The Story

Just up the road and around the bend, is a 3,100 acre, historical ranch tied to a story as big as the great state of Texas… There are Italian nuns, gun slinging cowboys, Native American Indians and enough black gold to make a Permanent University fund. And. The Best Part? It’s also the choice of Austin master planned communities you can call home.


Known as the Patron Saint of the Impossible, Santa Rita’s blessings found their way from Cascia to the flow of the New York Stock Exchange, where stock salesmen convinced a group of Catholic nuns to invest in drilling for oil in Texas.
One day Saint Rita was very ill and her cousin came to the convent to visit her. Rita asked her to “bring me a rose from the garden of my old home in Rocca Porrena.” To her cousin’s astonishment, on entering the garden she saw, on a sapless and leafless rosebush, a beautiful red rose in full bloom. The Saint received the rose with great joy.
The real story behind our land at Santa Rita Ranch starts in the small, cobblestone town of Cascia, Italy with a young girl named Rita. After the unfortunate death of her husband and son she was welcome to the Augustinian convent. She was a miracle for her time.
Two of the nuns handed Mr. Frank Pickrell an envelope with a red rose blessed by the priest in the name of St. Rita.
He took the rose back to Texas, climbed to the top of the derrick, scattered the rose petals over the rig and said, I hereby christen thee Santa Rita on May 28, 1923.
Oil blew over the top of the derrick and sprayed the countryside. The income from the Santa Rita No. 1 oil well began the foundation for the Permanent University Fund, which provides financial support in the development of University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University systems. The first oil royalty payment to the Permanent University Fund was made on August 24, 1923.
Santa Rita Ranch is transforming into a community 6,000+ families can call home. Find out why our Hill Country style is different than other Austin master planned communities.