What’s New


Roundup & Open House

Plan to attend the 14th Annual Roundup and Open House on Saturday, November 1, 2014 from 10 am to 4 pm.

Click here to view last year’s listing of events; this year’s program will be posted soon.  Photos and videos of the 2013 Roundup are available on the Empire Ranch Foundation’s Facebook page.

Post updated 8/9/2014

Celebrate 2014 NPLD

Empire Ranch Foundation will celebrate the 21st Anniversary of National Public Lands Day (NPLD) on September 27, 2014, as one of the more than 2,000 sites participating in the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands. We are calling for adults, families, public schools, and youth organizations to lend a hand at the historic Empire Ranch.

Click here for a full description of the day’s planned activities.


Volunteer Days

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, October 18 from 8am to 2pm to help us get ready for the Roundup. To volunteer, please submit a Volunteer Opportunities Form, and we will contact you with more details!

Post updated 8/9/2014

A Classic Movie for a Classic Cause

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.

Post updated 8/9/2014


YIW planter

Youth In Wilderness Program

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.

Posted 8/9/2014

Your Membership Counts

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.

Post updated 8/9/2014
Refurbished kitchen cabinets

2014 Preservation Projects

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.

Post updated 8/9/2014
Legacy Day group photo 2014

Legacy Day 2014

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.

Published 8/9/2014
Cowboy Life exhibit02

Cowboy Life Exhibit

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.

Posted 2/19/14
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