U.S. Travel: Tombstone Arizona
The EarpsClick thumbnail to view full-size
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The Brothers Earp changed the history of Tombstone
While Tombstone Arizona was a mining town of the 1880's with the saloons and opium dens to relax the miners after a long days work. It would soon be remembered for the notorious gunfight at the O.K. Coral
In time the town would have most likely gone by the way of most mining towns of the day. However, the arrival of the Earp brothers would make Tombstone a famous town that many Americans visit even today.
As they say, history depicts what the historian wants it to be, but facts have shown that while the Earps were elevated to almost a "hero worship" stance. The Earps were by their own right, ruthless swindlers of the era. The life style they chose lead to early deaths for most of them.
The violence of the mining town increased with the help of cattle ranchers whose workers were less than savory. There was a distaste for each other almost instantly, as the Earps arrived in town and "interfered" with the way the Clanton and McLaury's ran things.
The movies have taken poetic license with the Earp family and their lives and the town of Tombstone. Still it pretty much follows much of the same history. With a couple of exceptions that I came across by fate during my research. I found that the census showed more of his family living there at the time and the Earps were not as prosperous as we were lead to believe. Their story just makes them bigger than life.
Fight at the O.K. Corrall
History has told us of the Fight at the O.K. Corral and how the Earps were to disarm the Clanton's and McClaury's, so it would only serve the town to have a re-enactment of it daily. It was probably the greatest part of the day, along with Doc Holiday showing the kids how to play faro.
NIGHT TIME ACTIVITY
And of course there couldn't be a mining town without it's "sin". The Bird Cage Saloon and house of ill repute are open to the community to see. The Bird Cage is rather interesting, the curtained balconies where gentlemen callers met their women of the night remain and the gaming tables are still in tact, only you have to be careful around there, it's haunted. This building has been the subject of a show on the mystery and science fiction channels.
Many of the old buildings have been turned in to shops where you can find anything from period clothing to jewlery from the area. And if you wear "Stetson's" there's a great shop with fantastic prices, so much so, we bought two to bring home.
If you can make it all the way to Tombstone Arizona, you can treat yourself to a buffalo burger and home made fries. The best in town, actually the only place in town. The O.K. Cafe is small, yet cozy and great prices.
Soon The Grave Yard Fills
Boothill Grave Yard sits quietly as you pull into town. As you walk the grave yard the wind blows so strong you have to steady yourself, the rest of the town, hot and still. Boothill was spoken of as the "old cemetery" because a new cemetery had been opened. The cemetery has been restored so perfectly, that as you walk the cemetery it seems like these graves are fresh.
Most of the buried were murdered, killed over money, women or both. Some were killed by Indians, but very few died of normal circumstances. Even suicides almost out-numbered the normal circumstances.
The "old man Clanton" met his untimely death at the hands of Mexicans on a cattle drive, while Billy met his maker at the O.K. Corrall.
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