About New Mexico Cabin Rentals
It all started over 125 years ago when the family of Joe Hooker journeyed from the East Coast to New Mexico and began building a family Ranch. While the Great Depression was in full swing, Joe made slow but steady progress, eventually putting together a ranch large enough that he could make a living raising Hereford cattle in extreme and varied terrain quite difficult to traverse horseback.
In 1905 the U.S. Government created the Gila National Forest, comprised of approximately 2,710,659 acres of public land, making it the sixth largest (and least utilized) National Forest in the continental United States.
The majestic, rugged landscape of the ranch is still relatively untouched and most of the original buildings and corrals are still being used today. Slowly, each one has received a loving refresh and repair, from new paint, to new roofs, windows, and corrals, all while maintaining as much of the original ranch appearance as possible, providing you with a taste of vintage New Mexico ranching life.
In 1996 Alan and Debbie Eggleston purchased a portion of the Hooker legacy ranch from Donald Hooker, son of Joe. Shortly after that, The Double E Ranch began hosting an average of 500 guests annually from around the globe who came to experience ranching life little changed from 100 years ago. Over those 18 years owners Debbie and Alan raised Texas Longhorn cattle, quality quarter horses, developed programs such as "Ladies Cowgirl Camps" and a course on Western Literature and Ranching Culture in Southwest New Mexico providing college credit for students from Union College in Schenectady, NY and The West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas, all the while hosting thousands of guests from around the world who wanted to experience the undiluted, real sensations of southwestern New Mexico ranch life.
At New Mexico Cabin Rentals, you’ll discover some of the most incredible vistas God ever created!
This part of Southwestern New Mexico encompasses some of the roughest, most remote, and pristine land in the U.S. The terrain ranges from rugged mountains and deep canyons to mesas and semi-desert. Our private 360 acres include over a mile of Bear Creek, which feeds into the Gila River. Here, you'll find an extraordinary, privately protected riparian sanctuary, home to black hawks, falcons, hundreds of migratory and indigenous birds as well as spectacular views. Hikers will marvel climb the Double E Ranch Trail, view the top of "Turtle Rock" aka Apache Corral, from where you can see all the way to the Arizona border! New Mexico Cabin Rentals and Double E Ranch have one of the few private access points which flows directly into more than 3 million acre State of NM, BLM and Gila National Forest and Gila Wilderness area. Using our cabins at New Mexico Cabin Rentals as a home base, you have immediate access to all of this and more!
Legendary figures have frequented the area surrounding New Mexico Cabin Rentals.
Why not become one of them!
For centuries, legendary figures of Southwestern New Mexico have frequented what is now New Mexico Cabin Rentals, starting with the Mimbrenos Indians. Known for their exquisite black-on-white pottery, the Mimbrenos called the lands surrounding New Mexico Cabin Rentals home. If you have a keen eye, you can still see evidence of their existence here, including old home sites and broken remnants of their handiwork. To learn even more about the Mimbrenos, visit the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. It is well worth the drive and makes a great day trip. Make sure you spend a little time in Pinos Altos, as well! Read on to learn more about the legendary figures who have frequented the area surrounding New Mexico Cabin Rentals.
Your Hosts Deborah and Alan Eggleston
Meet Debbie and Alan Eggleston, owners and proprietors of New Mexico Cabin Rentals. In their previous lives, Debbie was an admin assistant and Alan worked in the airline industry.
Surrounded by majestic scenery, rugged and beautiful terrain New Mexico Cabin Rentals was home to the Double E Ranch - where for 18 years Debbie and Alan raised Texas Longhorn cattle, quality quarter horses, developed programs such as "Ladies Cowgirl Camps" and a course on Western Literature and Ranching Culture in South West New Mexico providing college credit for students from Union College in Schenectady, NY and The West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas while hosting thousands of guests from around the world who wanted to experience the undiluted, real sensations of southwestern New Mexico ranch life.
In 2015 Debbie and Alan made the decision to retire from ranching. They saw an opportunity to protect this unspoiled landscape, maintain public recreational access, preserve wildlife habitat, and expand outdoor youth education programs by selling 6000 acres to The New Mexico State Game Commission and Department of Game and Fish.
