Tombstone

A successful day in a tourist town….our kids had a hoot!

tombstoneIt’s free to get into the town of Tombstone itself, but the multitude of gun fights throughout town cost to witness behind tall wooden fences (the gunshots ring out for blocks).

Anders practicing his aim.

Anders practicing his aim.

The gunfight at Helldorado Theme Park was highly recommended at Trip Advisor so that’s the one we chose to see.  None of us were disappointed.

Sheriff

Sheriff

With audience participation we laughed and giggled ourselves silly.  Laars literally danced with excitement in his seat, then snuggled down a moment after his parents (sitting on either side of him) had offered him up for target practice.  He talked about that theatrical show the rest of the day!

The Bad Guy

The Bad Guy

With humour and enough seriousness to believe him, “The Bad Guy” told us of how Tombstone came to be.  It was a guy named Ed Schieffelin who came in 1877 with only $0.30 and a prospector’s outfit.  He came to Apache territory looking for silver.  When the soldiers of Fort Huachuca heard his plans they laughed and said that all he’d find in those hills would be his own tombstone…meaning, the indians would get him.

In August of 1877 Ed found the first of many silver mines, naming it “Tombstone”.  By 1879 the boom town of Tombstone arose out of the Arizona desert and was one of the largest population centres between St. Louis and San Francisco!

The Good Girl

The Good Girl

Anders said he smiled the entire show, and Maret said she nearly cried from laughing so hard.

Our gang had been referred to as the blonde cheerleaders with their (imaginary) pom poms by the bad guy.  No doubt, it was a hit with the Johnsons.

Johnsons at the saloon

Johnsons at the saloon

We wandered around town poking into shops while we waited for the next Historical Trolley Tour, then chugged along with Rick (or whatever his name was) to see some of the highlights of Tombstone and hear some of the stories of the infamous town that wouldn’t die.

Trolley driver

Trolley driver

kiddos on the trolley

kiddos on the trolley

First Protestant church in AZSt Paul’s Episcopal Church, the first Protestant church in AZ

Laars-i-pan

Laars-i-pan

fire hose cart

fire hose cart

We purposely went into the Red Buffalo Trading store where we were told Nell Kline and Mike Burns (proprietors) had the best prices in town, and to meet Nell whom we had watched shooting balloons at the Empire Ranch Round-Up & Open House last weekend.

Nell seemed genuinely excited to meet us, and said she had already been checking out our blog, so we talked about camping (her & dh camped the west coast of USA & spent a day in our lovely Victoria’s inner harbor), lowering expectations, de-cluttering our lives, enjoying the moment, even importing native goods from other countries.

Maybe one day we’ll be running into Nell as a nomad!

Found in the Red Buffalo

Found in the Red Buffalo

We were in need of a new set of playing cards as each deck has lost 1 or 2 cards in the past year of travel.  Nell treated us to these ones...Outlaws of the Wild West.

We were in need of a new set of playing cards as each deck has lost 1 or 2 cards in the past year of travel. Nell treated us to these ones…Outlaws of the Wild West.

The infamous 30-second gunfight took place at the rear entrance of the OK Corral on Oct 26, 1881.  Wyatt Earp & the town of Tombstone have been immortalized from that half-minute.

OK Corral

Off to Boothill Cemetery, most famous cemetery of the west, where they buried the infamous and many unknown.

Entrance to the Boothill Cemetery

Entrance to the Boothill Cemetery

unknown2

The graveyard was laid out as a burial plot in 1878, originally called The Tombstone Cemetery.  This is where the town’s first pioneers were buried and was used as such until sometime around 1884, when the present plot was opened as a burial place.

M E Kellogg, died a natural death, lucky fellow

M E Kellogg, died a natural death, lucky fellow

This then was referred to as the ‘old cemetery’, laying neglected for years and as you can see nature has taken over in many respects.

family walking the rows of the cemetery

family walking the rows of the cemetery

It was the hard work and years of research by interested citizens of the town that have helped to preserve the main part of the cemetery as we now see it.

The most famous of the tombstones I'd say.  You can get it on mouse pads, shot glasses, post cards.  Don't think we're related...but one never knows for sure!

The most famous of the tombstones I’d say. You can get it on mouse pads, shot glasses, post cards. Don’t think we’re related…but one never knows for sure!

The stories are sad, often brutal, of how they came to be 6 feet under.  Close by one another are buried outlaws with their victims.  Others chose suicide, or lost the fight with diseases such as diphtheria.  The first person buried in this cemetery was Eva Waters, a 3 month old baby girl who died of scarlet fever.

Most of the tombstones don’t have a birth, only a death.  About half of them are ‘unknown’ people, though there is a list of names of those buried somewhere in here, just not known which was actually their resting place.

Frank Bowles...his daughter says Frank's horse became frightened and threw him off.  This caused a rifle to discharge and badly injure his knee.  He lay in camp for several weeks without medical attention and when friends took him to a doctor for amputation it was too late.

Frank Bowles…his daughter says Frank’s horse became frightened and threw him off. This caused a rifle to discharge and badly injure his knee. He lay in camp for several weeks without medical attention and when friends took him to a doctor for amputation it was too late.

Anders commented many times that they were horrible ways to die.  The worst, for him, was the idea of being driven over by a wagon wheel and having a skull crushed.  He’d rather die an old man in his sleep.

March 8, 1884.  Dan Dowd, Red Sample, Tex Howard, Bill Delaney & Dan Kelley were legally hanged after being found guilty of killing several people during the robbery of a store in Bisbee.  They were all hanged on one scaffold in the Court House yard.  The gallows still stand there.

March 8, 1884. Dan Dowd, Red Sample, Tex Howard, Bill Delaney & Dan Kelley were legally hanged after being found guilty of killing several people during the robbery of a store in Bisbee. They were all hanged on one scaffold in the Court House yard. The gallows still stand there.

John was taken from the county jail and lynched by a Bisbee mob on Feb 22, 1884.  He was called the leader of the five men who were legally hanged and was said to have planned the robbery, although he hadn't actually done the deed.  He was hanged from a telegraph pole a short distance west of the Court House.  The knot wasn't tied properly, so it took John 22 minutes, dangling, to die.

John was taken from the county jail and lynched by a Bisbee mob on Feb 22, 1884. He was called the leader of the five men who were legally hanged and was said to have planned the robbery, although he hadn’t actually done the deed. He was hanged from a telegraph pole a short distance west of the Court House. The knot wasn’t tied properly, so it took John 22 minutes, dangling, to die.

One ‘unknown’ was found at the bottom of a 60-foot shaft of the Minute Mine.  He was well-dressed , indicating he was not a miner.  No identification of any kind.

Moore was a Wells Fargo agent at Naco and had a dispute with a man over a package.  Both died.

Moore was a Wells Fargo agent at Naco and had a dispute with a man over a package. Both died.

wandering

wandering

Murdered in the streets of tombstone, 1881.  Tragic results of the OK Corral battle, which took place between the Earp Brothers with "Doc" Holliday and the cowboys.  Three men were killed and three were wounded.

Murdered in the streets of tombstone, 1881. Tragic results of the OK Corral battle, which took place between the Earp Brothers with “Doc” Holliday and the cowboys. Three men were killed and three were wounded.

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  1. Pingback: Week in Review 10/11/13 | Acrobatic Thoughts

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