History of Rio Robles

Rio Robles Park passed through the hands of several owners since the Schreiner family, who used the 39 acres for grazing their stock, first put the property on the market. However, it was not until September 1976 when Ward McDowell acquired the somewhat ordinary "trailer park" that a chain of events led to the formation of the unique place it is today.

During the 22 months that McDowell owned the Park, all residual income from rentals went back into expansion and improvement programs. Eleven new lots were developed, requiring extension of existing water and sewer lines. McDowell purchased additional land  to provide a buffer zone against the possible future encrouchment of other businesses or tenants. This area, between "G" Street and the clubhouse, provided space for several homes at a later date.

Ward McDowell agreed to sell the Park to John Rogers in the spring of 1978. Indeed, the residents, who had observed the growth and development of the Park during McDowell's ownership, had begun putting down roots, looking to the Park as a permanent home. Residents had skirted their homes and provided other improvements, further linking them to the lots they were occupying. These early residents, reinforced by others who had moved into newly-developed areas, became the nucleus of defenders for the preservation of this close-knit community of homeowners. Startled by the unannounced sale of the Park, the resident-manager noted that the prospective buyer had a tendency to view the Park more as valuable acreage than as homes for retirees who hoped to live out their remaining years in a community they had come to love.

On May 18, 1978 the resident-manager called a meeting with residents of the Park to determine the extent of interest in buying the Park. Interest in this proposal appeared to be high, and as a result, 40 households subscribed to 150,000 shares of stock  to raise the required capital. Later, eleven additional households joined the original subscribers. Therefore, the initial issue of stock covered exactly 51 families. On June 15, 1978, Rio Robles, Inc. received its Certificate of Incorporation through the Texas Secretary of State.
The purchase of the Park was prompted primarily for the future security of its residents, secure from the whims of constantly changing owners. The hope was all residents would control operating costs, including rents, and they would enjoy peace and good fellowship in the process. Consequently, any hint the purchase of the Park was for financial gain to the shareholders would be an utterly foreign philosophy. Furthermore, the establishment of Rio Robles, Inc. was the means necessary to acquire the Park and to achieve the new corporate mission.  Corporate shares gave the owners a voice equal to their pledges. As the Park flourished, a surge of pride compelled the residents to volunteer their services in managing, maintaining and upgrading their property. Maturation of the Park evolved under the guidance of succeeding elected boards, as further expansion began. Additional home sites were created by filling in areas. The R.V. section was reduced in size and upgraded: all existing roads were black-topped: the entire Park was enclosed in a security fence, and landscaping and beautification spread throughout the area.

On May 21, 1986 the shareholders of Rio Robles, Inc. approved a "kitchen remodeling project" to expand the existing clubhouse in order to provide much needed space for all social activities in the Park. This major improvement was completed with the help of many dedicated volunteers, and it has not only added to the corporation's fixed assets, but has also improved the quality of social life for all residents of the Park. The Rio Valle street development, approved in 1987, added eight spaces, seven of them for double-wides which accomodated the growing trent toward larger mobile homes.

In 2016-2017 Rio Robles had two capital improvements completed - the replacement of the clubhouse roof, and the remodeling of the clubhouse balcony, making it into a covered deck.

On July 15, 2018, Rio Robles will celebrate its Ruby Anniversary (40th anniversary) of incorporation.

It is apparent that the policy established by the first Board of Directors to "develop Rio Robles Park to its highest potential" has been consistently followed.  Today, through kind providence, good judgment, caring Board of Directors, willing volunteers, a diversity of talent and unselfish concern of neighbor for neighbor, Rio Robles Park continues to reflect the pride of its residents. These fortunate people enjoy a sense of well-being because they have undergone some rugged times together during which they have discovered in themselves the ability and the will to solve their own problems.