Message From the President

 Happy Solstice.  It has been one HOT summer, and the rains were a little short.  However, the bats are cleaning out the Hummingbird feeders every night and you can feel fall is finally arriving.  It has been a high adventure summer.  Visitor numbers across the board are up significantly and many of our Sunday programs put together by Jane Chambers were completely full.  The Saturday morning programs have been awesome.  We also supported Southwest Wings Blacklighting Program with Jeff Babson and the Bisbee Science Lab geology course, both with high attendance.    

 On the Partnership front we now have a brand new Five-Year Participating Agreement with the Coronado National Forest for Interpretive Services.  This 23-page document has been in the making for several years and outlines how the Forest Service and FOHM will conduct operations.  With this agreement in place and increased visitor usage we have started discussions with the Forest Service on a Carr Site Plan.   This strategic plan will identify activities for the future that may include trail enhancements, infrastructure upgrades, outdoor seating, parking lot improvement, curation activities and many more potential actions.  This strategy will identify key projects, sources of funding and stabilize the long-term future of the Carr House and its surrounding environment.    

  If you have a chance to look at our website, please do.  Frank Emanuele, our new Webmaster, has made great strides in improving the site since taking it over last June.  As part of our video improvement, we now have four new 40” screens throughout the Carr House showcasing Mike Foster’s programs.  Eventually we will have a monitor out by the picnic tables for overflow seating for our Sunday afternoon programs.  A couple of sail shades provided by Linda Stitt, our Secretary, have helped improve the outdoor area. 

 On the budget front we have closed out the 2023 fiscal year in the black.  Our investment portfolio, dues and donations covered all our expenses.  The Board has approved a FY24 budget, which is attached, along with the 2022-2023 budget for the fiscal year ending August 31, 2023.  Many thanks to Pat Dillingham for keeping all these accounts straight and bills paid on time.

If you have visited the Carr House recently, you may have noticed a lovely piece of wood in the shape of a tree mounted over the fireplace.  This is our Donor Tree.  The brass plaques on the tree honor those individuals, organizations, or businesses who have contributed $1,000 or more to the Friends in the form of volunteer work, in kind services/goods or monetary contributions, or any combination of these.  This year we were honored to place three new plaques on the tree for contributions from generous donors.

 Thanks to everyone for participating in our election this year.  We had only one Board Member up for reelection.  Congratulations to Carolyn Santucci for being reelected to the Public Involvement position.  Through Carolyn’s efforts working with our news outlets, we have seen a marked increase in visitors. 

 We currently have one position open.  That is the Vice President position.  We are currently looking for a candidate to fill that spot as acting VP until next summer’s election.  Primary duties of this position are volunteer coordination and building maintenance.  If you are interested in this position, please contact any of our Board Members. 

 We still have two more Sunday afternoon programs left this year.  On October 15 our counterpart over in Brown Canyon, Mary Kay Ponder, will be giving an overview of the History of Brown Canyon.  On October 29 Mike Foster, our Site Host, will be giving a Day of the Dead program.  We have one more Saturday morning program left.  On October 21 Rosemary Snapp will be providing an overview of John and Ila Healy, Carr Canyon Pioneers. 

 Our bylaws require us to hold an annual meeting of the membership which we will be conducting on October 29, starting at noon before the Day of the Dead Program.  We’ll meet outside the building at the picnic tables.  All the Board Members and our Forest Service Liaison Zac Ribbing will be present to provide updates and field questions.  Light refreshments will be available.

 As usual the Carr House will remain open on weekends and Federal holidays until we close November 26.  One change this year is that we will not be open Thanksgiving Day, November 23. 

 As we move into our slower season, we still have many ongoing activities.  Dr. Steve Merkley has put together another Kino Bay Field Course which the FOHM is supporting with three scholarships for 2024.  After the Carr House closes for the season, we are going to be repairing/repainting and reorganizing the entry room.  We also intend to add railings to the outside steps for improved safety.    

This has been a busy summer.  Thank you for your continued support and for making Carr House a place ~2,500 people wanted to visit this summer.  We hope to see you at the annual meeting at the Carr House, Sunday, 29 October. 


Eric Andersen

President, FOHM Board of Directors

Don’t miss out on our last three programs for this season!

The History of Brown Canyon Ranch, Carr House Visitor Information Center, 1011 E. Carr Canyon Road, Sunday, October 15, 1:30 p.m.  Brown Canyon Ranch was built a century ago by a local pioneer family and today includes their ranch house, storeroom, corrals, water system, and a pond that is the habitat of an endangered frog species. A visit to Brown Canyon Ranch offers a glimpse back in time and opportunities to hike and enjoy the surrounding area of the Huachuca Mountains. Mary Kay Ponder, President of the Friends of Brown Canyon Ranch, will discuss the history of the area and all the interesting plans the group has for the future. For safety reasons occupancy in the program room at Carr House is limited to 49 people.  Please arrive early to be sure you get a seat, as additional visitors over the limit will not be admitted while the program is going on.  Overflow guests will be invited to watch a live stream of the program at our outside picnic area.

John and Ila Healy, Carr Canyon Pioneers, Carr House Visitor Information Center, 1011 E. Carr Canyon Road, Saturday, October 21, 10 a.m.  He was the longest serving officer at Fort Huachuca.  She led mountain lion hunts and collected snakes. John and Ila Healy were naturalists, historians, and hosts. And they did so much more from their home in Carr Canyon. The Healys had a ranch in the canyon from 1937 to 1972.  John’s career at Fort Huachuca started with the 10th U.S. Cavalry, patrolling the Mexican Border at Lochiel in 1918. John was also the last commander of the Apache Scouts. His service at Fort Huachuca spanned both World War I and World War II. In Ila’s spare time, she managed a dude ranch in Carr Canyon for hunters, birders, and children with asthma.  Friends of the Huachuca Mountains unofficial historian and one of the founders of FOHM, Rosemary Snapp, has been researching the early settlers in Carr Canyon since 1994 and will be the presenter for this program. After Rosemary’s presentation, Carr House Host Mike Foster will lead an optional walk to the ruins of the Healys’ home in the meadow below Carr House. For safety reasons occupancy in the program room at Carr House is limited to 49 people.  Please arrive early to be sure you get a seat, as additional visitors over the limit will not be admitted while the program is going on.  Overflow guests will be invited to watch a live stream of the program at our outside picnic area.

Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos), Carr House Visitor Information Center, 1011 E. Carr Canyon Road Sunday, October 29, 1:30 p.m.  Mike Foster, Videographer and Carr House Host, will show his new videos filmed this year on the Day of the Dead theme.  He will also illustrate how the Aztec/Catholic holiday is celebrated in cemeteries just across the international border and further south into Mexico. He will explain the history of this holiday and how it has evolved from ancient Aztec ceremonies. Altars will be arranged around the Carr House.  Guests may participate if they wish by adding to altars or constructing their own with photos of loved ones who have passed. People are encouraged to enjoy the food offerings after the informal ceremony. The program room has a maximum capacity of 49 people for safety reasons. If there is an overflow crowd Mike will do a second presentation starting at about 2:45 p.m.

Friends of the Huachuca Mountains Board of Directors:

Eric Andersen, President

Vice President – Vacant

Linda Stitt, Secretary

Pat Dillingham, Treasurer

Jane Chambers, Director

Steve Merkley, Director

Carolyn Santucci, Director