Cloverdale picnic 1919 - The community of Cloverdale was started in the 1880’s. It grew to support a general store (the building still stands), a post office, a school, a cemetery with a gravestone of a Confederate soldier, and 120 registered voters! Starting in 1913 the community held an annual picnic which drew large numbers of local ranchers and continued until 1962.
Old Blair area trough - To read more about the history of the area check out these books: A Hundred Years Of Horse Tracks-The Story Of The Gray Ranch, by George Hillard. Publisher ;High Lonesome Books P.O. Box 878 Silver City New Mexico To Animas With Love, by Dunagan and Smith. Publisher ; Thomson-Shore, Inc. The Killing Of Chester Bartell, by Norman K Hunt. Publisher ; Cowboy Miner Production.
Geronimo Surenders Monument - The Chiricahua Apaches were prominent in the area. Geronimo, pursued by General Nelson Miles, surrendered in Skeleton Canyon in 1886. The Geronimo Trail, now a county road that connects the Animas Valley with Douglas, Arizona, passes through Midbar Ranch's forest grazing allotment.
Lt. Colonel Cooke, commander of the Mormon Battalion - In 1846 the Mormon Battalion, commanded by Lt. Colonel Philip Cooke (later a Union officer in the Civil War) and guided by Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, son of Sacajawea who had guided Lewis and Clark, blazed a trail through the Animas Valley crossing what is now our deeded land on their way to San Diego. One of the county roads crossing our land is called Battalion.
CCC Camp in Animas - In the 1930’s the Civilian Conservation Corps built several dams on the Coronado National Forest. Five of these dams are located on our allotment and some of them still hold water.
Gray Ranch Cowboys - Named after a former Texas Ranger, the Gray Ranch, known formerly as the Victorio Land and Cattle Company and the Diamond A Ranch, now covers approximately 500,000 acres in the Bootheel. But this is much diminished from its former holdings when it spread from the Mexican border, up the Rio Grande to Socorro, NM. and was owned at one time by William Randolph Hearst. Since the early 1990’s the ranch is under conservation easements held by The Nature Conservancy.
Henry Eicks, original homesteader of Midbar Ranch, with neighboring ranchers. Midbar Ranch was first known as the “Old Henry Eicks Ranch”. The Eicks Family came to the Upper (i.e. southern) Animas Valley through skeleton Canyon in 1888 and began ranching near Cloverdale in 1904. Over time, the Eicks bought out several other homesteaders in the area and consolidated the parcels into what is now Midbar Ranch. Henry was a pilot and built an adobe airplane hangar which still stands and serves as a barn.
The Wild Southwest - These days the “Bootheel” of southwestern New Mexico and southeastern Arizona is peaceful and largely uninhabited, but in the late 19th and early 20th centuries it bustled with activity. The characters involved were colorful and included the Clanton family of OK Corral fame and their colleagues Curly Bill Graham, Johnny Ringo, “Rattlesnake” Bill and “Indian” Charlie. Our Forest grazing allotment is called Clanton/Cloverdale. In addition to the OK Corral incident the Clantons were implicated in at least two other famous shootouts called “massacres”, one in Skeleton Canyon just northwest of the ranch and one in the Guadalupe in the south.