The Brown Canyon Ranch gets its name from John Thomas Brown, reputedly the first white inhabitant of the rolling area north of Ramsey Canyon. Brown settled there with his family around 1880 and scratched out a living by farming, ranching, selling wood, carpentry, and operating the Mountain View Hotel in Turnerville, at the mouth of Ramsey Canyon.
eventually passed through the hands of numerous
owners during the latter part of the 19th century and was homesteaded
and Tom Haverty, starting in 1905. The
ranch was the
first on the eastern slope of the Huachucas
running water. The adobe brick house was built during this time and
kitchen sink, basin and bathtub. The structure is still in fairly good
and is occasionally open to the public, under the supervision of a
work has included cleaning up the abandoned structure, replacing
treating exterior wood, patching leaks and holes in the walls and
cracks in the interior walls, and draining and cleaning the water tank.
After a family dispute
in which Jim shot and killed his
brother Dick, the property was sold to William Carmichael in 1921 and
Roy Rambo in 1946. It was acquired by the Barchas
family in 1957 and finally was deeded to the U.S. Forest Service in
part of a land exchange.
Ranch owner and family
patriarch Sam Barchas,
a trial lawyer from Los Angeles, was instrumental in obtaining
funding to build Buena High School in Sierra Vista. He tired of raising
and sold the property to his daughter, Sarah. She did several
including a corrugated metal roof during the 1960s to replace the
which had rusted away.
Weather monitoring and
atmospheric studies are done at the
house, and students are studying the habitat of the endangered Ramsey
leopard frogs, which live in the pond.
The Brown Canyon Hiking
Trail meanders through stands of
oak, manzanita and juniper near the house
climbing into the Huachuca's through a narrow gap in nearby hills. From the ranch house, the trail goes 2.4
miles to the Miller Peak Wilderness boundary where there is a concrete
trough and feed crib. A steel pipe
brings water from the Brown Canyon Spring all the way down the trail to
fiberglass tanks at the ranch house.
head is only
about 1.5 miles from
our back door.
|It starts at
Barchas ranch house,
all on Forest Service
the smokehouse on
the right (now used
side of the
leopard frogs north
of the house. (We
didn't see any.)
just behind the corral.
|Linda on the
by the Brown Canyon
spring via a pipe.
creek bed and there's
a trickle in the creek.
Note the small cave
on the left.
|The cave is
feet high. There's
the pipe from the
|Linda on the
of the ruins of a
the concrete walls
behind the tank.
|Ken by the
||We hiked to
of the Miller Wilderness
|A horse feed
near the horse trough.
|Ken by some