After spending the evening in Hotel Gadsden, we drove the 17 miles of mostly dirt road to the lone Slaughter Ranch (also known as the San Bernardino Ranch). This historic site is set right against the Arizona-New Mexico and was the home of the famed Old West figure John Slaughter.
John Slaughter, born in 1841, was a Texas Ranger, soldier, cattle driver, sheriff of Cochise County (he is credited with bringing law and order back to Tombstone), poker player, husband, foster parent, and a rancher. He posed as such a large figure of the Old West that Disney aired a TV series (1958-1961) called Texas John Slaughter with a theme song that had the opening lines of “Texas John Slaughter made ’em do what they oughta, and if they didn’t, they died.” Many of the full-length episodes can be found on YouTube.
John Slaughter’s Ranch is credited with bringing cattle ranching to southern Arizona/northen New Mexico. The Ranch was purchased in 1884 for $80,000. The ranch became a town in itself with as many as 500 people working on the Ranch, with 150 of them living on the Ranch.
This piggy was roaming free with the dogs of the ranch. She wagged her tail when she was scratched behind the ears.
The 65,000 acre ranch is dotted with several natural springs.
Although he never learned to drive, John Slaughter was a car enthusaiast and owned 6 cars, including a 1915 Model-T.
Artifacts in the granary building:
The Wash House, in which clothes were not washed but ironed.
The Ranch House.
Room used by the Slaughter’s many foster children and grandchildren.
Slaughter School District No. 28
Set on the highest hill of the Slaughter Ranch were several military outposts established by the US Army in 1911.
Border between US & Mexico.
My favorite part of the Ranch? It may have been this piggy. The one laying on her belly soaking up the sun. Not the one in black leggings.