Vail in Pima County, Arizona — The American Mountains (Southwest)
Hired Manís House – Who Lived Here?/Historic Preservation of the Hired Manís House
Hired Manís House – Who Lived Here?
This two room house was in existence by 1920. Most likely, the Vails built it for use by families working on the Empire Ranch. Dusty Vail Ingram, who grew up on the Empire, recalled that the Estrada family lived here in 1924. One of Dustyís favorite playmates was the Estradaís oldest son, Mike. In 1927 Mariano Ferra, his wife, and granddaughter Eva, moved in the house. Mariano first worked as a cowboy for the Vailís in the Rosemount area of the Empire, and later worked at ranch headquarters cutting and hauling wood.
When the Boiceís purchased the Empire in 1929 they allowed Evaís grandparents to remain in this house. At the age of 13, Eva began to help Mary Boice with her children, Bob and Pancho. Eva married Empire Ranch cowboy, Dick Jimenez, who worked for Frank Boice from 1933 to 1945.
From an interview with Dusty Vail Ingram about life in 1924:
Dusty: Well, the Öchildren that I played with were Rita and Bartoloís children. They lived in that little house thatís off to the north of the big house. And Rita always fascinated me because she rolled tobacco for Bartolo. Sheíd roll it in the cigarette papers, and so on. Well, she kept his cigarette pouch all nicely filled and he never had to roll a cigarette himself. He was the envy of all the men
Glenda Bonin: She spoiled him.
Dusty: It was greatÖThe one I played with most was Mikey – the oldest boy. We played marbles and all the games children play. We also played hide-and-seek, and weíd climb over the rooftops and things like that. We had a good time.
(top photo) Eva Ferra Jimenez circa 1935 (age 18)
(bottom photo) Dick and Eva Jimenez and their daughter Mercy, circa 1945
Dusty Vail and Mike Estrada playing marbles circa 1924.
Historic Preservation of the Hired Manís House
When this house was built, the adobe bricks were laid in a shallow trench with no foundation. The original roof had no gutters. After the house was abandoned, exposure to the weather led to erosion of the adobe, and deterioration of the walls.
In the summer of 2000, professionals and volunteers worked to replace deteriorated bricks and stabilize the walls. Today, this house remains an important architectural component of the Historic Empire Ranch Headquarters with thanks to the Bureau of Land Managementís partner, the Empire Ranch Foundation (ERF). Complete restoration of this historic structure is a long-term goal of BLM and ERF.
Why are so many of the Empire Ranch buildings constructed of adobe bricks? Adobe was the most common building material in the
An archeologistís sketch of the floor plan.
Preservation specialists stabilize the adobe walls.
A view inside during restoration.
Newspaper clippings found on the walls inside this building during stabilization represent an earlier era.
Location. 31° 47.166′ N, 110° 38.508′ W. Marker is in Vail, Arizona, in Pima County. Touch for map. On the Heritage Discovery Trail at the Empire Ranch. 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. Historic Empire Ranch (within shouting distance of this marker); Home for Ranch Families (about 600 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).
Categories. • Agriculture • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 7, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querťtaro, Mexico. This page has been viewed 290 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on June 7, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querťtaro, Mexico. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.