Monday, July 9, 2012

Brown Canyon Ranch

 Brown Canyon Ranch was built a century ago by a local pioneer family and includes their ranch house, storeroom, corrals, water system, and a pond that is the habitat of an endangered frog species. The property in Brown Canyon was first permanently occupied by John Thomas Brown and his family who settled there around 1800. It passed through the hands of other users during the latter part of the 19th century until the house was built by James and Tom Haverty between 1905 and 1907. James and his wife, Lessie, homesteaded the ranch in 1912 and owned the property until 1921, when they sold it to William and Margaret Carmichael. The Carmichaels were major land owners and significant philanthropists in early Sierra Vista. During their ownership, Harvey James, the owner of several mining claims up Brown Canyon, and who lived way up in the canyon in the summer, sometimes rented the house in the winter. He and his wife would often invite friends to the ranch for a social potluck and dance in the living room. Also during the time of the Carmichaels, a Yaqui Indian named Chico Romero lived there with his wife and daughters. In 1946, the Carmichaels sold the ranch to Roy and Stella Rambo, who operated it as a cattle ranch. They in turn sold the property to Samuel and Cecile Barchas in 1957, together with their additional ranch holdings across South Highway 92 (OY Ranch). The Barchas family did not live at Brown Canyon, but in a stone house at OY Ranch. Sarah Barchas obtained Brown Canyon Ranch through gift deeds from her parents in 1960 and 1961 and she owned the site until 1997. Brown Canyon Ranch is also known as the Barchas Ranch and was acquired by the USDA Forest Service in a land exchange in 1998. The Ranch is currently under renovation, but is open to walk around the property.(

A pic of the main entrance of the ranch house.

Inside, this is the fire place, there is also a kitchen and two other rooms, bedrooms.  all of them have some photos and furniture, it is amazing how nicely preserved this place is.

An old no longer in use water tank.

The house from the southwest.  I love the porches this place has.

Windmill, watertank, outhouse and storage area...

Another older building on the site, this one is falling in on itself, and is to the right of the entrance in the parking area when you are pulling into the place.

This is the house from the parking area, the first view you get really.  
Brown Canyon Ranch is situated south of Sierra Vista off of Ramsey Canyon Road, it has been preserved by the Friends of the Brown Canyon Ranch Foundation.  It is a special place really close to the city, yet while you are there you feel as if you are in the middle of nowhere.  There are hiking trails and once a year they do an open house that is really amazing to go to.  They have speakers and presentations through out the whole day, so it gives you a chance to learn a lot and participate in hands on activities. 

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