What’s New


Over 200 viewers attended the Empire Ranch Foundation’s presentation of “Oklahoma” –the  2019 Western Movie at the Loft Cinema in Tucson on September 15th. Many thanks to all the groups who participated in the event including the Tucson Rodeo Parade Museum; TCM Backlot, Tucson Chapter; and the Southern Arizona Transportation Museum.

Click here to view photos of the event.

Updated 9/16/2019

National Public Lands Day

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and ERF celebrated NPLD at the Empire Ranch on Saturday, October 12th.  Great progress was made on the three volunteer projects along the Heritage Discovery Trail: decommissioning of the frog head-start facility; preservation work on the Hired Man’s House; and trail maintenance.

Thanks to all who volunteered!

Updated 10/17/2109

2019 Cowboy Festival

Be sure to put the Empire Ranch Cowboy Festival on Saturday, November 2, 2019 on your calendar. Program details will be posted by August 2019.  Click here for the 2019 program listing, and  here to see photos of the 2018 Festival.

Updated  9/17/2019

Volunteer at the Cowboy Festival

Interested in becoming one of the more than 100 volunteers needed during the Empire Ranch Cowboy Festival? We need volunteers for a minimum four-hour shift, to help to set-up for the Festival on
Thursday & Friday, October 31st and November 1st, on Festival Day, Saturday, November 2nd, and Festival clean-up day on Sunday, November 3rd.

To sign up, click here to complete our cowboy festival volunteer form, or contact Marti Conroy by email at Wrangler4504@gmail.com or phone: (520) 247-6097. Hope you can help us!

Posted 8/10/2019

Volunteer Days

Dedicated volunteers have been key to preserving the historic Empire Ranch House and Headquarters.  Join us for the next Volunteer Day on  Saturday, October 26th from 8am to noon. To volunteer, please submit a Volunteer Opportunities Form, and we will contact you with more details!

Post updated 10/6/2019

Red River Under the Stars

Over 200 western movie fans attended the planned  outdoor screening of Red River at Empire Ranch Headquarters on July 13, 2019.  Due to the weather the movie was shown in the Adobe Haybarn.  Retired stuntman Bunker DeFrance told a few filming tales prior to the showing.  Many enjoyed the chuckwagon dinner provided  by EZ Cattle Company Cow Camp Cafe’ Chuck Wagon Catering!

Special thanks are due to The Loft Theater, Tucson, for making this free event possible as part of their Loft Film Fest on the Road series.


Updated  7/17/2019

National Day of the Cowboy

The Foundation welcomed over 460 enthusiastic participants at its celebration of National Day of the Cowboy on Saturday July 27th.  This fun day was made possible by the outstanding contributions of ERF volunteers, the Sonoita Rodeo Royalty, the Turquoise Circuit, and the western skills demonstrators.

Click here to view photos of the day.


Updated 8/2/2019

New Timeline and Families Exhibits

An updated “Timeline” exhibit  for the Living Room of the Victorian Addition replaces the Timeline
first developed in 2004. The new Timeline details significant events that occurred in the history of the Empire Ranch between 1870 and 2000, illustrated by photos from the ERF archives.

A “Families” exhibit in the Master Bedroom replaces the “Who Lived Here” exhibit developed in 2010. It features photos and descriptions of Empire Ranch owner families (Vail and Boice), families who have ranched the Empire under lease arrangements (Donaldson and Tomlinson), and other families that
lived on the Empire during the Vail and Boice eras.

Posted 5/22/2019

Volunteer Appreciation Dinner

Pioneer Hall at the Santa Cruz County Fair Grounds proved to be a great venue for the ERF Volunteer Appreciation dinner dance on Saturday, April 27th, attended by over 80 volunteers.  A highlight of the evening was the delicious dinner prepared by the Board of Directors, especially the BBQ beef cooked up by Steve Boice. The John E. Mann band played wonderful western tunes throughout the evening, and the competitive bidding at the Silent Auction raised over $700 for the Foundation.

It was a wonderful evening and a special opportunity to express our heartfelt thanks to the volunteers that contribute so much to ERF’s mission.

Posted 5/22/2019

Docent Tour Reservations

During the summer months (June-August) reservations are required for docent-led tours.  Tours are scheduled for 11am on the second and fourth Saturday of the month.  Click here to make a reservations or  call 888-364-2829.  Reservations are due by 5 pm on the Friday before the tour.

Posted 4/16/19