Many places in the United States are full of the history that formed our country and, as Gary and Barb discovered, Tombstone in Arizona is one of those fascinating locations. Writing of their experiences in Tombstone on their journal, Gary and Barb’s Travels, the couple share in detail what they gleaned about the city’s past.
Back in the mid 1800’s, the name of the town was Goose Flats. Prospectors were common in those days, but no mines had yet been discovered and begun in this area. One prospector in particular who was working the Sonoran Desert was Ed Shieffelin. In speaking with another man in nearby Camp Huachuca, Ed was told that by continuing on into the vast desert to search for riches, the only thing he was likely find would be his own tombstone.
Disregarding this advice, Ed began prospecting in the area. In 1877, his hard work paid off as Ed found veins of silver. The mine that he opened was the very first silver mine that had ever been seen in the area.
Upon the opening of his silver mine, Ed decided to rename the city. Remembering his conversation with the bloke at Camp Huachuca about finding his own tombstone, Ed renamed Goose Flats “Tombstone”.
The town today provides a home for a whopping 100 people; giving it the slogan “a town too tough to die”. While the town may be, others were not so lucky. The famed gunfight at the OK Corral took place here in Tombstone, Arizona, with the end result being the death of three men.
Some of the Western world’s most famous names gained their notoriety in Tombstone, Arizona. Wyatt Earp, Virgil Earp and Doc Holliday still roam the streets in this historic city, their likenesses depicted by impersonators for the tourist trade. Open to the public for viewing are Wyatt Earp’s home, the Courthouse and the Judge’s house. The Courthouse is now a museum and a State Park, and features an interesting sight: the original hangman’s gallows that was used in the days of the Old West.
Another popular sight in Tombstone is that of the World’s Largest Rose tree, which besides being immense in size is also of great age at 123 years old. Unlike many octogenarian items, it requires very little care, with watering and pruning only being performed on the massive bush.
Some of the most visited sights in Tombstone, Arizona are the tombstones for the gunmen killed at the gunfight at the OK Corral, which are located in the Boothill Graveyard; the jail in the Courthouse where many tourists such as Gary and Barb enjoy having their pictures snapped; and watching the Wild West Show.
Visitors are not limited to the city of Tombstone for interesting sights to see. Nearby, in the city of Tucson, the San Xavier Mission offers breathtakingly beautiful art and captivating history to its viewers.
When traveling through the Sonoran Desert, a stop at historic Tombstone, Arizona with its history and Old West fame is a must see for anyone.
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