Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tombstone, the town too tough to die.

Tue - March 23rd

In 1881 there were 106 saloons on Allen Street. The census recorded 20,000 residents, but they only counted white males -- no women, children,
Chinese, Indians, etc. Out first day here the weather was very much like the day of the famous
shootout, or so we were told. Our second day was much nicer. They claim to be the second biggest tourist attraction in Arizona after that big ditch up north. Their tourism is all due to a whole lot of blood shed. There were 79 people gunned down on the corner of 6th Strret and Allen Street.

There is a lot to see, so I highly recommend doing some research beforehand and taking a guided tour first thing when you arrive. You can take the stage coach or the trolley.

We took the trolley. They are both narrated, get you oriented and point out all the highlights.

This is the court house museum and is the smallest state park in the country. It has a gallows in the back where 7 people were hanged from 1884 to 1898. Unfortunantly, it was closed the two days we were there, due to state budget cuts.

This house next door to the court house is where John Heath was lynched in 1884 by an angry mob. He had recieved immunity for turning in the rest of his gang. I guess they didn't think it was right for him to get off when the rest were convicted.

This is the Bird Cage where many famous people performed on their way between Chicago and California. Sixteen fights killed 26 cowboys and there are still 140 bullet holes to be seen here.

The 14 bird cages were cribs upstairs that could be rented to spend a little time with the working girls.

Also, Doc Holliday was known to deal Faro here on occasion.

This is one of the ladies who performed here. She later changed her name to Little Egypt and sent this portrait back to the Bird Cage as a gift. There are several bullet holes patched over in the painting and one just to the right of it in the wall.

The sign on this one is pretty self explanatory.

This opera house was built to honor the man who first discovered silver here by his brother. When he left the fort to come here and mine they made fun of him and said he would find nothing but his tombstone here. He found a vein of silver that produced 40 million dollars. The town that was originally Goose Flats was later changed to Tombsone in his honor.

China Mary was very well-liked and had the largest funeral ever in Boot Hill.

Boot Hill Cemetery where lots of scoundrels that were hanged were buried.

And even a few that were hung by mistake.

Here lies the Clantons and McClurys some of whom died at the OK Corral at the hands of the Earp brothers and Doc Holliday.

The oldest building in Tombstone.

The Tombstone newspaper was called the Tombstone Epitaph. Seems appropriate. We received a copy of the issue that gave all the testimony from the trial against the Earps and Holliday with our tickets to the gunfight.

Besides the famous gunfight at the OK Corral, there are several other saloons in town that re-enact shoot outs and and have dance hall girls and other stuff.

This is the OK Corral shootout. The Helldorado does a shootout show. Big Nose Kates Salloon has
another kind of show with animals and such. There is western museum, Wyatt Earp's house and a mine tour.

We went to the Six Gun City shootout. They did 5 different shootouts that actually happened. This was a drunk young guy that insisted in calling out the bartender because his bottle of whiskey was empty. He had refused to sell him another one and told him to go home and sober up. Another
young man had ordered a store bought shirt from New York. When it came the other cowpolks made fun of his shirt. He also got angry and ended up dead. Another had ordered a new hat and when it arrived after several months, the package was smashed and the hat ruined. He shot the post man who delivered it.

Don't miss the Rose Tree Museum. This is the largest rose bush in the world. It was planted in 1885 from a shoot sent from Scotland. Mrs. Macia purchased the property in 1919 and it has been in her family ever since. There is a museum there of five generations of her family. She actually knew Geronimo and there are pictures of her with him and lots of other interesting things.

The last picture is of two rose bushes that were planted from shoots of the original about 45 years ago, behind the first church built in Tombstone in 1881. They are about a third of the size of the original. Amazing. You can buy shoots for $10.00, but they probably wouldn't grow the same elsewhere. Spring is coming!

Happy Gardening,


No comments:

Post a Comment