STAY, PLAY & GET AWAY
Tres Molinos Hill Country Ranch and Resort offers its guests a relaxing ranch experience that is sure to calm the senses and restore the soul. Guests have the opportunity to leave behind the hustle and bustle of daily life while they spend their days in the peaceful atmosphere of an almost 100-year-old family ranch, turned hill country resort.
A stay at Tres Molinos includes tons of outdoor fun! There is hiking, fishing, archery, hunting, a shooting range, ATVs and of course horseback riding. “We don’t offer the typical trail ride where you get on a horse and follow in a single file line,” said Patrick Moellendorf, owner of Tres Molinos. “In fact, our Ranch Rides are very popular because our guests get to have a true ranch experience. They help us work the livestock and doctor the animals if needed. They get to be a part of life on the ranch.”
“Our ATV rides are very similar. Rather than a trail you have to stay on, guests get to ride around on 125 acres. We even give them a bucket of feed and they can drive around and interact with the animals we have on the ranch. They have a lot of fun,” added Patrick.
Guests can choose to simply come for the day or pack their bags and stay in Tres Molinos’ luxury accommodations. Each unit offers a kitchen and can sleep up to four people. Whether you choose to stay in the Urban Cowboy, Hill Country Glam or the Texas Farmhouse, you will not be disappointed! RV hookups and camp sites are also available.
The onsite restaurant is open for dinner on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings and brunch is offered on Saturday and Sunday. Brunch is “drop in”, however be sure to call ahead for dinner as reservations are required.
There is also a stunning rock indoor/outdoor event center available for special events including weddings, corporate events, birthday parties and family reunions. The ranch also holds fun equestrian events such as sortings, round robbins and team pennings in the TM Arena. Concerts and special events are even held at the ranch from time to time and always offer up a fun-filled time.
Tres Molinos Ranch is built on a family ranch in Harper, Texas. The Ranch has been in the family and used as a homestead for close to 100 years. In 2024, the ranch will be eligible to qualify for Historic designation when it officially turns100 years old. In 2017, Patrick Moellendorf began building a new house, the Events Center and B&B of Tres Molinos Ranch & Resort. He named the entry road after his late grandmother Wanda, who he has always thought highly of.
Story has it that Wanda’s grandfather, Klaehn came over directly from Germany in 1893, following shortly after a friend, Mr. Filter, who brought four daughters with him. Grandfather Klaehn settled near the Filters and those girls were mighty industrious…baking bread, keeping house and washing clothes. Although 20 years older than those girls. He picked one that “qualified”, married her and they had nine children. Wanda’s father was the oldest boy. Grandfather Klaen was industrious in his own right, for in 1899 he purchased a little over 200 acres and then another parcel of 365 acres in 1901. After that, in 1924 he purchased 320 acres (current game reserve) and 640 acres in Harper.
Wanda grew up on that land. Her father, Karl Klaehn, paid $9,000 for the one section (640 acres is one section) from his father in 1929 (Tres Molinos). He had married Wanda’s mother in 1926. It was raw land and he cleared it and built a barn and house and began working the land. It was mostly “sheep and goat” country.
Wanda had two siblings and they all had chores to do after walking home each evening from school. They grew vegetable gardens for their food “right over there behind the old house”. Cabbage, beets, okra, beans and of course tomatoes. Irish potatoes were planted in the field and they planted crops to feed their animals as well. There weren’t many deer back in those days in this part of the country so they weren’t worried much about deer eating up the gardens. She remembered turkey being plentiful back then though.
Part of the chores included taking care of the goats they raised and when the nannies came up with their newborn “kid” in tow, they’d use paint to mark numbers on the nannie and matching kid. If the “kid” tried to nurse and a “nannie” wouldn’t let it, then they knew it was not the “kids” mother and they had to go looking for the mother. Although not worried with coyotes in this part of the country back in those days, they knew the nannie might yet be in trouble or disoriented and could not be left to wander around. They would place the “kids” in those “old traps over by the old house across the road”. They still exist and are in use today.
They did have milk cows and Wanda recalls that milk equated to “money”. They used a hand cranked “milk separator”. They made the cheese, butter, and cottage cheese. Her father and her brother used a combine to work fields of wheat and oats. They shelled corn with a hand crank sheller. Then her father bought a corn sheller.
Wanda met her husband (Patrick’s grandfather Moellendorf) when she was 13 yrs old. The “Moellendorf Boys” would go around shearing sheep for ranchers and they came to the ranch at that time to shear Mr. Klaehn’s sheep. Wanda would tell stories of how they would feed the workers lunch, most likely one of the older hens that didn’t lay any more. They did include fresh vegetables from their garden. She was in charge of cleaning up the wool (Mohair) and keeping it out of the way while the boys were shearing the sheep. As she bent over to gather some Mohair off the floor, young Moellendorf whacked her on the behind with the heavy shearing handle “and that was that!” she would say. They’d attend dances in Luckenbach, Spring Creek, and Caines City. They weren’t allowed to go to Mason or London dance halls. After five years of dating and as they became “of age”, they married and started their own family.
Doss Rd or 783 that you see right here at Tres Molinos, was only a one lane dirt road until the 50’s. Her father had the Doss-Harper mail route in the 40’s and 50’s and drove an old Model A car, no rumble seat. There were many flat tires and a lot of gates and this was before there were any cattle guards. Wanda believed that electricity brought in around 1935-36 was probably the biggest change in her lifetime, around World War II. There was a bus of sorts; the seats weren’t like today. No heat, no air conditioning and pretty much “raggledy-shaggle” bus with seats lined along the outer walls and one row down the center. Wanda was five years old when they sent her off to school. They had 1st and 2nd grade students together at the old “pocket school”. She was in 3rd grade when the school later consolidated to Harper School.
Wanda’s mother died before her father did. In 1975 her father’s health was failing and he gift deeded property to Wanda and her two siblings.
Wanda’s son, David Moellendorf is now the Tres Molinos Ranch Consultant. His son, Patrick Moellendorf, is the current owner of Tres Molinos Ranch & Resort.