Posts Tagged With: adobe

Taos, New Mexico – Day 7

The motorhome is currently parked at the Fraternal Order Of Eagles Airee #3849. I expect to be here for a few more days.

I took the Bronco and drove about two miles to the Hacienda de Los Martinez museum. From the museum website…

About the Museum: La Hacienda de los Martinez is one of the few northern New Mexico style, late Spanish Colonial period “Great Houses” remaining in the American Southwest. Built in 1804 by Severino Martin (later changed to Martinez), this fortress-like building with massive adobe walls became an important trade center for the northern boundary of the Spanish Empire. The Hacienda was the final terminus for the Camino Real (the royal road) which connected northern New Mexico to Mexico City.

You may view the entire website by clicking this link…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…

Enjoying interesting historical sites is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

You can read all about the Martinez Hacienda by clicking this Wikipedia link…

If you have not checked out my new Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2012
For more information about my three books, click this link:

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Though named for the nearby Empire mountain, this ranch was once  spread over a million acres.  Grasslands so vast and profitable during the big beef bonanza days, the ranch made fortunes for its owners.  A cattle empire.

It started modestly enough, with a 16o acre homestead owned by William Wakefield who built this adobe, a flat-roofed building with packed dirt floors and four rooms  between 1871 and 1874,  as near as anyone can pinpoint.  Added onto over the years, The roof changed, flooring installed, electricity and other amenities came with subsequent owners.


Adobe was the right material for the day and this adobe  and beam framed  barn is still in good shape from a later era.

Vail and Hislop purchased the ranch and expanded by purchasing ranches around them.  They added a bunk house, a cook house and a wood frame building for themselves.  Hilsop returned to England and sold his shares to Vail who continued to expand and buy more livestock  until it became the largest cattle operation in the region.


A huge adobe barn, that once survived a fire is in rough shape but scheduled for restoration with adobe bricks.

A beam framed feeding station for the horses that road up to the bunkhouse at the end of the day.

A hitching post attached to the bunk house was a handy place to park and unsaddle.

Water came from wells.

Heat from fireplaces. The old frame house, and adobe bunk house is in rough shape as it waits for restoration.

This is what the small dining area looked like in its day. (A photo of the photo over the fireplace above.)

In the bunk house, doors were pulled open with a  simple  leather strap and locked with a simple slide bolt.

The house, however, has a fancy door knob and key lock. When the Boice family bought the ranch in 1929, Mary Boice was considered as good a rider and ranch hand as two cowboys.

During the western movie making heyday, the ranch was a perfect setting.  The photo below shows John Wayne at the ranch with Mary Boice  and a couple of ranch hands.


Boice sold in 1969 to Gulf American, a land development company.  In 1988, the Bureau of Land Management acquired the what was left of the ranch lands through a public-private land swap and it is now a 48,000 preserve designated Empire Cienega Resource Conservation Area.  And the Empire Ranch portion of about 2,000 acres is on the National Register of Historic Places. A foundation formed to restore the ranch buildings holds fundraising events every year. A spring trail ride that takes place in April every year. April 7th is the date for 2012 with wagon rides for the kids, and a steak barbeque afterward.  They hold a Western Heritage program for children from 9 to 17 years. This one is June 4-9, 2012. And a western art competition and  show that raises money for restoration and I don’t have a date for that.

There are still cattle working on this ranch. They allow hunting for elk and deer, but, not prairie dogs. It would be nice to horse-back out and check the various features of this fabulous place, and you can make arrangements to do that. Empire Ranch is located near Sonoita, AZ .  It was a picture-taking bonanza with plenty of weathered wood and old adobe. Enjoyable visit with camping on another part of the BLM land. We didn’t venture past the homestead.






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