Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Vail in Pima County, Arizona — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Historic Empire Ranch

 
 
Historic Empire Ranch Marker image. Click for full size.
By Wyndfire, April 2, 2011
1. Historic Empire Ranch Marker
Photo Captions:
Small inset on left:

John Harvey, Edward Vail, and Walter Vail, 1879.
Upper Right:
McFadden family fun, ca. 1900, at the north end of the Old Ranch House. Harry McFaddin was Empire Ranch foreman for Walter Vail.
Lower Right:
Original Empire Ranch House, ca. 1900
Inscription. Behind you are many of the original buildings of the historic Empire Ranch, established in the 1870s by Edward Nye Fish on 160 acres with a four-room adobe ranch house and corral.

In 1876, Walter L. Vail and Herbert R. Hislop purchased the ranch and expanded the original land holdings, livestock and buildings. The Vail family operated the ranch until 1928 when it was purchased by a partnership of the Boice, Gates and Johnson families. Frank Boice and his family lived on and managed the Empire Ranch for 47 years. In addition to ranching, they also hosted Hollywood production companies for the filming of a number of classic western movies.

In 1969, the Empire Ranch was sold to Gulf American Corporation for a proposed real estate development, and resold in 1974 to Anamax Mining Company for mining and water potential. Fortunately, none of these developments materialized.

In 1988, a series of land exchanges put the property into public ownership under the administration of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), a division of the U.S. Department of the Interior. In 2000, the U.S. Congress officially designated these 42,000 acres as the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area. Cattle operations continue to this day under BLM lease arrangements.

More information about the history of the Empire Ranch can
Historic Empire Ranch Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, June 7, 2015
2. Historic Empire Ranch Marker
be found in Main Ranch House behind you.
 
Erected by Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
 
Location. 31° 47.137′ N, 110° 38.508′ W. Marker is near Vail, Arizona, in Pima County. Marker can be reached from East Empire Ranch Road. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Vail AZ 85641, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Hired Man’s House – Who Lived Here?/Historic Preservation of the Hired Man’s House (within shouting distance of this marker); Home for Ranch Families (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Sonoita Quarter Horse Show and Races (approx. 7.6 miles away); San Ignacia del Babocomari (approx. 8.3 miles away); Camp Crittenden (approx. 9.4 miles away).
 
Also see . . .  The Empire Ranch. The BLM website with background on the ranch and activities currently offered at the site. (Submitted on April 4, 2011.) 
 
Categories. AgricultureIndustry & Commerce
 
Wide view of the Historic Empire Ranch Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, June 7, 2015
3. Wide view of the Historic Empire Ranch Marker
Empire Ranch Sign image. Click for full size.
By Bill Boushelle, August 29, 2012
4. Empire Ranch Sign
Historic Empire Ranch image. Click for full size.
By Bill Boushelle, August 29, 2012
5. Historic Empire Ranch
Historic Empire Ranch Property image. Click for full size.
By Wyndfire, April 2, 2011
6. Historic Empire Ranch Property
Empire Ranch image. Click for full size.
By Bill Boushelle, August 29, 2012
7. Empire Ranch
Historic Empire Ranch - Outbuilding image. Click for full size.
By Wyndfire, April 2, 2011
8. Historic Empire Ranch - Outbuilding
Empire Ranch image. Click for full size.
By Bill Boushelle, August 29, 2012
9. Empire Ranch
Headquarters Sign image. Click for full size.
By Bill Boushelle, August 29, 2012
10. Headquarters Sign
Click on photo for detail.
Headquarters Room Uses image. Click for full size.
By Bill Boushelle, August 29, 2012
11. Headquarters Room Uses
Click on photo for details.
Empire Ranch image. Click for full size.
By Bill Boushelle, August 29, 2012
12. Empire Ranch
Empire Ranch image. Click for full size.
By Bill Boushelle, August 29, 2012
13. Empire Ranch
Empire Ranch image. Click for full size.
By Bill Boushelle, August 29, 2012
14. Empire Ranch
Empire Ranch image. Click for full size.
By Bill Boushelle, August 29, 2012
15. Empire Ranch
The Stables image. Click for full size.
By Bill Boushelle, August 29, 2012
16. The Stables
Ranch Property image. Click for full size.
By Bill Boushelle, August 29, 2012
17. Ranch Property
Empire Ranch House image. Click for full size.
By Bill Boushelle, August 29, 2012
18. Empire Ranch House
Empire Ranch Gas Tank image. Click for full size.
By Bill Boushelle, August 29, 2012
19. Empire Ranch Gas Tank
Close-Up of the Gas Tank image. Click for full size.
By Bill Boushelle, August 29, 2012
20. Close-Up of the Gas Tank
The Ranch With a View of the Mountains in the Background image. Click for full size.
By Bill Boushelle, August 29, 2012
21. The Ranch With a View of the Mountains in the Background
A very important sign at the ranch... image. Click for full size.
By Bill Boushelle, August 29, 2012
22. A very important sign at the ranch...
Heritage Discovery Trail image. Click for full size.
By Bill Boushelle, August 29, 2012
23. Heritage Discovery Trail
Gateway to Heritage Discovery Trail image. Click for full size.
By Bill Boushelle, August 29, 2012
24. Gateway to Heritage Discovery Trail
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Wyndfire of Phoenix, Arizona. This page has been viewed 867 times since then and 33 times this year. Last updated on , by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Wyndfire of Phoenix, Arizona.   2, 3. submitted on , by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico.   4, 5. submitted on , by Bill Boushelle of Tucson, Arizona.   6. submitted on , by Wyndfire of Phoenix, Arizona.   7. submitted on , by Bill Boushelle of Tucson, Arizona.   8. submitted on , by Wyndfire of Phoenix, Arizona.   9. submitted on , by Bill Boushelle of Tucson, Arizona.   10, 11. submitted on , by Bill Boushelle of Tucson, Arizona.   12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21. submitted on , by Bill Boushelle of Tucson, Arizona.   22, 23, 24. submitted on , by Bill Boushelle of Tucson, Arizona. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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