Sunday, February 3, 2013


Last night a cat peed in our tow car.  Or maybe it was a cougar that jumped through the open sunroof of our Honda CRV and decided to give us and our dog the what-for.  Anyway, instead of hiking, we spent the afternoon taking apart and cleaning the inside of our car. 
But yesterday we went to Tombstone, AZ, a one-time wild mining town where the Earps practiced their sheriff skills and had a shoot out at the OK Corral. 
I’m glad we went because we can say we’ve been to Tombstone.  Bur we weren’t especially impressed.  I’m not into Tombstone’s biggest attraction: shoot out reenactments.  The rest of current-day Tombstone is mostly souvenir stores with a sprinkling of ice cream and fudge shops.
But the history is interesting.  The town was founded by a prospector in 1879 who was told the only stone he’d find was his tombstone.  Instead he found silver.  Tombstone was the last western boom town; from 1877 to 1890 there were  anywhere from 14,000 to 20,000 people living there. It was the fastest growing city between St. Louis and San Francisco and even had theaters:  the bar/brothel/show house called the Birdcage for the wild folks and Schieffelin Hall for those who preferred opera. And the Earps plus Doc Holliday did have a shootout with some “Cowboys,” which was a derogatory term at the time.   
Two fires destroyed much of the town during the boom years.  Both times it was rebuilt and mining continued.  Finally, miners dug so deep they hit water, the mines flooded, and it was too costly to pump.  As mining slowed, people left and today about 1500 people live in Tombstone.
Downtown Tombstone, AZ.
Bev in front of the OK Corral (really a now-walled off alley) where Wyatt, Morgan and Virgil Earp, plus Wyatt's friend Doc Holliday, had a shoot out with cowboys Billy Clanton and brothers Frank and Tom McLaury.  After 24 seconds and 30 shots, Clanton and the McLaurys were dead.  
A view inside Big Nose Kate's Saloon, where we had lunch.  Kate was Doc Holliday's girlfriend.
Jim at Big Nose Kate's.

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