With Your Help, we will ‘Protect this House’
As we mark the Empire Ranch Foundation’s 17th year, we look at our past with pride, and at our future with ambition. Your membership is a critical component as we work to restore and preserve the Empire Ranch. Please join today! Donations received now are credited to our 2014-2015 Membership Year which runs through June 30, 2015. Membership support is key to preserving and protecting the Empire Ranch. Your membership entitles you to quarterly newsletters and invitations to Members-only events. But most importantly, your membership helps support the preservation of the Empire Ranch. To renew your annual membership, or to join as new member, click here. Or call 888-364-2829 to process your membership by phone.
To read more about ongoing events at the Empire Ranch, read the May 2014 Newsletter.
Save the date for ERF’s 4th annual fundraiser event “Western Movies at The Loft Cinema in Tucson,” on Thursday, August 7 at 7 p.m, featuring the 1966 classic “El Dorado,” starring John Wayne and Robert Mitchum. A pre-movie talk with special guest Cindy Mitchum, niece of Robert Mitchum, and others in the movie industry will precede the showing of the film. For more information and to purchase tickets, go here.
Dedicated volunteers have been key to preserving the historic Empire Ranch House and Headquarters. Volunteer Days for hands-on preservation activities at the ranch are held generally on the third Saturday of February, April, June, August, and October. Join un on Saturday, June 14 from 8am to 12noon. To volunteer, please submit a Volunteer Opportunities Form, and we will contact you with more details!
About 200 celebrated the official opening of the Cowboy Life Exhibit on February 8, 2014. Many children and their families enjoyed the activities, including music and dance performances, hosted by ERF and its education program, Wild About the Grasslands (WATG). Thirteen girls from Peña Blanca Elementary School’s Ballet Folklorico group delighted everyone with their intricate traditional dances. The Busted Cowboy Band kept everyone’s toes tapping, as all enjoyed a lunch of chili & fixins’ and delicious Dutch oven apple cobbler.
Students from Global Community Communications Schools, Tubac, gathered at Empire Ranch Headquarters on March 20th to explore the rare habitats and biomes of the Las Cienegas NCA, as part of the Foundation’s Wild About the Grasslands (WATG) education program. After instruction in basic compass and binocular skills, and naturalist journaling techniques, the students and their teachers went on an extensive hike to areas such as the Empire Gulch and Oak Tree Canyon.
What a great day at the Empire Ranch. For photos of the day, visit our album of photos on the Empire Ranch Foundation Facebook page here.
More than 100 people attended the Empire Ranch Heritage Discovery Day on March 8th, hosted by ERF and its Wild About the Grasslands (WATG) education program. The event celebrated 2014 Arizona Archeology and Heritage Awareness Month.
The day’s events included a presentation by author, historian, public interpreter and researcher William Ascarza on the “History of Mining in the Empire Mountains and the Total Wreck Mine.” Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts from Sierra Vista learned basic compass skills and the sport of letterboxing.
The Cowboy Life exhibit is now a permanent display in Rooms 3 & 6 in the northeast section of the Ranch House. Room 3, where the cowboys bunked, has been outfitted with an iron bed similar to those once used, and several chaps and other cowboy wear are on display in the closet. In Room 6 a Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett & Co. display case, originally used in the General Store in the town of Fairbank, AZ, is full of interesting tools of the trade such as bridles, branding irons, and spurs.
Allow time to browse the binder that includes photos of and oral history quotes from former cowboys, relatives and family owners. Peruse the census records (1880-1940) of who was living and working at the Empire Ranch and enjoy photos of many of those listed.
The results of the testing of soils and adobes for compression strength and moisture retention of the Empire Ranch House bricks were discussed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). BLM is now working on a revised stabilization plan that will incorporate suggestions made. Once the plan has been reviewed and approved, the agency can issue a request for proposals to implement the stabilization plan.
Work continues on the stabilization of the Adobe Hay Barn. Statistical Research Inc. (SRI), is finalizing their design, which will be reviewed by BLM and SHPO. Once it’s been approved, work should be underway in late spring.
For a cumulative summary of preservation projects underway and completed since 2000, click here.