What’s New

Empire Ranch Roundup Poster for 2016 FINAL, cropped

Roundup & Open House

The 16th Annual Roundup and Open House will be held on Saturday, November 5, 2016. Click here to view this year’s preliminary program.   Photos of the 2015 activities are available here .

Updated 8/19/2016

National Day of the Cowboy

Over thirty enthusiastic participants celebrated National Day of the Cowboy on Saturday, July 23rd at the Empire Ranch. The day started with a guided tour of the Empire Ranch House led by Doc Holliday (aka ERF docent Van Fowers).  After the tour everyone grabbed a chair and enjoyed their own bag lunch and desserts provided by ERF.   Post lunch presentations by Bill Schock (local ranching) and Bunker deFrance (his experiences as a stunt man) were enjoyed by all.  Click here to see photos of the day.


No 4, Album 1, edited

Empire Ranch Founding

2016 marks the 140th anniversary of the founding of the Empire Ranch.  Click here to view a chronology that tells the story that led to the establishment of the Empire Ranch when Walter Lennox Vail (age 24) and Herbert R. Hislop (age 23) purchased a 160 acre homestead in Southeastern Arizona.  The information recounted comes primarily from letters written by both partners during the formative years of the Empire Ranch.

Posted 6/24/2016
Doug, Sally & Faith

Volunteer Appreciation Lunch

On March 12th the Foundation hosted a lovely volunteer appreciation luncheon at the Elgin Community Club to recognize and thank ERF’s most dedicated volunteers!  Each volunteer attending received a certificate of appreciation and an ERF lapel pin. Doug and Sally Pyne were presented with a special award for all their dedication and loyalty to ERF.

Posted 6/3/2016

Empire Adobe Gets TLC

On March 16, 2016 the Empire Ranch was the site of a day long TICRAT*  workshop with participants learning to assess and repair damage to historic adobe on the Ranch House and Adobe Haybarn. This year’s workshop, hosted by several public agencies and the University of Arizona’s Drachman Institute, also included activities at four other historic sites in the Tucson area.

At the Empire Ranch, participants learned how to evaluate historic adobe by removing the cement stucco veneer at the base of the northeast corner of the ranch house. Areas evaluated as needing intervention were repaired; then were covered with a mud plaster to protect the historic adobe masonry. Other groups learned to tuckpoint—filling in the gaps in the adobe bricks and mortar joints—on the recently stabilized Adobe Haybarn.  Click here to see photos of the day’s activities.

*TICRAT (in Spanish: Taller Internacional de Conservación y Restauración de Arquitectura de Tierra; in English:  International Workshop on the Conservation and Restoration of Earthen Architecture)
Posted 6/3/2015
Legacy Day 2016

Legacy Day 2016

On May 4th Elgin School 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students and their teachers arrived at the Empire Ranch to learn about Arizona’s rich ranching heritage. This year’s instructional sessions included horsehair braiding, roping, adobe repair, range management, and horse care. A hearty lunch of brisket, tortillas and beans was served.

Click here to view photos of Legacy Day activities.

Published 5/11/2016
EMP16_1013 Westward the Women_cropped

A Classic Movie for a Classic Cause

The 6th annual Western Movies at The Loft event on August 10th featured the superb, but unusual, 1951 film Westward the Women starring Robert Taylor, Denise Darcel, and John McIntire  An enthusiast audience of 125 enjoyed the film which was testament to the bravery and resilience of women determined to make a better life for themselves.  Click here to see photos of the evening.

Updated 8/12/2016



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 for the next Volunteer Day on  Saturday, August 20th from 8am to noon. To volunteer, please submit a Volunteer Opportunities Form, and we will contact you with more details!

Post updated 4/19/2016
Trail Ride

Spring Trail Ride

Saturday, April 2nd proved to be a picture perfect day for the Foundation’s annual trail ride!  Over 90 riders enjoyed the ride through the spectacular scenery of Las Cienegas National Conservation Area.   Click here to view photos of the 2016 Trail Ride.

Updated  4/3/2016

Your Membership Counts

ERF recently changed its membership renewal procedures. Rather than asking everyone to renew in May, from now on annual renewal will be based on the month in which a member joined. Expect to receive a renewal request one month before your membership expires. We hope this will lessen confusion and encourage membership renewals!  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.

We hope you will renew your membership or  join as new member.  To join via this website, click here. Or call 888-364-2829 to process your membership by phone.

To learn more about ongoing events at the Empire Ranch, read the March 2016 Newsletter

Posted 2/17/2016
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