Sunday, November 13, 2016

Tombstone in Two Days ~ the Good, the Bad & the Ugly

My husband and I spent two days exploring the town of Tombstone, Arizona and got to see the wonderful flavor and history of this Old West town that was known for its silver mining and cattle industries, saloons and bathhouses for miners and cowhands to blow off some steam in, and the occasional gunfight and lawlessness of which the West is best known...

A picture within a picture ~ the county courthouse in the background

A bit of Allen Street ~ where reenactors pace the street and "madams" and barkeeps still ply their wares drawing in today's customers for food and drink.

Our first day we visited the County Courthouse where many a man was tried for his cattle rustling and disorderly conduct (think gunfights here).  The courthouse houses an in-depth overview of the city and surrounding area's history through hundreds of photographs and placards telling the stories of Tombstone.  Amazingly, the main part of the town's history really occurred over a span of a few short years ~ roughly from 1879 - 1886 ~ before the silver mines tapped-out.
"Built in 1882 in the shape of a Roman cross, the two-story Victorian structure once housed the offices of the sheriff, recorder, treasurer, board of supervisors, jail, and courtrooms of Cochise County. Today, the 12,000 square foot courthouse is a museum filled with the glitter and guns of those who tamed the territory." ~ Arizona State Parks: Tombstone Courthouse website,

The roller shade curtain-pull was eerily reminiscent of the gallows below ~ definitely ugly!

A nice display of the many types of barbed wire created to house livestock.

Some of the good of the city were the softer things found ~ pictures of the families who came to stay in Tombstone and tried to make a living there apart from the “sinful” side of the town’s life.  Cattle ranchers and hotel owners, school children, seamstresses and laundresses were also a part of Tombstone life and their memories are immortalized here in the courthouse displays.

A westerly window view ~ a lovely garden of a neighboring 
Victorian home just outside the courthouse.

Lovely creamware and tea leaf ironstone china pieces
(bottom shelf) along with other tea set patterns ~ lefthand photograph.

A girl's playthings ~ an early stuffed bear, Kewpie doll and miniature tea set pieces along with miniature silver serving pieces.

Our second day’s visit was all about the gunfight at the OK Corral.  Reenactors dressed as the Earp or Clanton clans stand out on Allen Street inviting tourists to come see the famous gunfight as it happened in the now-enclosed OK Corral.  This was definitely the Bad of our visit!  Guests are invited to participate by booing for the bad guys and cheering for the good as actors enter or leave each scene ~ a fun show with lots of guns firing off!  There are plenty of fun things for families to do afterwards from seeing real horse pens, old saddles and tack; to visiting a working blacksmith’s shop where horseshoes can be punched with loved ones’ names for purchase along with other available iron items; and surreys and wagons can be climbed into and “ridden.”   Everyone can also try his or her hand at roping “cattle” inside the corral, too, which is harder than it looks.   Inside the store, real 1880’s Winchester rifles and paraphernalia are on display and books and souvenirs can be bought. Tickets to the gunfight show include a short movie about the OK Corral gunfight narrated by Vincent Price as well as entrance to the Tombstone Epitaph newspaper company and museum, which is just opposite around the city block. 

"Now just hold on a minute! Just put down your guns!"

And, you know the rest of the story!

And when the dust settled our actors got up, 
bowed to the crowd, and quietly exited the stage.

We highly recommend Tombstone as place to visit!
Tombstone's Boot Hill
was my previous post.
Loads of history, fun exhibits and adventure 
in this here town! 
Next time I'll share about touring the 
Good Enough silver mine 
I am also cooking up a post about the 
buildings and architecture
found here.
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Blessings to you,
Barb -]:)

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