The story behind the Faraway Ranch and pioneer couple who triumphed!

For many years, I have been coming to the Chiricahua Mountains, passing an important piece of history! Until, just recently when my husband pulled over at a small graveyard on the side after entering freely.

See, Sometimes we pass a great story, but this time, I knew I had a great one. It has a love story between two Swedish immigrants searching for a dream, a dream to achieve and succeed.

They were the Ericsson’s, Neil and Emma. It all started when Neil became a stowaway on a ship to America. He came from a Swedish farming family. During the Apache wars, he enlisted in the Army.

Neil Erickson

He then met his future wife, Emma at the Ft. Craig in New Mexico.

Emma Erickson

After they got married, they moved into a cabin on Bonita in 1888.

They had a daughter, Lilian. Neil has a hard time finding work, so he had to travel to Bisbee where he got into construction, building homes. He also worked at the Queen mine in the smelter. Emma came out to Bisbee, but was having trouble and always got sick. Emma really loved the Chiricahua landscape, (who can blame her, it’s gorgeous) Neil visited her at the cabin as much as possible. They had a son and daughter named Helen Hildegard. President Roosevelt established Chiricahua Federal reserve and Neil became one of the first Forest rangers. He worked at the Cochise stronghold in the Dragoon Mts. For seven years, building houses and lookout towers and also both Neil and Emma worked at Walnut Canyon, but in their hearts, they loved Chiricahua so much!

Front row, Neil and Emma, back row, Ben, Lillian (Riggs) and Hildegard
Neil on his horse George exploring Chiricahua, Erickson Peak is named after Neil!

The Faraway ranch began in 1886 for the couple and became a guest ranch in the 1920’s inviting people to stay there and explore the Chiricahua area. Even Buffalo soldiers stayed and many others!

Back side entrance into the Faraway guest house
The dining area, complete with a plastic thanksgiving dinner!
Pretty realistic to me, Wow! Deviled eggs, lol 😂
Engraved names are inside the houses fireplace, some from Buffalo soldiers who frequented the ranch, because of the threat of Apaches! Neil, originally came to avenge his fathers death by Apache Indians!
The upstairs was blocked off, so I could not go up.
Old wheelchair, used by Emma after a sprain in her knee
A cozy living room for the family
Check out the awesome radio! They must’ve had some wonderful times here!
Originally, the Faraway ranch is on 400 acres!
Horse stable
Inside the stable, the names of each horse they had is engraved in each of the white circles on top.
Original outhouse
The Forest Ranger mysteriously vanished and was said that he vanished on the property walking from the Faraway building out into the over 400 acres of land, no one knows what happened to him!!!! strange!!!

The Faraway ranch was sold for a whopping five hundred thousand-to the National park service. Neil and Emma’s kids all died within an 18 month time frame in 1977-78. But the legacy goes on and you can walk the many trails, just be aware, as bears, jaguars and many other animals live there as well! Check it out sometime!

Snow melting , November 30, 2019

Thank you so much for reading, please write a review of this site and share and follow me for more educational and informative articles ! Thank you and enjoy your weekend and week!


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