Get into the holiday spirit by attending the Faraway Ranch Holiday Open House at Chiricahua National Monument. This historic home will be open to the public on Sunday, Dec. 15, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Park staff will be available to answer questions and discuss the history of owners, Neil and Emma Erickson. Their simple 1880s homestead was transformed into a popular twentieth century guest ranch managed by daughter and son-in-law, Lillian and Ed Riggs, who also campaigned for the establishment of the monument. The home is still furnished with original family items and is decorated for the holidays just as a guest might have seen it during the guest ranch days.
In preparation for several major maintenance projects the house furnishings are being transferred to a special National Park Service facility in Tucson. This will be the last time for a while to see the house furnished as the family left it.
Stop at the visitor center for light refreshments throughout the day. There will also be a special 15% discount on all Western National Parks Association store merchandise.
If you can’t make the open house, guided tours are usually offered on Saturdays and Sundays at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The house will remain decorated until New Year’s Day. As always, tours are free and there is no entrance fee to the park.
Chiricahua National Monument is located 4 miles east of the AZ HWY 181 and 186 junction, and 37 miles southeast of Willcox. The Faraway Ranch parking lot is located one mile beyond the park entrance, and the ranch house is located a short walk from the parking lot. If you have questions, please call the Chiricahua Visitor Center at 520-824-3560 x9302 or visit the official park website, www.nps.gov/chir.
Submitted by Suzanne Moody, National Park Service