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Two of America’s most interesting homes have recently hit the market.

Oil Tycoon T. Boone Pickens’ Gigantic Texas Ranch”


T. Boone Pickens amassed his fortune via a concept he figured out as a paperboy. He expanded his paper route from 28 customers to 158 customers by buying out other delivery boys’ routes. It was the same proven theory he used to grow his oil and natural gas business that in time brought him a net worth of $950 million. In 2017, he put his much-loved Mesa Vista Ranch up for sale at $250 million. The 64,672-acre ranch is back on the market with a large price reduction to $170 million.


T. Boone Pickens, who died in 2019 at the age of 91, spent years making his Texas ranch into one of the world’s most valuable properties. The oilman and corporate raider began expanding his Mesa Vista Ranch in 1971 adding a 6,000-square-foot family home, 12,000-square-foot lake house, 33,000-square-foot lodge, a chapel, pub, vet lab, airplane runway and hangar, golf course, tennis courts and even the Oklahoma white-frame home where he grew up. With everything on the ranch so carefully thought out, even the airport has a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment above the hangar for pilots.


The listing agent is Monte Lyons of Hall & Hall, Lubbock, Texas


“One of America’s Last Family-Owned Gilded Age Mansions Lists $100 Million”


One of America’s last family-owned Gilded Age mansions has hit the market at $100 million. Located in Darien, Connecticut on an island on Long Island Sound, the 60-acre Great Island is the largest private island ever to be offered for sale on the East Coast. Built in 1902 and then purchased in the early 1900s by baking powder entrepreneur William Ziegler, the compound has remained in the Ziegler family since William bought it.


The 13,000-square-foot Great Island main house has 10 bedrooms and eight baths on over a mile of Long Island Sound waterfront. The estate has multiple additional properties, including a guest house, 19th-century farmhouse, caretakers cottage and a picturesque seaside cottage. A long list of amenities including a pool and sand beach, a deep-water dock that can accommodate a 100-foot-yacht, and equestrian facilities that were designed by Rafael Gustavino, known for his work on Grand Central Station and St. John the Divine. Equestrian features include an 18-stall granite stable, indoor and outdoor riding rings, a polo field, riding trails and many paddocks. One of the Ziegler family descendants is William Steinkraus, who was an Olympic show-jumping champion and won an Olympic gold medal at Mexico City in 1968. In the 1930s, architect-to-the-very wealthy, Addison Mizner, did renovations to the home.


Similar to many of the Gilded Age mansion owners, Ziegler bought the estate as a summer home to escape New York City’s heat. The massive mansions, built for families such as the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts and Astors, were sometimes called “summer cottages” with owners who were often competing to claim the largest and most extravagant homes. Very few of the Gilded Age mansions are still owned by private families, most have been demolished for their land, burnt down or donated to schools and non-profit institutions.

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