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Roof Repairs

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Tucson Field Office will soon repair sections of the roofs on the Adobe Hay Barn and South Barn. BLM will fence the areas around the barns and install temporary signage notifying visitors to avoid the area until the roof repairs are complete. The structures will not be accessible until he repairs are complete.

New Ranch House Capital Campaign

Help us create our Western Heritage and Education Center!  The Empire Ranch Foundation has begun a capital campaign to renovate the New Ranch House to serve as conference space for education programs, a place for environmental researchers to come stay for a day or two while they study the beautiful area of the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area, and as office space where our board members, or in the future, a new administrative director can work.

Click here to find out how you can help.

Growing Up on the Empire Ranch

Six sets of Vail and Boice children experienced life on the Empire Ranch. Our December newsletter features stories and photos which reveal that despite the more than 75-year time span between the Vail and Boice children, their growing up experiences are remarkably similar.

Click here to read all about them.

Ranch House Remains Open

The historic Empire Ranch House on Las Cienegas National Conservation Area remains open for individual visitation.  Each room of the Ranch House has interpretive signage that explains the history of the room, its use, and past occupants.  Please be sure to close all doors behind you and practice social distancing if you encounter other visitors when touring the building.

Visitor Contact Center Closed

The BLM’s partner, Empire Ranch Foundation (ERF), in coordination with the BLM, has decided to close temporarily the Huachuca House visitor contact center within  Las Cienegas National Conservation Area (LCNCA).  Large group events facilitated by ERF, involving carpools or bus transport, are suspended until further notice.

Docent Tours Cancelled

The Empire Ranch Foundation docent tours, held on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month, are cancelled until further notice.  The Empire Ranch House will remain open for self-guided tours.  Each room of the Ranch House has signage that describes the history and function of the room.

Posted 3/17/2020

Office Interpretation

Plan to visit the Empire Ranch and view the newly interpreted Office (Room 11) in the Empire Ranch House.  Walter Vail added on the room he used to conduct his business and political affairs about 1878.  It still houses the Empire Land & Cattle Company safe in which Walter locked his whiskey when he was away from the ranch.  The Boice family also used this room as an office, and the safe was used to store the company’s books and records.  The room also contains a record/mailbox cabinet dating to the Vail era.

The room’s walls and interior woodwork were painted.  The cabinet was repaired, oiled, and cleaned.   A donated roll-top desk, rolling desk chair, and old Royal typewriter have been added to the furnishing.  Reproductions of five framed maps, which illustrate the location of the Empire Ranch and its holdings, including the Total Wreck Mine, are now mounted on the walls.

Posted 2/15/2020

Volunteer Days

Dedicated volunteers have been key to preserving the historic Empire Ranch House and Headquarters.  Stay tuned for an announcement of the next scheduled volunteer day.  To volunteer, please submit a Volunteer Opportunities Form, and we will contact you with more details!

Post updated 3/17/2020