Tombstone The Town That Wouldn't Die"
Tomstone The Town That Wouldn't Die"
Tombstone The Town That Wouldn't Die"
We arrived in the historical town of Tombstone in the afternoon and check into the Tombstone motel. Put away our luggage and started our western tour of the town. We stop at the first museum and took picture and got invaluable information. Our tour was on foot to take in the excitement of the old west was enlightening. Being in Tombstone was like a step back in time, of the infamous western days. That evening we went to the famous Crystal Palace Saloon, where everyone frequents. We had dinner there and a couple of beers. Being there was like a picture out of a western magazine. The waitresses wore their red and black corset bustiers and the waiters wore the same colors.
The saloon was an authentic replica of a western saloon but with a modern day big screen T.V. Where we watch the Dallas cowboys game. We ordered the rib eye steaks with baked potatoes and green salad;. The steaks were expensive but it was so tender and delicious that it was worth every penny we paid for it. We were there a couple hours before we headed back to the motel. We decided to start the next morning with more touring after a big breakfast. I learned that the town was originally called Goose Flats until Ed schieffelin, discovered the biggest silver mine in Tombstone. The name Tombstone evolved eventually and was one of the wildest, wickedest cities in of the west.
Tombstone burned down to the ground twice, once in 1881 when a cigar was thrown in a whisky barrel and the second time by a cigarette. Tombstone is like the story of the Phoenix that came back alive from the fire. Tombstone didn't have access to a fire engine until 1883. In 1880 Tombstone was the biggest boom town in history, producing millions of dollars in silver form nearby mines. "The town to tough to die", set the scene for some of the wildest moments in in the west. It's Saloons and local establishment, including the show down at the O.K. corral ... where lawman Wyatt Earp was the only one to escape the shoot out without harm, while everyone else was hurt or killed.
Wyatt Earp worked as a gambler and a assistant deputy. In 1881 he, his brother Virgil, Morgan and Doc Holiday Battled against the Clanton's gang at the O.K corral. One of the the Clanton's was at the restaurant when we had breakfast. We I got a chance to see a real, live Clanton or the aire to the western Clanton's. I heard that here were more of them living in Tombstone. We also visited the famous Bird Cage Theater, while in Tombstone. The Bird Cage Theater was the most famous honky - tonk in America between 1881 and 1889. The New York Times referred to it in 1882 as the widest, wickedest night spot between Basin Street and The Barbary Coast. The Bird cage was named for the fourteen Bird cage crib compartments that are suspended from the ceiling over hanging the gambling casinos and dance ball . There were 3,400, women of the night or prostitutes in Tombstone to keep the men happy.
It was in these bird cage compartments that the prostitutes( or ladies of the night) plied their trade. They refrain from singing the song ( "she only a bird in a gilded cage") became it was one of the the nations most popular songs. These bird cages remain today with their original red velvet drapes and trimmings. In 1934 The Bird cage Theater became a historic landmark of the American west where it opened to the public to visit. The Bird Cage stands today as a adolescent old maid in her infancy, for all to see and feel the nostalgia of the past... and they 're hoping it will be around another hundred years, in it's original state. The Bird cage is Tombstone's only historic landmark. In 1881 maintaining it's lighting fixtures, chandeliers, drapes and gambling tables on the wooded floor was a job. It's massive grand piano is still in the orchestra pit. The coined operated juke box still plays as it did in 1881.
We also saw Tombstone most valuable individual antique, the Black Moriah, the original Booth hill hearse is trimmed in 24 carat gold and in sterling silver, plus there is thousand of other items from Tombstone's famous and infamous characters of the 1880's. We took a ride on the TombstoneTrolley down memory lane of yest-er years. Many of Tombstone men walk around town in their western garb, with their guns at their sides. Tombstone stage coach lines still ride the street of Tombstone from second street to six street, and there's access for traffic on these streets except for the Tombstone stage coach lines. I was even asked to participate in a comedy shoot-out with a gunslinger; some of the melodrama were reenactments that seem real. We also went to the Boot Hill cemetery where the Clanton's and other men of the west is buried. We learned that Johnny Ringo was a real live person, that lived and died in Tombstone and buried on someones private property.
You would have to be in Tombstone to feel and relive the nostalgic history of the western days; of a town to tough to die. The Epitaph newspaper is still up and running in Tombstone Arizona. Its a very informative and rewarding place to visit. We also visited the silver mine that went 300 feet under ground, it was a very interesting site to see. In all, our trip to Tombstone was a very special and educational trip to remember.
Benny Faye Douglass
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