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Southfork Ranch fiction

A history of the Ewing family home Southfork Ranch.
Ewing Oil

History of the Ewing empire
Southfork Ranch factual

Factual information on the Ewing home used in the series. Includes photos of the original ranch.
Other locations

Find out the real life locations of buildings used in the series.

Though Southfork is referred to as "the ranch." there have been two Southforks, , Southfork in Dallas and J.M.J. Ranch in Hidden Hills. California. The original Southfork, as seen in the first five episodes, was the Box Ranch. The Box home was used for exteriors only; a house on Swiss Avenue, in Dallas, which became known as 'the Swiss house,` was used for interiors. When the show began life as summer of 1978, Lorimar switched to Duncan Acres. Duncan Acres is now legally named Southfork. Interiors were shot at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Calder in Turtle Creek, Texas.

The sets on the soundstages at MGM were copies of the Calder home.

"They duplicated everything," says Bran Calder. "Wallpaper, furniture, even the spool headboard I had moved from my mother's house twenty years ago. They also duplicated those awful brocade drapes. It's a strange feeling to see exact reproductions of your home, down to the last detail. The only differences I see on television are the placements of a few light switches. The Duncan home is the Southfork we know and love, although the Duncans no longer own it. Like the Box home, it has a portico, but the Duncan home has four round columns, whereas the Box home has six square ones.

The Duncan home is also much newer and has a gabled roof. The Box home has a pitched roof with a widow's walk inside the portico. The Duncans ran through a roller coaster of emotions with Dallas when they owned the ranch.Duncan rented the place to Lorimar the first year, then spent the year in a legal tangle because his neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. John Barber, tried to get an injunction against Lorimar because they felt the commotion was a nuisance and the shooting a threat to the safety of their children.

When the courts didn't close the set down, Duncan turned commercial and all but set up a lemonade stand on his front yard. He began to charge gawkers four dollars to set foot on the property and sold off souvenir land deeds at twenty-five dollars a square foot. The Duncans continued to live on the ranch. even during production. They allowed stars indoors to a breath of air conditioning, although Larry Hagman (who will not go near anyone who smokes cigarettes) teasingly called Mrs. Duncan a chimney. In 1984 the Duncans threw in their spurs and sold Southfork to real estate developer Terry Trippit. Trippit is now in the Southfork busi­ness and has begun to seriously merchandise the 164-acre ranch as a party and convention center. Yellow-and-white striped tents huddle beyond the paddock area. They are available for charities, weddings, bar mitzvahs. or any other event you care to create. There are also two enclosed "ballrooms —large rooms for dances or meetings that can house a thousand people. The Stud Barn, directly behind the big house, is a snack bar.

The Box ranch

10514 E.Main St. Frisco,Tx. 75035 - Southfork for the first five episodes.

Original owner Cloyce Box.

Box ranch from opening titles 1978
Box ranch from opening credits 1978

The original Southfork ranch in the tv series
Box ranch rebuilt 2006

"Growing up in Frisco i remember the house well and have been in it many times. in the 60's and 70's Frisco was a small tight community where everyone knew too much about everyone else. the original house burned down in 1986 it is gone. what you see now is owned by Brinkman and is even a larger ranch (about 6 square miles) than the original Box Ranch which was only about half that size. the current ranch begins at highway 289 (Preston Rd.)and farm road 720 (main street) and goes about 2 miles north and 3 miles east of that intersection. the house or structure you can see from the road is all steel and concrete with plywood covering a slate roof the idea being this won't burn. below the structure is a huge basement at least 5000 square feet full of water. The rebuilding was not ever completed because the owner died in 1993. he was a popular man in the community and bought the house in the early to mid sixties. if you want to see the inside of the original house watch the movie "Hush Hush sweet Charlotte" which was filmed in and around the house before Box owned it. the house was old and unoccupied for many years before box bought the original 200 acres for around a quarter mill or so (probably spent millions on remodeling the place through the years). Actually it was being remodeled again when it burned down. a painter was finishing some cabinets when he was told to get his compressor and put it outside and he did. the next day he did the no no of placing the compressor in the room again, but by the door. anyway he had a five gallon bucket of paint thinner next to the compressor and it caught fire. freaking out he tried to throw the bucket out the door burning himself severly and setting off a huge fire which basically destroyed everything in the house. there were very many unreplacable items destroyed in the next couple of hours. none of the Boxes live in frisco anymore."

Sources have stated that the owner of the original ranch was under investigation for some less savory business deals and decided he did not want a film crew hanging around so informed the Ewings they would have to move. And move they did into the home we now all know and love.

Fire destorys box ranch 1987

Southfork Ranch Plano, Texas

Dallas shot on location at Southfork Ranch
1984 scene shot on location at Southfork Ranch plano Texas

Located near Plano, Texas in the community of Parker, Texas where the Dallas television series was filmed. It is located at 3700 Hogge (pronounced "Hoag") Drive.

The house was built in 1970 by Joe Duncan and was known as Duncan Acres, named after his family. The property was originally 200 acres (0.81 km²) in size. The "Mansion" at Southfork Ranch is actually a 4769 sq ft. house with a 957 sq ft (88.9 m²) enclosed garage that was turned into a den/card room.

The TV series' exteriors were shot on the ranch beginning with the second season (1978-1979) of Dallas, and shot there until 1989 when the series' production shifted entirely to Lorimar Studios (now Sony Pictures Studios) in California. The reunion movies J.R. Returns (1996) and War of the Ewings (1998) returned to the ranch, along with the reunion special Dallas Reunion: The Return to Southfork (2004). War of the Ewings in 1998 was the only time filming was done inside the real ranch for dramatic purposes (Return to Southfork in 2004 was a retrospective, and not a genuine "episode").

Southfor pool

The ranch is currently an event and conference center, one of those owned by Forever Resorts, a division of MLM company Forever Living Products. Daily tours of the ranch and mansion are offered for an admission fee of $9 for adults. It is home to the KLTY-FM radio Christian concert Celebrate Freedom, held annually during the Independence Day celebration.

The Swiss House - 5020 Swiss Avenue

Originally used for interior shots and reproduced on set.

Built in 1928, the home was originally designed by the well known architectural firm of Lang & Witchell who also designed other landmarks such as Highland Park’s Town Hall, the State Fair Music Hall and the Kirby building.

Swiss house used in TV series Dallas living room
The living room used on the TV series Dallas


The famous Ewing dining room

The Southfork stairs
The famous Southfork stairway recreated on set



Check out the official Southfork Ranch website