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Happy birthday to Justin. We’re very proud of you.

A few days ago we headed to Tombstone with about 15 of the Montana Rally attendees.  We were quite impressed with the town’s efforts to promote their historical image.  Many locals wandered the downtown area in period clothing.  When you look down Allen Street it appears that time has stood still.


In the mid to late 1800’s Tombstone was an important silver mining town and even a destination for people suffering from asthma.  There are historical attractions throughout the town.  The world’s largest rose tree, silver mine tours, Boot Hill are among the many worthwhile points of interest.  Unfortunately, time didn’t allow us to visit those.

We did, however, take a tour of the Epitaph Newspaper office, the longest continually printed paper in Arizona.  The equipment was quite amazing for the time.

One of the most infamous spots is the Birdcage Theater.


The birdcage was a combination saloon, theater, and brothel.  These box seats were used for more than watching the entertainment on the stage.


This huge painting of “Fatima” hung in the saloon all these years and has about 9 bullet holes in it.


The Birdcage is now a museum displaying everything from hanging nooses to hearses.  This early dentist chair looks more like a torture chair with its foot pedal drill.


This hearse carried all but two of the current residents of boot hill to their final resting place.  This gold trimmed carriage cost over $8,000.00 in the late 1800’s.  That would have been a fortune in today’s money.


There are several saloons in Tombstone with magnificently ornate bars.  This one is from the Crystal Palace.


We decided to have lunch at Big Nose Kate’s Saloon.  Of course there was another huge bar with ornate glass work.


The stained glass windows


This must be a flattering portrait of Big Nose Kate.  Here nose doesn’t look that big to me.


There is an old spiral staircase that leads to downstairs from the bar.  Here you will find an entrance to an old silver mine.  The mine’s security guard slept at the entrance.


When visiting Tombstone, one of the first stops should be the the O.K. Coral.  Every half hour there is a showing of a movie that gives a good overview of the history of the town.  Of course, one of the main events is the recreation of the world’s most famous gunfight.   Volunteer local residents portray characters from the Gunfight at the O.K. Coral.  Proceeds go to local charities. (Click on picture for large image.)


The 1881 Gunfight at the O.K. Coral was a 28 second skirmish between Virgil Earp, the Marshal of Tombstone, along with his deputized brothers Wyatt Earp, and Morgan Earp with Doc Holliday on one side and the Claytons and McLaurys (some unarmed) on the other.  The result was the death of two Claytons and two McLaurys.  Everyone else involved in the gunfight was injured except Wyatt Earp.  Wyatt left town later after being charged with murder in another incident.

One way to get an insight on the history of the town is to take a stagecoach tour of the town.


Time didn’t allow for more than this passing shot of Boot Hill, but , for a nominal charge you can go and receive a grave map and wander the grave yard.  The wooden crosses have obviously been replaced to mark each grave location.


If you’re in the southern Arizona area, be sure to take a trip to Tombstone.  We thoroughly enjoyed the day.

3 Responses to “Tombstone”

  1. spkncarl says:

    Oh, thanks for sharing….This is one of my favorite western towns. Your pictures turned out great!


  2. Sister says:

    I remember the bar at the Crystal Palace from a trip we took there–when? I have no idea. So that could have been yesterday, but I think it was in the ’80’s or early 90’s–that is 1980, not 1880. The tourism looks a bit more elaborate than when we were there. In fact I don’t remember there being very many people there at all.

  3. Thanks for a great posting about Tombstone, Arizona! We love visitors from all parts of the Country and the World! We hope you pass this way again. If you are hankering for some Tombstone stuff…take a peek at our website at, and you can join our email list while there. Again, thanks for the great pictures and post!

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