The Longdogs

The Longdogs
Willy, Harley (back center), and Gretchen

Shootout at the OK Corral.....Tombstone

Birdie went north on her way back to the Grand Canyon for the mule ride and I headed south east to Tombstone Territories RV Resort and the next day I was off to Tombstone.

First.......Boothill. Somehow I always thought you climbed a hill to get to the Boothill cemetery. Pretty sure that is what the movies all show but you actually start at the top and walk down. Visiting the cemetery is free but there is a $3 donation for a descriptive list of the graves located there. You will probably want it.

Here are the players from the OK Corral shootout with Wyatt Earp, his brothers, and Doc Holliday.

Frank Bowles was thrown off his horse when it became frightened. A rifle discharged and badly injured his knee. After several weeks laying in camp without medical attention, his friends took him to a doctor for an amputation but it was too late.
John Heath was taken from the county jail by a Bisbee mob and hanged from a telegraph pole.

"Teamster" was killed by Apaches. Don't know if this was a nickname or a job description.

It was said that Mead's death was sudden. He was a blacksmith for Sandy Bob's stables and was found dead one morning in the rear seat of one of the coaches.

Seymour Dye was a woodcutter, He and Harry Curry were bringing in a load of hay when they were shot by Indians.

Poor George Johnson made the mistake of buying a stolen horse and was hanged by mistake before his innocence was known.

This is one of the more well known grave markers.   Lester Moore....Four slugs from a More.

Quong Kee ran the Can Can Restaurant in the 1880s. He was buried in a pauper's grave but his friends had his body moved to Boothill so he would lie with the friends he knew in life. The branches forming the fence around this grave actually started growing.

Mrs. Ah Lum was born in China and buried in Boothill in 1906. She was very influential and some believed that she was affiliated with the Tong in China.

John Swain Slaughter was nearly 100 when he died in 1946. He came to Tombstone in 1879.

On to the town that was too tough to die. Three blocks of Allen Street have been blocked to traffic and covered with dirt. Tombstone is probably America's best example of our 1880 western heritage. Silver is what brought people to this Apache land. It was the fastest growing city between St. Louis and San Francisco in 1880.

The Birdcage Theater has the original bar and velvet drapes from the 1880s.

There were several different stagecoaches and wagons available to give rides around town.

Of course, there are many shops.

Big Nose Kate's Saloon is still in business but they also serve meals. This is where I had lunch.

The gunfighter cast from the OK Corral was out and about the town when they weren't performing at the Corral. They were available to chat and willing to pose for pictures.

Entrance to the OK Corral.

Tickets for the Gunfight were $10 and also included a 30 minute Historama/film on Tombstone's history plus a copy of the events surrounding the gunfight as they were originally reported by the Tombstone Epitaph.

The gunfight was definitely an audience participation event. You were supposed to cheer the "good guys" and boo the "bad guys" and the audience definitely got into it.

The "gun shots" were loud and smokey.

In case you don't know the story, the Gunfight at the OK Corral took place on October 26, 1881. Police Chief Virgil Earp deputized brothers Wyatt and Morgan Earp and Doc Holliday to help him disarm the cowboys were waiting to confront Doc when he returned to his rented room at Fly's Boarding House.

When the shooting started, unarmed cowboy Ike Clanton ran into Fly's and kep on running. In the next 30 seconds nearly 30 shots were fired. The three cowboys who stood their ground were all killed. Tom McLaury, who may have been unarmed, was cut down by a blast from Doc's shotgun. Frank McLaury stumbled onto Fremont Street and was shot in the head. Morgan Earp shot 19-year-old Billy Clanton.

Both Virgil  and Morgan Earp were badly wounded while Doc Holliday suffered a superficial hip wound. Wyatt Earp was the only one who wasn't wounded.

This setting was created from Wyatt Earp's own hand drawn map of the shooting.

There is also a "town setting" inside the corral.

Another one of the stages running up and down the street.

This is inside Big Nose Kate's where I had lunch. She was Doc Holliday's girlfriend. The guy with the keyboard put on a great show singing all kinds of country songs sounding very much like the actual performers that made them famous.

The man who cleaned up in the old saloons was called a swamper. The swamper for Big Nose Kate's saloon lived in a room in the basement. His room was his own private space. Apparently no one knew just how interested he was in the silver mining going on in Tombstone. He dug his own tunnel connecting to the silver mine which you can see in back and to the right of his bed. He also had a tunnel at the foot of his bed with a pulley system set up to take dirt and ore out of there. Pretty amazing.

There were people walking around in period costumes in addition to the gunfighters and the cowboys and miners. As the day wore on, there were more and more on the street.

The mine is located on Toughnut street just below the main street.

There are other gunfights in the town as well although the OK Corral is the big one.

This is the Tombstone Courthouse which is also located on Toughnut Street and is a State Historic Park. I didn't get inside here to see the museum because there was a group taking wedding photos out front. 1881 was a big year for Tombstone. Population reach 10,000. The OK Corral fight occurred. A fire burnt out a lot of the town but it was immediately rebuilt. Schieffelin Hall was built to provide a legitimate theater and meeting hall. In 1882, the Cochise County Courthouse was built at at cost of nearly $50,000. It housed the offices of the sheriff, recorder, treasurer, and the board of supervisors and the jail was at the rear under the courtroom. Water began to flood the mines, pumps were installed but couldn't keep up with the flooding which went to the 600 foot level. By 1886, Tombstone's heyday was over but not before $37,000,000 worth of silver had been taken from the mines. It remained the county seat until 1929 when Bisbee became the county seat.

Front entrance to the OK Corral which stretched through to the street behind it. The Historama which is narrated by Vincent Price is next store.

The scenery on the drive back to the RV park.

1 comment:

  1. We've been to Tombstone a few times and even though it is very touristy I still really have fun there.


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