Going a bit further south into Arizona, and closer to Mexico is found the town 'too tough to die'! Tombstone, originally founded as a silver mining boom town in 1879 remains much like a living museum and monument to the past. Highlights of a visit can include the re-enactment of the shoot out at the OK Corral, or a visit to any number of museums including the Court House, and the Bird Cage Theater which still sports the poker table which was used in a poker game that ran continually for over 2 years, and whose players included Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday.
Tombstone has a unique atmosphere, with dusty cowboys roaming the streets. You never know who you might come across as you stroll around the town!
A great place to spend a few hours, with interesting shops to browse in as well.
How did Tombstone get its name?
When Ed Schieffelin set out in to make his fortune in this area heavily populated with Apaches, he was told that all he would find was his tombstone. When he established his first silver mine he duly called it Tombstone, and the town that grew up around it kept the name.
No visit to Tombstone would be complete without paying a visit to Boothill.
It was 1878 when Boothill Graveyard was laid out as the burial palce for the first pioneers of Tombsone and was called The Tombstone Cemetery. It was used as the town's graveyard until 1884. Boothill gives a flavour of what it was like in this mining twon in the 1880s from the descriptions of the way many of the inhabitants met their end. Walking round the various plots you will find those who died a natural death appear to be the minority. Simple descriptions 'shot', 'murdered' and 'killed by Indians' abound, alongside those with rather more enlightening epitaphs:
'Here lies Lester Moore, Four slugs from a .44, No Les no more'
'Here lies George Johnson, Hanged by mistake 1882. He was right, we was wrong, but we strung him up and now he's gone'
Tombstone and Boothill
Inside the Bird Cage Theatre
Card table which Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday played at.
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