Casa Lejana is one of the few historic, hacienda-style homes remaining in the San Antonio area. Although it is within minutes of the Riverwalk, champion golf courses, pristine lakes and upscale shopping and dining, the houses and grounds today reflect a serene ambience of a bygone era.
The main house was reportedly built as a stop for cattle drives and stagecoach travelers at the turn of the century. But later addtions in the 30's by Mr. & Mrs. F. G. Antonio included an enlarged main house and additional guest houses for a cattle ranch.
In 1946, the houses and 200 acres were sold to famed aviator Christie Mathewson, Jr. and his wife, Lola. The Mathewsons retired to the "CM Ranch" in Helotes after his tour of duty in Europe, and used the home primarily for entertaining and parties. Shortly after moving here, they had the massive swimming pool and adjoining cabana built, both of which are still in regular use today.
In 1948, the ranch was used as a set for a Western movie short entitled "Echo Ranch", starring "Red River Dave and the Texas Tophands". Although the movie was not a commercial success, many of the historic photos from the movie remain today and enhance the sense of history of the home.
After Christie's tragic death in 1950, the house changed hands a few times and was eventually purchased by Christopher Goldsbury, Sr. who ran it as a restaurant and Inn at the edge of the hill country. He named it "Casa Lejana" (far away home, in Spanish) and the restaurant received rave reviews from all its' guests.
In the 1970's, Casa Lejana was purchased by local resident Joe Dent who continued to operate the thriving restaurant and Inn for several years. Locals still recall "Steak Night" and calling in advance to reserve their favorite meal!
Dent became a developer and contractor, and eventually sold the property in order to pursue his new career. The houses gradually fell into disrepair and were near the point of demolition when they were foreclosed and sold to the current owners in 2005.