Faraway Ranch is located within Chiricahua National Monument in southeastern Arizona. This historic vernacular landscape dates from the late nineteenth century and continued to be occupied by descendants of the Erickson family until the mid 1970’s. During its history, the property transitioned from subsistence farming and ranching to a guest ranch closely linked to the development of the adjacent Chiricahua National Monument.  

The landscape includes the main ranch house complex with the family residence and associated structures including the barn, various sheds, a garage, a bunkhouse, wells, an earthen reservoir, a corral, and fruit tree orchards. Also within the residential complex area is a swimming pool built by the family in 1923 and fed by diverted well water. To the east of the residential complex are the remnants of an orchard and the former site of the family’s vegetable garden. There are also traces of field roads, cobblestone edged paths, irrigation ditches, and a well. 

The historic Stafford cabin is approximately a quarter mile east of the Erickson’s primary residential complex. The Stafford homestead of 160 acres was adjacent to the Erickson homestead, in section 26 of township 16 south, range 29 east. This homestead was purchased by Lillian and Hildegarde Erickson in 1918 and combined with the family’s property. The Stafford land was subdivided first in 1945 and again in 1955. Lillian (Erickson) Riggs retained the parcel of land that included the historic Stafford cabin.  Approximately one mile to the southwest of the main complex is the Erickson family cemetery which consists of two fenced rectangular enclosures, plantings, and four headstones. 

The purpose of the project was to evaluate the condition of the landscape and to provide planning direction for raising its condition from ‘fair’ to ‘good’.  The cultural landscape report provides specific recommendations for preservation treatments and becomes the principal planning document for current and future programmatic use without compromising the landscape’s historical integrity.

Date: 2013
Location: Chiricahua National Monument, Arizona
Project Source/Funding: National Park Service and Desert Southwest Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (DSCESU)
Drachman Institute Team: Lauri Macmillian Johnson, Principal Investigator

Students:

Helen Erickson, Graduate Assistant
Drachman Institute Program Heritage Conservation