The 15th annual Empire 100 Western Art Show and Sale will be held March 29 — April 19, 2015 at the Tucson Desert Art Museum, 7000 E. Tanque Verde Road (at Sabino Canyon).
Click here for photos and information about the 2014 Empire 100 show. More details about the 2015 show will be posted soon.
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 us on Saturday, February 21st from 8am to noon for the first volunteer day of 2015. To volunteer, please submit a Volunteer Opportunities Form, and we will contact you with more details!
Click here to view photos of the October 18th volunteer day.
More than 50 enthusiastic youth and adults celebrated the 21st Anniversary of National Public Lands Day (NPLD) on September 27, 2014 at the Empire Ranch. So much was accomplished including clearing brush and weeds around headquarters buildings and on the Heritage Discovery Trail, and cleaning the historic Ranch House. We are so grateful for this wonderful support!
Click here to view some photos of the day’s activities.
The 4th annual Western Movies at The Loft Event on August 7th featured the 1966 acclaimed movie El Dorado, starring John Wayne and Robert Mitchum. Special guest Cindy Mitchum, niece of Robert Mitchum and daughter of John Mitchum, engaged the audience with insights about the complex lives of her father and uncle. Special thanks to the Green Valley Pecan Company for their generous underwriting of the event, Strategic Issues Management Group for their assistance with marketing and publicity, and Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort for providing accommodations.
The BLM and the Pascua Yaqui community began a Youth in Wilderness (YIW) partnership 10 years ago in Las Cienegas National Conservation Area to provide opportunities for Pascua Yaqui youth to be outdoors and learn about their cultural heritage and its close ties with nature.
This year YIW mentors have led nine family-friendly events with over 50 youth and adult participants at the Empire Ranch Headquarters. Educational experiences included learning about the Yaqui/Yoeme culture and heritage through guided walks in the cottonwood gallery of the Empire Gulch, traditional storytelling, beginning wood carving on cottonwood, and discussions on how to preserve the Yaqui/Yoeme heritage. They built an adobe planter along the Heritage Discovery Trail, filled it with hummingbird attracting plants, and helped to plant shrubs at the Visitor Contact Station.
We are so grateful for the generous response to our 2014-2015 membership drive. There are not many historic ranches left in the west and with your help we can continue to protect and preserve the Empire Ranch for future generations to enjoy.
If you haven’t renewed your membership yet, or want 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 August 2014 Newsletter.
The design phase for the stabilization of the Adobe Hay Barn has received final approval and we expect to begin construction on this project soon. Work to replace the Mechanic’s Shed/Feed Barn’s roof damaged by wind last summer will also take place later this summer. Next time you visit the Empire Ranch take a look at the Family Kitchen in the Victorian Addition section of the Ranch House. An enthusiastic team of volunteers have refurbished the metal Youngstown Cabinets, cleaned the light fixture, and painted all the woodwork.
For a cumulative summary of preservation projects underway and completed since 2000, click here.
On May 7th fifty middle school students and their teachers arrived at the Empire Ranch to learn about Arizona’s rich ranching heritage. This year’s instructional sessions included roping, archaeology, horses and wagons, rawhide braiding, range management, and a session on the new Cowboy Life Exhibit located in two rooms of the oldest part of the Empire Ranch House.
Click here to view photos of Legacy Day activities.
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.