Tombstone and OK Corral Shootout

Trip Start Feb 09, 2013
Trip End Jun 30, 2013

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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Friday, April 5, 2013

Friday, April 5 – We left in the morning and drove south and then east to Tombstone. What a beautiful drive with the mountains in the distance and surrounding Tombstone.  First, we stopped at Boothill Grave Yard just a mile out of town.  This was interesting and the only ones I knew were the Clantons but the tombstones were really funny and I posted some of the pictures.

   We drove to the Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park first and went into the museum for a few hours.  It was built in 1882 and it had displays of the history of the town using antiques and artifacts to present the lives of former citizens.  While George was still in the museum, I walked a block down the street and checked us into the RV Park.  While walking along the block there was a gunfight going on.  There are many gunfights in town at different venues and yes they do charge to see them.  The biggest one is the OK Corral shootout which I will describe later.

    Tombstone is known as "The town too tough to die".  This town was the most renowned of Arizona's old mining camps.  Ed Schieffelin discovered silver and gold here and kept his scalp in 1877 and it became a boomtown.  Mines for about seven years produced millions of dollars in silver and gold before underground waters suspended operations.  The town had two fires that destroyed the town yet each time it was rebuilt by the citizens and business owners.

    What the town is most famous for is the gunfight at the OK Corral with Doc Holiday, Wyatt Earp and his brothers and the Clanton brothers.   At the OK Corral (at the actual spot of the gunfight) one can go in and see a Historama about the town (very well done) and a museum before you attend the OK Corral shootout.   The shootout was OK but we have been to better ones in Dodge City but in the museum there was a “crib” which was a little shack that a prostitute lived in and some of the women who did this.  It was not illegal and the “cribs” were lined up down the street.  What was interesting was Earp’s third wife had a picture up that was used as a pinup picture during WWI.  She wore a see through something with nothing underneath anywhere (in those times).  If you saw her you can see why he left his second wife and took off with her – I believe she outlived him and he died in 1932.  They had moved to CA and Alaska before coming back to CA.

   There are so many museums to see in this town the Bird Cage Theatre was built in 1881 and is almost unchanged.  It is a theater, saloon and dance hall with original furnishings and fixtures.  There is also at Rose Tree Museum and bookstore.  It features the world’s largest rosebush which covers more than 8,700 square feet.  It was planted as a cutting from Scotland 1885.  Today was Rose Day and the place was crowded so we did not get in.

  There are so many towns to visit in this area including Bisbee which is another town that makes you step back in time but it has a tunnel to get there.   Another mining town that was once the largest city between St. Louis and San Fran.  It is noted for its houses and old world charm and culture and good times.

   The Tombstone Epitaph was a Republican Newspaper and the editor was John Clum.  When we visited this museum we were given the newspaper from the day after the shootout.  Clum left the town after the shootout for his own safety and went to CA and Alaska where he saw Earp again and he also married a number of times.  He became an author and speaker about his travels in Alaska and CA and his life in Tombstone and died at the age of 82.

    This was a fun day – we ate lunch at the OK Corral Café and had sandwiches on sourdough bread and drank Tombstone Sarsaparilla which tasted like root beer.   We also sat on the Fremont Street and had an ice cream cone and watched the stage coaches, wagon trains, gun fighters drive and walk by.  Cute town.  We also went to the Wizard’s Workshop that is run by a couple who designed the jewelry using exquisite gems and minerals her husband mined in AZ over the last 45 years.  Many of these mines are closed down so some of the stones and jewelry will l never be found again after they are sold.  The bracelets and necklaces were stunning and the cost was stunning too!

     Friday, April 5 Wells Fargo RV Park, Tombstone, AZ    This campground is right in the middle of the historic district of Tombstone between Fremont Street and Allen.  You can walk to everything in town except for boot hill which is a stop one can make driving in on 80 from the north.   Sites are crowded but they have Wi-Fi, cable, full hookups, laundry and a bath house.  There are 69 sites and it cost $34.  The Manager was very friendly and informative at check in and the places he recommended were all great.  Your receipt can be used for a discount at some of the restaurants and museums in town just ask at check in.  Tombstone is surrounded by mountains and is a fun town to visit even for just a one night stopover.
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