What’s New

Low water crossing, Empire Ranch Road, 2015

Las Cienegas Road Project

A Bureau of Land Management (BLM) road improvement project in Las Cienegas National Conservation Area (LCNCA) will lead to a temporary increase in heavy truck traffic on surrounding highways. Beginning Jan. 19 and lasting until March 1, BLM expects up to 80 trucks per day will use State Routes 82 and 83 to haul aggregate and other materials to the project.

The BLM is rehabilitating, resurfacing and restoring 11 miles of BLM Route 6900 (Empire Ranch Road), beginning at State Route 83 and ending at State Route 82 east of Sonoita. Upon completion, the 3-mile double lane portion from State Route 83 to Empire Ranch Headquarters will have a new chip-sealed pavement surface, upgraded cattle guards, a new concrete low-water crossing and improved erosion control. The 8-mile single lane segment north of Highway 82 will receive similar improvements, but feature a fresh aggregate surface.   Empire Ranch Road remains open during construction, but some delays may be encountered.  Click here for additional information on the project.

Posted 1/21/2015
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Become an ERF Docent!

Are you interested in learning more about the Empire Ranch and in sharing your knowledge with the general public? Then join us for the next Empire Ranch Foundation Docent Training Class on Saturday, January 31, 2015, from 9 am to 2:30 pm.

Docents conduct monthly tours of the Empire Ranch House that provide a general introduction to the history of the Empire Ranch, its buildings and its people. Each docent provides an average of two monthly tours annually.  Upon completion of the Docent Training Class each docent receives individual tour training.

If you’re interested in participating as a docent, please let us know by January 16th, by calling (888) 364-2829, or by emailing Ali Boelts, Administrator, admin@empireranchfoundation.org.

Posted 12/11/14
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Empire 100 Western Art Show and Sale

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 the 2015 Artist Participation information.  Important art show dates are available here.

Updated 11/22/2014
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Welcome Ali Boelts

We are delighted to welcome Alison (Ali) Boelts as ERF’s new administrator. Ali brings extensive experience in marketing, event planning, and volunteer recruitment and coordination.  Ali’s goals with the ERF are to be an effective communicator to our dedicated supporters while increasing community awareness of the mission of the foundation.

Posted 11/22/2014
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Help Us With a Year-End Gift

The Empire Ranch is an Arizona historic treasure.  With the support of our members we are able to preserve the Empire Ranch legacy for future generations.  Please help with a year-end contribution.  If you’ve already renewed your membership, this donation will be added to your existing membership level.

To make a contribution, click here. Or call 888-364-2829 to process your donation by phone. To learn more about ongoing events at the Empire Ranch, read the November 2014 Newsletter.

Posted 11/22/14
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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, 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.

Post updated 10/21/2014
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Preservation Progress

Work to replace the Mechanic’s Shed/Feed Barn’s roof damaged by wind  will be underway soon. Initial replacement adobes for the stabilization of the Adobe Hay Barn have been cast by the contractor, Statistical Research Inc., and are curing at their yard in Tucson.  Once comments on the final submitted work plan are addressed we expect to begin work on site soon, likely in November.  Next time you visit the Empire Ranch take a look at the updated room description signs in all rooms of the Ranch House and the newly hung “manta” in Room 6 of the Ranch House.

What is a manta? The muslin installed across part of the ceiling of Room 6 of the Empire Ranch House is called a manta. Mantas were commonly used in adobe structures with earthen roofs to protect occupants from falling dirt from the roof. There is no historical evidence that a manta was ever used in this room, but other Ranch House rooms do have evidence of manta use. This manta was added to protect the Cowboy Life exhibit, especially the display case, from dirt which filters down from the original earthen roof above the ceiling boards.

For a cumulative summary of preservation projects underway and completed since 2000, click here.

Post updated 11/22/2014
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