Help us celebrate National Day of the Cowboy on Saturday, July 28th at the Empire Ranch, 9 am to 1 pm. It’s a free family event featuring demonstrations, presentations, tours, and The Story of Walter Vail reenactment by Van Fowers.
Plan to attend the 2018 Western Movie at the Loft Cinema in Tucson showing of The Outlaw Josey Wales, starring Clint Eastwood, on August 8th. A panel discussion at 6:30 pm precedes the 7:00 pm show time. Tickets will go on sale at Eventbrite in June: $15 for ERF members, $20 for non-members’
Effective June 2018 reservations are now required for docent-led tours during the summer months (June-August). Tours are scheduled for 11am on the second and fourth Saturday of the month. Click here to make a reservations or by calling 888-364-2829. Reservations are due by 5 pm on the Friday before the tour.
Don’t miss the Empire Ranch Cowboy Festival on Saturday, November 3, 2018 from 10 am to 4 pm. Formerly known as the Roundup and Open House, the Empire Ranch Cowboy Festival is a Western experience for the whole family, featuring Western heritage demonstrations, arena and livestock exhibits, cowboy cooking and entertainment. Click here for the 2017 program listing, and here for photos of last year’s event.
On April 14, 2018 Walter L. Vail (1852-1906) was inducted into the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum’s Hall of Great Westerners. This high honor is bestowed by the Museum “on exceptional individuals who have made an indelible impact upon the history of the great West.” Walter Vail joins Frank Seymour Boice (1894-1956), who operated and owned the Empire Ranch from 1928-1956, and more than 200 other individuals who contributed to the advancement of western heritage. Click here to view photos of the event, and click here to view the video about Walter Vail shown at the induction.
Over 190 youth from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Tucson South Stake) spent four days (February 21-24) re-enacting a Mormon pioneer trek on Las Cienegas National Conservation Area (LCNCA). Between 1856 and 1860 three thousand Mormon pioneers, who could not afford to join wagon trains to travel to Salt Lake City, made the 1,100 mile trip on foot pulling handcarts carrying their belongings.
The trek re-enactment allows participants to experience the hardships and challenges encountered by their ancestors. Dressed in period clothing the youth pulled handcarts between four LCNCA locations (Cieneguita, Ag Fields, Airstrip, and Empire Ranch Headquarters) travelling more than 23 miles on foot and camping in below freezing temperatures.
Click here for photos of the last day of the trek.
The Spring Trail Ride on Saturday April 7th, 2018 was enjoyed by all. Click here to view photos of 2018 ride.
Did you know that in 2017 membership dues provided 47% of the Foundation’s income? ERF’s first membership drive was held in 2002 to implement one of the Foundation’s strategic planning goals– to expand the number of interested, contributing members to provide a continuing source of funds for preservation and outreach programs, and to participate in Empire Ranch Foundation programs and activities. Current membership in 2017 totaled 347.
A strong membership base is as critical to ERF’s success today as then. If you are not a member, please consider joining by clicking here. If you are a member we hope your membership is current. If you’re unsure of your membership status contact Lahsha Brown, ERF Administrator.
Delaminated cement stucco on exterior walls has been removed, and deteriorated adobe beneath it repaired. Several layers of mud plaster have been applied, to be followed by a final coat of lime plaster. Click here to view photos of the project as it proceeds. Statistical Research Inc. is doing the work under a BLM contract. To assure public safety the Ranch House will be closed until the work is completed.
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, June 16th from 8am to noon. To volunteer, please submit a Volunteer Opportunities Form, and we will contact you with more details!