5th Generation
Rancher-Artist-Land Steward

Jamie Smith Jackson was born in San Antonio, Texas and grew up traveling to the "ranch" with her family on the weekends. She spent time with her grandmother, Ruth Martin Ziegler where she learned the ropes of ranching and the history of the land. Her mother, Tommie Lou Smith adored the ranch and was very much involved in getting the family together to create memories. Her father, Jimmy Smith was one of the last of the real Texas men. He taught Jamie how to hunt like an Indian, to dig for the artifacts left by the Lipan Apaches and how to work with the local, country people.

In 1978 Jamie received a MFA in drawing and printmaking and decided to move to San Francisco, California after falling in love with the city while researching for her thesis. In 1979 she packed up her home and along with her 6 year daughter, Sunshine, moved to the City by the Bay. There she made her living as commercial interior designer, spending time with her daughter exploring Northern California. In 1984 she fell in love and married her second husband in Tokyo, Japan. There she taught English to Japanese lawyers and learned how to speak Japanese. Tokyo was way too difficult to live in as a family, so they returned to San Francisco where she started her own business specializing in commercial design and project management. She became known for her founding of the The Downtown Club, a woman's moral support group in San Francisco. She was and still is a fervent supporter of working women.

After the infamous 1989 earthquake, the people and businesses of San Francisco scattered throughout the United States. Jamie returned to Texas where she worked with Oracle as a facility manager for offices throughout the United States and then worked with the dotcom industry in Austin, Texas. In 2000, she moved to Mason, Texas to help her parents restructure the physical and business aspects of the ranch. She renovated the houses on the property, rented them out for weekend retreats and started JJ's Rockin' Retreat. It was a huge success but after 7 years of living in the country and working with family, she decided to return to San Francisco.

After her parents passed away, she developed her own land that she inherited and kept the name JJ's Rockin' Retreat. Now she works from her apartment in San Francisco managing the business and lives on her ranch in Texas part time. She continues to work with the state and federal government procuring grants to improve the land and protect the beautiful San Saba River. Her non-profit company along with 50 local ranchers is called the Friends of the San Saba and is making a huge difference in the flow of the river. She continues with her cattle and hunting businesses, but will never stop sharing her land with her campers!

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