Just a short drive from where were are staying, is Tombstone, Arizona. Tombstone was the subject of a 1993 Western starring Kurt Russel and Val Kilmer. It was also the setting for a TV show in the late 1950’s
Tombstone is definitely a step back into the history of the Wild West. There’s lots to see here in this little town from a graveyard to stage coaches and even a gunfight reenactment. Be forewarned though it’s a money grab everything you might want to see will cost something. So you might want to do your homework before you go and decide what you really want to see.
Our first stop was the Boothill Graveyard. Boothill was a common name for graveyards back on the old west. Referring to the fact that many of their occupants had died with their boots on! Boothill in Tombstone was started as a burial ground in 1878 and served as cemetery for the next 6 years. For years the cemetery had been neglected and reclaimed by nature. However, concerned citizens researched and restored it to its present condition.
The tour of Boothill is self-guided. Your $3 entrance fee gives you a brochure describing to 250 graves in the graveyard. The lady at the counter said that would be the cheapest ticket of the day. She was right. Many of the grave markers describe the person’s cause of death, most were some violent cause… hanging, shot, stabbed, suicide, etc.
Most of the graves have wooden markers and rock piles.
Tom Waters shot over the color of his shirt
The Halderman brothers hanged in 1900
John Gillespie was one of the officers sent to arrest Billy Grounds and Zwing Hunt. He was shot in the head by Hunt and died instantly. Arizona law enforcement pay tribute by leaving dollars on his grave and a memorial wreath.
Marshall White was accidentally shot by Curly Bill. Arizona law enforcement also pay tribute to his grave.
Here lies Lester Moore
Four slugs from a .44
No Les no more
Moore was a Wells Fargo agent who was killed in a dispute with a customer over a package
George Johnson bought a stolen horse and was hung by mistake
Taken from county jail by a Bisbee lynch mob and was hanged from a telegraph pole.
The Clanton gang killed at the shootout at OK corral.
The Bird Cage Theatre
The Bird Cage is the oldest original building in town. In the boom days of the town it served as a theatre, saloon, brothel, and gambling hall. They offer a self-guided tour here. If you like that sort of thing there are tons of cool artifacts to see. They allow photos on the tour, but explicitly forbid you from posting those photos on line. Boo hiss! So I’m sorry you won’t be seeing any of inside the Bird Cage tour photos here and for that reason I’ll say that it wasn’t worth the price of admission.
Outside the Bird Cage
The bar inside the Bird Cage Saloon still has a bullet hole
Fatima portrait in the saloon. That's a bullet hole above her left arm
The Human Fly - poster in the saloon
The Stage Coach Tour
This was definitely cool. It was a guided tour in an old horse driven stage coach down Main Street on down some of the backstreets in town. The driver pointed out many historical businesses and homes along the way. It gives you an appreciation for what it might have been like to travel across the country in a coach.
Our coach awaits
The coach and driver
Our view from inside the coach
The coach rolling along the street
Beers at Big Nose Kate’s
This is a restored and modernized saloon. It was a nice place to stop and enjoy a cold beer.
The bar inside Kate's
Kate's Tequila Bar
Shoot out at the OK Corral
This is a staged reenactment of the historic shootout between the Earp brothers with Doc Holiday and a group of cowboy outlaws known as the Clanton Gang. This was enjoyable to watch and worth the admission.
The Earps gather in the street outside of the OK Corral.
Some mouthing between the Earps and Clantons
The gun fight ensues
The Clanton gang lays dead
So that was enough history for our day. We left plenty there for another day.
All photos and text in my posts are my original work.