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  • Empire Ranch is Purchased and the Hard Work Begins (August-December 1876)

    …there was a very interesting balloon ascension. Everything goes on peaceably and orderly.” Looking north across the Military Plaza, ca. 1890. Photo taken by Edward Vail, ERF archives: A530-61a September 1-9, 1876—Empire Ranch Expansion Begins Hislop writes (9/23/1876): “We have got another ranch now and 620 sheep on it, we bought the man that owned them out. He was ill with fever and got disgusted so let us have them cheap. We gave him 4/-a head,…

  • Christmas at the Empire Ranch, December 11, 2021

    …On the second Saturday in December we enjoy welcoming guests to the festively decorated Empire Ranch House for a bit of holiday cheer and some fun shopping. Over 400 excited visitors attended 2021 Christmas at the Empire Ranch event on December 11, 2021. The program for the day is posted below.   Saturday, December 11, 2021 10 am to 2 pm Program Entertainment 10:15-10:45 am–Tucson Desert Harmony Chorus 11:00 am-11:30 am–Saguaro Strutters –Western…

  • Vail & Gates, 1888-1909

    …egory. History of the Empire Ranch, 1978]       Walter Vail: Storyteller–July 1894 In July 1894 Walter Vail told an amusing story about himself in the Arizona Daily Star. “Along about 1885, you remember, two trains were held up at Pantano in so many weeks. I was then making some shipments of cattle to southern California. It happened that a few days alter the first hold-up I went to Los Angeles with a lot of steers, myself and men dressed in the c…