Eberly Ranch: From Texas Soil to Hollywood’s Retreat

Born in Waco, Texas, Lonnie Dunn carried the essence of a Texan cowboy throughout his life. Despite relocating to California, his heart and ambitions remained tethered to Texas. It was in 1970 that Dunn, driven by a blend of passion for ranching and real estate acumen, conceived and established the Eberly Ranch. This endeavor was more than a business venture; it was a tangible expression of his enduring connection to the Texan landscape and culture.

Hollywood and Political Circles: A Nexus at the Ranch

The ranch, nestled in the heart of Texas, transcended its geographical roots to become a rendezvous point for Hollywood celebrities and political figures. Dunn’s neighbor in California, the iconic John Wayne, was among the luminaries who shared his affinity for the Wild West ethos. The ranch, originally named Dunn Ranch, reportedly hosted weekend retreats for notable figures including Frank Sinatra and Plácido Domingo, alongside Presidents Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon. A noteworthy event was the Rockefeller family’s visit, an occasion that saw the ranch staff don neckties in a nod to the event’s significance.

An Exotic Oasis Amidst the Texan Landscape

Dunn’s vision for the ranch extended beyond traditional boundaries, transforming it into an exotic oasis. Giraffes, zebras, ostriches, camels, and buffalos roamed the ranch, turning it into a unique wildlife sanctuary. This addition brought a sense of wonder and global flair, offering guests an unparalleled experience.

Beyond Texas: International Ventures and Political Connections

In 1999, the Eberly family took over the ranch, yet Dunn’s influence remained palpable. His entrepreneurial spirit saw him venture into Haiti, undertaking a project at the Dauphin Plantation. His plans included an oil-transshipment facility and a deep-water port, showcasing his foresight in global business strategies.

Dunn’s narrative intertwines with the political sphere through his association with Tom Barrack, a significant figure with Republican ties. Barrack, a former employee of Dunn, played a crucial role in the 1988 sale of the NYC Plaza Hotel to Donald Trump, later President in 2016. This connection added another layer to Dunn’s multifaceted story.

The Republican Nexus: Dunn and Barrack’s Political Influence

Barrack’s role in the Reagan administration as the Undersecretary of the Interior highlighted his political clout. Dunn and Barrack’s involvement in the Republican Party was notable, impacting the party’s direction and decisions. Their influence reached key figures like Donald Trump, emphasizing their political significance.

Conclusion: The Legacy of Lonnie Dunn

Lonnie Dunn’s life story, characterized by ambition, innovation, and an unwavering Texan spirit, demonstrates a commitment to making a mark in various realms. From establishing the Eberly Ranch to his global and political engagements, Dunn’s legacy endures, symbolizing the rugged beauty and enduring spirit of Texas.



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