COWBOYS film mirrors the ranching and robust history of Cochise County, Arizona
The 2019 feature-length documentary, COWBOYS, is told in the cinematic tradition of classic westerns and offers the opportunity to ride alongside modern working cowboys on some of America’s largest and most remote cattle ranches.
COWBOYS tells the stories of men and women working on large cattle ranches and explores the rewards and hardships of a celebrated but misunderstood way of life and the challenges that lie ahead for the cowboys and ranches critical to providing the world’s supply of beef.
COWBOYS was filmed at several historic ranches in the American southwest and is reminiscent of the wide-open spaces and starry skies of Cochise County, Arizona. This is a land where ranching is still a family tradition, rich mining towns blossomed, and cowboys have persevered since the days of the Wyatt Earp.
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Narrated through first-hand accounts from the cowboys themselves, the story is steeped in authenticity and explores the rewards and hardships of a celebrated but misunderstood way of life and the challenges that lie ahead for the cowboys and ranches critical to providing the world’s supply of beef. Southern Arizona and Cochise County were vital to feeding America.
In fact, Cochise County in the Old West was an era characterized by rapidly growing boomtowns and mining operations, such as Total Wreck near the J6 Ranch.
The emergence of large-scale farming and ranching interests, led to numerous violent conflicts between white settlers and the Apache Indians, and between outlaw gangs and local law enforcement such as the famous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral that occurred in Tombstone, Cochise County, Arizona in 1881.
With its rich history in mining and search for wealth, Southern Arizona is home to over 80 towns of the 1800’s (ghost towns). Each with its own history of determination, resilience and intrigue The Southwest lives on in spirit and beauty and the riches that attracted the settlers of the 1800’s.
The Names of the homes of Red Hawk at the J6 Ranch are from the energetic towns of the 1800s near by the J6.
Sky Island – The term Sky Island, “mountain island in a desert sea”, was popularized by nature writer Weldon Heald, a resident of southeastern Arizona. The term salutes the beauty of the southwest.
Pearce – The town of Pearce was established in 1984 by James Pearce, miner and cattleman. After dismounting his horse, he sat down and relaxed, idly picking up a rock and hitting it on a nearby rock ledge. It broke, and the break showed gold! Thus, was born the Commonwealth mine, said to be one of the richest mines ever found in Arizona, producing over fifteen million dollars in gold.
Fairbank – Founded in 1882 when the railroad established a station nearby to the J6 ranch.
Charleston – Charleston was located on the San Pedro river about 6 miles south of Fairbanks. The Tombstone Epitaph on May 6, 1882 noted “Charleston has a very extensive trade with the surrounding country and Sonora. Its Mexican business is daily becoming more important, and it will continue to increase until it reaches very large proportions. The town is well regulated and free from turmoil. In fact, it is one of the most peaceful places we were ever in.”
Cascabel – Located on the San Pedro River, north of Benson, Arizona. Cascabel means “bell or rattle”. Home to a growing arts community there is an arts and crafts festival held every year in December.
Palmerlee – This town initially was a mining camp know as Reef and if you hike into the area you will see a geological feature that gave it this name. The towns name was then changed to Palmerlee in the early 1900’s. And then finally to Garces.
Gleeson – The post office here opened in 1890 under the name Turquoise and closed in 1894. The site of Turquoise was established by Indians who mined the gemstones in the area later to be called Turquoise Mountain. Tiffany & Company acquired the mines in 1890.
Middlemarch – Middlemarch mining camp was located in the middle pass of the Dragoon mountains about 6 miles southwest of Pearce. Said to have been the “middle march” of the military in early days between Fort Bowie and Fort Huachuca.
Terrenate – Founded in 1742 and is located southwest of the Huachuca Mountains. Late in 1775 Santa Cruz de Terrenate was relocated to the area of Fairbanks. This was one of a series of forts or as the Spanish called them “Presidios” that were set up to guard the northern reaches of “New Spain”. The presidios also contained missions as this was the second part of their function.
Reef – Named for a conspicuous reef of rock (Carr Reef), a series of quartzite cliffs running along the eastern side of the Huachuca Mountains, a noted landmark.
Today, Cochise County’s rich history and growing housing opportunities (such as the acreage available for custom homes at Red Hawk and St. David Springs) creates an enjoyable lifestyle in a cordial climate, near all the amenities of modern life, yet conveniently remote. Come be part of Arizona’s rich ranching and mining history.