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Elfrida in Cochise County, Arizona — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Old Camp Rucker Ranch

 
 
Old Camp Rucker Ranch Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Nuti, April 11, 2011
1. Old Camp Rucker Ranch Marker
Inscription.  Camp Rucker was a ranching headquarters for over 80 years. The first owner was Michael Gray, a Justice of the Peace in Tombstone, Arizona. He moved to Camp Rucker in 1883 under the privileges of a “Squatters Claim.” Gray was strongly committed to controlling Indian depredations and the loss of cattle from cattle rustling. With his family, he created Old Camp Rucker Ranch covering about 22,000 acres.

Theodore Hampe, a German artist, and his wife Mathilde purchased Old Camp Rucker Ranch from Gray in 1896. Mathilde’s description of the ranch upon first seeing it was:

“Just before arriving at the ranch we had to drive up a short steep hill. [The old road was located near the Bakery]. Coming upon the house suddenly, [originally the Commissary] a pleasant surprise awaited me, for there was a large adobe house set in a mass of flowers, many kinds of shrubs and trees, There was also a vegetable garden in the corner.”

The Hampes raised goats and cows. They were also artists, some of whose illustrations and watercolors depict life in Rucker Canyon. They painted the ceiling of the small adobe house here.

Charles and Mary Rak bought the ranch from the Hampes in 1919. Charlie Rak was a cattle rancher. Mary Rak, from San Francisco, was new to ranching, but
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soon adapted to the way of life. She described many of her experiences in books she wrote while living at the ranch. Two of the best known are “A Cowman’s Wife” published in 1934 and “Mountain Cattle” published in 1936. The Raks branded their cattle “O C R” for Old Camp Rucker.

The Raks sold the ranch to Mrs. Ella Dana of New York in 1943. She used this historic property as a restful retreat before transferring it to the Forest Service in 1970.
 
Erected by United States Forest Service.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1883.
 
Location. 31° 45.237′ N, 109° 21.505′ W. Marker is in Elfrida, Arizona, in Cochise County. Marker can be reached from North Tex Canyon Road near East Rucker Canyon Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Elfrida AZ 85610, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 6 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. How Camp Rucker received its Name (within shouting distance of this marker); Camp John A. Rucker A Military Outpost (within shouting distance of this marker); Camp Rucker and the Indian Scouts (within shouting distance of this marker); Camp Rucker Timeline (within shouting distance of this marker); Camp Rucker Bakery and Commissary (within shouting distance of this marker); John Ringo (approx. 8˝ miles away).
 
Additional keywords. Ranching
Photo Displayed on Marker image. Click for full size.
2. Photo Displayed on Marker
Branding time at the Hampe Ranch.
Photo courtesy of Arizona Historical Society.
 
Camp Rucker Ranch Residence image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Nuti, April 11, 2011
3. Camp Rucker Ranch Residence
Barn at Camp Rucker Ranch image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Nuti, April 11, 2011
4. Barn at Camp Rucker Ranch
Old Camp Rucker Ranch Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Kirchner, June 4, 2020
5. Old Camp Rucker Ranch Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 6, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 1, 2011, by James Nuti of Bisbee, Arizona. This page has been viewed 1,490 times since then and 158 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 30, 2011, by James Nuti of Bisbee, Arizona.   5. submitted on June 6, 2020, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 23, 2024