designers such as Stanley Marcus, the co-founder of Neiman Marcus, designed stylish aeronautic and cowboy-oriented apparel exclusively for the event. Journalists and photographers from LIFE magazine attended and later published an article pertaining to the success of the show. Experience a first-hand glimpse of the event in the photos below.


Remembering Colonel Jack Lapham

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The grand opening of the Flying L was a spectacular event. Using his powerful connections, Colonel Lapham hosted a ‘Ranch & Aviation’ themed fashion show. Industry-leading fashion designers such as Stanley Marcus, the co-founder of Neiman Marcus, designed stylish aeronautic and cowboy-oriented apparel exclusively for the event. Journalists and photographers from LIFE magazine attended and later published an article pertaining to the success of the show. Experience a first-hand glimpse of the event in the photos below.


Famous Guests

The Ranch’s guests have included John Wayne, Slim Pickens, Willie Nelson, Tex Ritter, Jim Reeves, Ray Price, Buck Owens, Chill Wills, Jack Kramer, and Robert Fuller. The television show The Cisco Kid even filmed an episode at the Ranch.


The Future

In 2013, Flying L was purchased by long-time employees.  The current owners have placed new emphasis on uncovering and appreciating the rich history of the Ranch. Restoration of the Pilots’ Lounge and T-Hangars have already begun. You can become a part of the Ranch’s rich aeronautical history by becoming a member of our Pilot’s club.