The Empire Ranch Homestead

Alison Bunting, Historian for the Empire Ranch Foundation

Wednesday, June 5, 2019, 2:30-3:30 p.m., the Arizona Senior Academy Building

Alison Bunting

Empire Ranch is a working cattle ranch in southeastern Pima County that was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. In its heyday, Empire Ranch was one of the largest in Arizona, with a range spanning over 180 square miles, and its owner, Walter L. Vail, was an important figure in the development of southern Arizona’s cattle industry.

Since its establishment in 1876 the Empire Ranch has been a continuously working cattle ranch.  Learn from Empire Ranch volunteer, Alison Bunting, about the four families, two companies, one government agency, and one non-profit organization that are part of the Empire Ranch’s 143-year history. Bunting will bring us up to date on the presentday preservation of the Empire Ranch buildings and describe the Empire Ranch Foundation’s activities.

Currently the volunteer archivist and historian for the Empire Ranch Foundation (ERF), Alison Bunting holds a Masters in Library Science from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).  She retired from a 32year career at UCLA in 2002, having served as the Director of the UCLA Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library and as interim University Librarian.  She was member of the ERF Board of Directors (2006-2009) and ERF President (2007-2009).  She established and coordinates the ERF docent program and served as project director for the Arizona Humanities Council grant to ERF to create a Cowboy Life Exhibit that is now on display in the Empire Ranch House. She is also the ERF webmaster and coordinated the republication of Edward L. Vail’s Diary of a Desert Trail: 1890 Cattle Drive from Arizona to California (1922, 2016).

Written by Nancy Green, Academy Village Volunteer 


June 5: “Arizona’s Empire Ranch–a Prominent Past and Promising Future”