Explore Tombstone, AZ

tombstone, azOne of my favorite movies to watch growing up was Wyatt Earp. Something about the history of the old wild west and gun fights intrigued me. And where is the best place to visit to feel as if you’re back in history? Tombstone, Arizona! Just imagine walking those same streets where Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Johnny Ringo and Ike Clanton all had gun fights.

The most well-known gun fight happened in 1881 at the OK Corral and only lasted 30 seconds long between Wyatt, Virgil, and Morgan Earp and Wyatt’s friend Doc Holiday. It left Billy Clanton, Tom and Frank McLaury mortally wounded. Might not be a surprise to most people but Tombstone is the most authentic Western town left in the United States. Many people still live in Tombstone who’s families have lived there throughout history. For this reason, Tombstone is called “The town too tough to die”.

Today Tombstone offers many historic attractions displaying the history of their town filled with saloons, outlaws, gunfights, and silver. A popular attraction that brings in visitors each year is the ability to reenact a gunfight. Heck yes! Hand me a gun and let me start shooting! Tombstone offers many options throughout the town, one being at the OK Corral. Visitors love the excitement of these gun fights which many of the shows include comedy. But there’s a lot more to Tombstone history than gun fights. Tombstone actually became about from the mining. Many of men flocked to the area to mine.

Tombstone was founded back in 1877 by Ed Schieffelin who was out looking for silver. He would go adventure out and be warmed by other soldiers that the only rock he would find would be his own tombstone. He did find silver which he called the first mine “The Tombstone”.

During this time, The Bird Cage Theatre was opened and operated between 1881 and 1889.  It was a mixture of theater, saloon, gambling parlor and brothel. It originally hosted parties for the respectable women of Tombstone, but later appealed to the rough mining crowd. It had a reputation to be one of the wickedest theaters. You can find more than 120 bullet holes throughout the building. Today it is rumored that the brothel and gaming house is to be haunted by spirits from the past. They offer nightly ghost tours for those who are not afraid.

Another popular attraction is the Boot Hill Cemetery. Boot Hill was a common name used to call the burial grounds which consisted of cowboys who died with their boots on, either by gun shots or hangings. Boot Hill, previously known as Tombstone Cemetery, holds over 300 buried bodies, some of which are Billy Clanton, Frank and Tom McLaury who were killed in the OK Corral gunfight.

There is so much history available at your fingertips here in Tombstone. Many of the original buildings are still in place.  Experiencing all it has to offer can fulfill any child’s or grown-ups dream of being a cowboy, outlaw, or sheriff.