Monday, August 14, 2006

A Tombstone epitaph

Tombstone, Arizona
The rain finally stopped and we reached Tombstone in the early evening - although the above photo is what it looked like the next morning just before we left.

Tombstone was christened by Ed Schieffelin - a prospector who called his silver claim and the camp that grew up around it after what he was told was the only stone he might find if he went "looking for stones" in Apache territory. He founded it in 1877, by 1879 it had 40 cabins and a 100 people. Two years later it had 5,000 people as the mining camp grew. It developed a reputation as a place of complete lawlessness and violence.

Tombstone has certainly been a very popular place in film history with four films made about it, its inhabitants (Marshall Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, the Clantons) and the fabled gunfight at the OK Corral in 1881 (it's the 125th anniversary this year) - see the links below.

  •  A resume of the various clashes associated with the Earps and Clantons can be found here.  
  • Archived extracts from the Tombstone Epitaph (the local paper - what else!) and photos can be seen here.
It's been characterised as "the town too tough to die". It faded into obscurity over the years but has recently been revived by those interested in restoration and the search for the tourist dollar. Overall, I was generally impressed with the quality of the restoration and the protection of original buildings - it suggested an authenticity.......minus the lawlessness!

Tombstone Cowboys
After a dinner of great mexican food (and an excellent margarita) at the Lamplight Restaurant at the Tombstone Boarding House, we ran into one of the Tombstone cowboys in the street still dressed in his clothing from the regular re-enactment of the gunfight at the OK Corral that afternoon. We chatted and it turned out that he was actually from Louisiana!

We finished the evening with a visit to Big Nose Kate's Saloon and stroll around Tombstone, which is when I snapped some of the modern day cowboys exiting one of the local saloons.

The sign at the OK Corral

No comments:

Post a Comment

I always check identities and ALL links in comments for spam.

Due to excessive attempts to introduce spam via comments on this blog, I've introduced a regime where all comments with links in the ID or text to the websites of hotels/resorts/tourist destinations will NOT be approved and are deleted. The websites of repeat spammers are also reported to Google.

Nice, sensible people who are not new to blogging probably don't need to read my Comments Policy