So that visitors to New Mexico Cabin Rentals and Double E Ranch can continue to experience the magic of southwestern New Mexico, they lovingly restored many of the original ranch cabins and guest houses for your vacationing pleasure. Debbie manages New Mexico Cabin Rentals and Alan can often still be found in the saddle, training horses for ranch work and Cowboy Mounted Shooting.
Born in 1829 somewhere around the headwaters of the Gila River, Geronimo played an important part in America history. In 1853, the U.S. Government established the Gila Apache Indian Reservation, which included the land on which New Mexico Cabin Rentals now sits. But Geronimo, Mangas Coloradas, and Victorio formed a powerful union that resisted American expansion until Geronimo's surrender in late 1886. In 1878, the Apache Nation turned the grant back to the U.S. Government.
Local legend has it that Geronimo and his band stole some pretty good mares from surrounding ranches, killing the colts to keep them from following. A group of ranchers took chase, following the trail to the base of the mountains near Turkey Creek where they found a mare with her throat cut, still bleeding out. The ranchers decided right then the horses weren't worth THAT much, after all! Everyone turned and headed back for home.
Henry McCarty (AKA Billy the Kid)
Believed to have been born in New York in 1859, Billy the Kid’s first arrest was in 1875 for stealing food. He quickly progress to stealing firearms, then murder, then cattle rustling, all before joining the Lincoln County war and becoming a “Regulator.” Although a vicious outlaw, his contemporaries described him as a "neat" dresser who favored an "unadorned Mexican sombrero." He was also reported to have been friendly and personable at times, and as lithe as a cat. His raids across Arizona and New Mexico brought him through the area that is now home to New Mexico Cabin Rentals and local lore believes one of his hideouts is here, hidden amongst the canyons. By the time he died, this Old West gunfighter was known to have killed eight men.
Mildred Clark Cusey (AKA Madame Millie)
Orphaned at a young age, Millie moved to Southwest New Mexico to care for her infirmed sister. To support the two of them, Millie first worked as a “Harvey Girl” but soon learned that she could make more money turning tricks. The consummate entrepreneur, Millie traveled throughout the west opening restaurants, beauty parlors, bars and bordellos as she went. She is perhaps the first business woman to use a loyalty program, sending her “girls” out to stroll downtown streets with punch cards for “buy 10, get 1 free.” Eventually, she settled in Silver City, where she became an important part of the community, contributing heavily to local charities. Millie is buried at the Fort Bayard National Cemetery in Grant County and to this day, many of the local residents still tell her stories. If you visit Silver City during your stay at New Mexico Cabin Rentals, be sure to inquire about Madame Millie.
Ben Lilly (AKA Ol' Lilly)
Born in 1856, Ol’ Lilly was a mix between a transcendentalist spirit and an ardent Christian. He is often described as an unfathomable Southern wild character. He was a stern practitioner of simple living and outdoor freedom, roamed and hunted from Louisiana to Arizona and from Idaho to as far south as Chihuahua and Durango, Mexico, and was a subject of American folktales. He guided oiler W. H. McFadden and President Theodore Roosevelt in hunting expeditions, whom he intrigued and who wrote about him.
He was arguably the most prolific hunter of apex predators in the history of North American hunting and also the last active mountain man of the historical American Southwest. He was not a conservationist but made important contributions of fauna specimens and naturalistic observations to American institutions and museums. He was a contradictory character and his exploits have been consistently exaggerated to folktale proportions, and most records are oral, bona-fide, Americana transcripts. It was not unusual for Ol' Lilly to spend a few days at the Old Hooker Ranch, resting, story telling and resupplying.
Famous Ol’ Lilly Quotes:
- Anyone can kill a deer but it takes a man to kill a varmint. (By varmints he meant bears, mountain lions, and wolves.)
- Property is a handicap to man.
- I never saw a man with his face shaved clean until I was a big boy. When I saw him I thought he was a dead man.... walking about, and I was mighty scared.