Last updated: January 11, 2024
Emma and Neil Erickson started the Faraway Ranch in the late nineteenth century. Emma initiated the purchase of the original cabin and property. Her daughter Hildegard started the guest ranching business in 1917. Emma's eldest daughter Lillian Erickson Riggs oversaw the expansion of the business with her husband Ed Riggs, and continued to manage the ranch by herself after her husband’s death. Faraway Ranch thus preserves a story important to women’s history, one that complicates traditional narratives of women’s lives in the West. The history of Faraway Ranch also is germane to the history of Chiricahua National Monument. Lillian and Ed Riggs built the first trails into the area that became the national monument, and supported the legislative effort to create the monument. As the only lodging for guests in the immediate vicinity, Faraway Ranch had a monopoly on the tourist trade that steadily increased after the monument’s creation in 1924. For many visitors, the ranch figured as an indelible part of their experience at Chiricahua National Monument. Faraway also remained a working cattle ranch until the early 1970s. Many facets of Western history—ranching, tourism, preservation—are part of the Faraway story.