San Bernardino Ranch

Also known as: John Slaughter Ranch
17 mi. E of Douglas on the international boundary, Douglas, Arizona


San Bern NHL HQ

By National Park Service -, Public Domain, Enlarge



The center of a cattle ranching empire that straddled the U.S.-Mexico border, this ranch illustrates the continuity of Spanish and American cattle ranching in the Southwest. Until late in the 19th century, the San Bernardino Valley, a well-watered area occupying southern Arizona and northern Mexico, was not successfull occupied by Europeans due to the threat of Apache attack; in 1884, however, John H. Slaughter, a Texas cattle rancher, leased a portion of the Mexican land grant and began the development of a ranch that would span up to 100,000 acres, supplying beef, fruits, and vegetables to the surrounding settlements and military posts. -- National Historic Landmark statement of significance, July 19, 1964

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966
Reference number
Areas of significance
Military; Transportation; Exploration/Settlement; Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction; B - Person; D - Information Potential
Property type
Historic functions
Single dwelling; Animal facility; Secondary structure
Current function
Periods of significance
1850-1874; 1800-1824; 1750-1799; 1825-1849
Significant years
1822; 1846; 1855
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 10
Contributing sites: 11

Update Log 

  • June 15, 2018: New photo from Bill Eichelberger