The Chicken Ranch, La Grange, TX

Anyone who has listened to ZZ Top knows one of their most famous songs is La Grange. This song is about, “the best little whorehouse in Texas.” This place was actually a real whorehouse that local law enforcement turned a blind eye to. It is on the outskirts of La Grange, Texas and is about the halfway point between Houston and Austin if you take Highway 71.

This whorehouse was actually nicknamed, “The Chicken Ranch,” due to the fact that during the Great Depression the customers could pay in chickens instead of money. Eventually, the population of chickens exploded there. It opened in 1905 and was eventually shut down in 1973 by state law enforcement officials. The buildings themselves are still there, but in a state of ruins. You can read more about it on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_Ranch_(Texas)

To get to the Chicken Ranch, I had to drive under those cool bridge and then through the town of La Grange itself.

Since this was on the outskirts of town, I drove out into the country. The road it was down was a really narrow country road. This is another unassuming place you’d never realize unless you were looking for it.

It took us a bit of driving to actually find it and I overshot it the first time. Google Maps has an approximate address, but you really have to look for it. I did start playing La Grange and was able to eventually find it.

There were cows grazing around it, and it just felt we were in the desolate middle of nowhere. I don’t think we even encountered a car the whole time I was looking at it.

La Grange is one of the more famous places that has a song written about it. Also the movie, “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” was a musical and also a movie written about the place. I wonder if someone will restore it to its former glory and make a museum out of it or if it’s going to continue to sit there in ruins with cattle grazing around it. I guess time will tell and it was nice I was able to see it before it was completely destroyed by time.

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