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Tombstone Arizona's Boot Hill Cemetery

Updated on March 21, 2011

Tombstone - The Town That Was Too Tough to Die

A couple of hours drive south east of Tucson, Arizona is the old silver mining town of Tombstone. Best known for the gunfight at the OK Corral, Tombstone lives on despite the depletion of the mine. Instead of mining and cattle ranching, the town's economy now relies on tourists and the retirees who make Tombstone their winter home.

Among the many attractions of Tombstone is Boot Hill Cemetery on the northwest edge of the city. The cemetery takes its name from the fact that many of the people buried there died quickly and violently and were buried with their boots on.

Boot Hill is a real grave yard in which some 250 to 300 people are known to have been buried between its opening in 1878 and official closing in 1884. Boot Hill was abandoned and mostly forgotten after the opening of the present cemetery, with the more mundane name of The Tombstone Cemetery, opened on the other side of town in 1884.

Beginning in the 1920s some local people began taking an interest in Boot Hill and efforts were made to restore it. Most of the original grave markers, having been made of wood, had either totally disintegrated or had deteriorated to the point of being unreadable. However, using local records, family files and memories of those still alive from that period, most of the graves were located and identified. Using old records, new grave markers, were placed on the graves. The new grave markers were, as near as possible, duplicates of the originals, being made of wood with inscriptions reproduced from old records.

Today, Boot Hill is a major tourist attraction, with the grave markers telling visitors the story of life in Tombstone during its wild years in the late 1870s and early 1880s.

Tombstone, Arizona

show route and directions
A markerBoothill Cemetery, Tombstone, AZ -
Boothill Cemetery, Tombstone, AZ 85638, USA
get directions

Boot Hill Cemetery. Located on Northeast side of Tombstone on Highway 80.

B markerOK Corral, Tombstone AZ -
O.K. Corral, 326 E Allen St, Tombstone, AZ 85638, USA
get directions

OK Corral, site of famous gunfight in Tombstone,Arizona.

Lester Moore a Wells Fargo agent in Naco, AZ killed in a dispute over a package

Sometimes Mistakes Were Made

These Fellows Were the Losers in the Fight at the OK Corral


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    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 5 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      creativespirit63 - glad you enjoyed the Hub on Boot Hill Cemetery. The cemetery is an interesting place as is Tombstone itself where the old nineteenth century part of town still has all of its original buildings and, the exteriors at least, are the way they were in the old days.

    • creativespirit63 profile image

      creativespirit63 5 years ago from Omaha, Nebraska

      I am not really a cemetery fan but I wrote a hub about an unusual cemetery in Nebraska City and ended up checking out what other cemeteries people had written about. This is one I would like visiting.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country

      My family visited there many years ago. Had to go see the cemetery since we have Clantons on one side of the family. (Ours was the good side.)

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 7 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Connie Ridgeway Burleson - I have run some Google searches on C.O. Ridgeway but all of them either give the same information as is found on his grave marker in Tombstone or just link back to his grave marker.

      I suggest you try, or other genealogical site to try to find more information on him.

      Good luck.

    • profile image

      Connie Ridgeway Burleson 7 years ago

      Do you have any infomation on who C.O. Ridgeway?

    • profile image

      D.D.Snyder 7 years ago

      Was out tosee Boot Hill in 1974, at that time it was quite real.

    • profile image

      Nancy's Niche 8 years ago

      "Lester Moor 4 slugs from a 44"---funny epitaphs back then! Tombstone is a fun place to visit; thanks for sharing that fun with us...

    • profile image

      Education Articles 9 years ago

      What a great photograph. You would have thought someone would have checked the spelling before writing on the tomb stone, don't you think? ;0)

    • profile image

      pokemonmaster 10 years ago

      i am only a third grader .no les no more - LOVE IT

    • profile image

      pokemonmaster 10 years ago

      i just did a reasearch on boot hill. this web is great!! i read a story that is about cowboys at school and it mentioned boot hill i wanted to research

    • profile image

      TFW 10 years ago

      With Hub articles like this one, history comes alive and does not die. Not so for the occupants of Boot Hill, but their memories live on.

    • profile image

      wajay_47 10 years ago

      Chuck, what a great hub! Poor old George Johnson! Wouldn't anybody listen? The man said he didn't do it!! - Oh well, at least he got an admission of guilt from the town - or almost.

    • livelonger profile image

      Jason Menayan 10 years ago from San Francisco

      "No Les, No More"--love it!