A Pioneer Log Cabin in Bonita Canyon
The History of the Stafford Cabin
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The Stafford Cabin is a log and frame building located in Bonita Canyon, a small drainage from the west side of the Chiricahua Mountains into the dry but productive Sulphur Spring Valley in Cochise County, Arizona. The cabin is individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places (March 31, 1975) and is also contained in the Faraway Ranch Historic District (August 27, 1980), part of Chiricahua National Monument. It is managed by the Superintendent of the Monument.

Chiricahua National Monument, established in 1924 to protect the unique rock formations popularly known as the "Wonderland of Rocks" which adorn the upper reaches of this section of the mountains, is surrounded on three sides by the Coronado National Forest, and on the fourth, or west side, by Sulphur Spring Valley, most of which is privately owned.1

1Sulphur Spring Valley is commonly referred to as Sulphur Springs Valley, but the official U. S. Geological Survey name is used throughout this report.

The 110-year-old homestead cabin and surrounding land became part of Chiricahua National Monument in December, 1968. The structure is a two-room log cabin with a stone fireplace and chimney, a shed-roofed "kitchenette" and bathroom addition, an open porch, and an attached garage. The cabin sits on a flat expanse of the canyon once occupied by an orchard, from which a few trees remain. Bonita Creek is located a short distance north of the cabin.

The history of the Stafford Cabin involves a number of facets, from a homestead claim during the Apache resistance to family life in a pioneer environment to its last decades as a guest cottage at a modestly popular dude ranch. Perhaps of foremost significance is the pioneer era, or the Stafford years, 1880-1918, a time when the earliest settlers appeared in the area and developed a ranching and agricultural legacy in the Sulphur Spring Valley. This document will hopefully shed new light on the significance of the Stafford Cabin in the history of the Southwest.

Location maps of Chiricahua National Monument and Stafford Cabin. (Source: HABS) (click on image for a PDF version)

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Last Updated: 25-Aug-2008