Tombstone, Arizona

Tombstone, Arizona

December 4, 2019 Off By Glespynorson


If you’re heading to a tombstone, it better be in Arizona. Tombstone at Southern Arizona is the real thing. The Wild West mining town survived busts, booms, and some of the territory’s most notorious and infamous gunslingers. When a prospector named Ed Shieffelin went towards Southern Arizona in 1877, troops of the Army told him that his own tombstone was the only end he would find in the rattle-snake ridden country as it was inhabited by hostile Apache. The prospector traveled alone and eventually staked his first silver claim as Tombstone. The town sprang up just two years later, and became one of Arizona’s most important places.

Exploring The City

Lying 70 miles southeast of Tucson, hard-working miners and prospectors found their favorite brand of entertainment in Tombstone. It was said that gambling halls and saloons made up two of every three buildings. Law and order didn’t come easily at first as the Apache gave the place its notoriety. It was then known as the ‘Town Too Tough to Die’, with many buildings from the early days still stand on or near Allen Street. Desperadoes and lawmen fight blazing gun battles in historical reenactments.

Things To Do

Ask the visitor center for a schedules and locations. Stagecoaches on Allen Street offer short narrated tools. Stroll down the boardwalks past 19th century saloons, ride a stage, and watch a reenactment of the Shootout at the O.K. Corral—this will give you more than just a feel of the city. Ed Shieffelin, the founder, allegedly suggested the name for the town’s newspaper. Drop by the office of the Epitaph, on Fifth around the corner from Crystal Palace, to pick up a copy of your own epitaph. Book your Tombstone Hotels with

Tourist Attractions

Over on Allen, between Third and fourth Streets, you can step into the O.K. corral to see life-size statues that depict the famous gunfight. A daily reenactment takes place nearby. Other tourist sights include a reconstructed photographer’s studio, old stables, carriages, and a cozy shack from the red light district. At Historama next door, movies and animated scenes illustrate major events in Tombstone’s history. The 1879 Crystal Palace Saloon serves beverages in its beautifully restored interior at the corner of Allen and Fifth Streets. Doors never closed during the first eight years at the 1881 Bird Cage Theatre. The marvelously preserved interior of this combined dance hall, theater, saloon, brothel and gambling house retains its stage, gambling tables, and rare circus posters. The 1882 St. Paul’s Episcopal Church is Arizona’s oldest Protestant Church. You can usually take a look inside and see the two ship’s lamps and stained-glass windows.

Best Museums

Exhibits at Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park introduce the Native Americans, prospectors, pioneers, cattlemen, lawmen, and women who lived in tombstone. A card table and a roulette wheel recall saloon life. Historical displays tell of the fateful day, October 26, 1881, when Doc Holliday and the Earps, seeking to enforce the law, shot it out with the free-spirited Clanton cowboys near the O.K. Corral. Mining exhibits show how ore was dug out and assayed. Upstairs are the former Cochise County Attorney’s office and the courtroom where many trials took place. A gallows outside the 1882 redbrick courthouse spelled the end of the road for some. The gift of a rose plant to a homesick bride in 1885 has grown so much that it shades an 8,000-square foot courtyard at the Rose Tree Museum. The museum also has pioneer exhibits and period rooms.