Marina. When not in the marina, the yacht is docked in the
Bahamas, a favored spot for TL’s fishing excursions.
CHANGE IS COMING
But as the decade of the 1970s dawns, change is coming for
Cow Creek Ranch, named for the cypress-covered creek held
sacred by Seminoles that bisected the north and south sides
of the ranch.
“That creek made you feel like that ranch was a really
special place, different from the others,” says Robin Robertson
Longstreet, who also lived on the ranch as a child and is
Darren’s sister. “It had a magical feel about it. I used to ride
my horse out there and just hang out there for hours.”
In 1970, Cow Creek is a finely tuned cow-calf operation, a
ARNOLD FAMILY ARCHIVES
Cow Creek Ranch owner TL Sloan, left, with his ranch foreman Aubrey
Arnold in the 1960s on the ranch’s old International Harvester 660.
ranch in which cows and bulls produce calves which, after
weaning, are sold and shipped to western feed lots for fattening
and eventual slaughter. TL’s cow-calf operation is a different
setup from the days of Frank Raulerson, when cattle were
raised to maturity and then sold off for eventual slaughter to
local or regional markets.
Since taking over the ranch after the death of Frank Raulerson
in 1954, TL had mechanized many of the functions, such
as vaccinating and dipping cattle against diseases. He wisely
leased many of his pastures to tomato farmers, who rotate
their crops to avoid disease and in the process clear and improve
irrigation at no cost to the ranch.
Sport Pickering, who grew up at Cow Creek from 1960 to
1965 when his father lived and worked there as a cowboy, >>
PICKERING FAMILY ARCHIVES
Cowboys work cattle in the cowpens at Cow Creek Ranch in the 1960s. By
1970, the ranch had become a finely tuned cow-calf operation.
Cow Creek Ranch originated as a swamp with heavy scrub in dry areas. Tomato farmers helped clear much of the land for crops, and the land was later
used as pastures for cattle. Through the practice of rotating their crops, the tomato farmers benefited the ranch, improving the irrigation of the pastures.