Tombstone, Arizona, USA

Posted on January 10, 2013 by


tombstone, the exhibition list

If you’ve never heard of Tombstone then I suggest you catch up…

I’ve been watching westerns since I was knee high to a grasshopper, when I was 10 they released a film of the same name about Wyatt Earp and his befuddled retirement plans. It is featured on The Exhibition List because as well as being a town it is effectively a living museum.carriageTombstone was one of the last wide-open frontier boomtowns in the Old West.There are original stagecoaches driving around, if you’re lucky or perhaps just a little cheeky you may get to ride shotgun. Whatever you do, don’t point a gun at anyone. Unlike the UK people actually have real guns in the US and when I pointed it at the camera for the purposes of a photo I got screamed at, woops.

shotgun There are reenactments going on all through the town, what it is important to remember is that it all happened. It is real history and that is just odd. In Tombstone its hard to know where the reenactments end and real life starts..
reenactment tombstone

Here’s me on Allen Street, the main road through the town where population grew from 100 to around 14,000 in less than 7 years. Today the population stands at around 1,400. From about 1877 to 1890, the town’s mines produced USD $40 to $85 million in silver bullion, the largest productive silver district in Arizona. tombstone main street There are so many unbelievable real-life stories here, I loved this poetic headline… if only the papers today were still like this.three men hurled into eternity

The Courthouse there is now a museum where you can walk round and learn a lot about the people and the history.guns in courthouseYou can also pop out back for a hanging if theres one on that day, only joking, they electrocute people now, much more humane…hanging

If you decide this town is simply too tough for you can always rely on the Tombstone Undertakers for a good deal..

undertakers posetr

The Birdcage Theatre is certainly one of the highlights, it was was a combination of theatre, saloon and gambling parlor and of course, a brothel that operated from 1881 to 1889.
birdcage exterior

It 1882 The New York Times reported that “the Bird Cage Theatre is the wildest, wickedest night spot between Basin St and the Barbary Coast“. More than 120 bullet holes are evident throughout the building.


Although you are not allowed on the stage and I never usually break the rules, this was an opportunity I could not resist… (sorry)
birdcage theatre

The basement poker room is said to be the site of the longest-running poker game in history. Played continuously twenty-four hours a day for eight years, five months, and three days, legend has it that as much as $10,000,000 changed hands during the marathon game, with the house retaining 10 percent. Some of the participants were Doc HollidayBat MastersonDiamond Jim Brady, and George Hearst. When ground water began seeping into the mines in the late 1880s the town went bust, the Bird Cage Theatre along with it. The poker game ended and the building was sealed up in 1889.

downstairs birdcage

The building was not opened again until it was purchased in 1934, and the new owners were delighted to find that almost nothing had been disturbed in all those years. It has been a tourist attraction ever since. You are unlikely to see anything quite like this anywhere in the world…

brothel signWOW

crazy annies bordelloWhile we were there we had the pleasure of staying at Crazy Annie’s Bordello, highly recommended, friendly, wonderfully decorated in the period style. The shower curtains were amazing.nachos rock rodeoPictured above you can see some sweet delicious nachos, there is a band top left playing rock/country music and there was rodeo on the TV, this was a Big Nose Kates. This is my dream. We had what can only be described as oneof the best nights of my life after we befriended some lovely local folk and happened upon.. a Steampunk convention at the DRAGOON Saloon.395995_10151929496380321_1043978906_nA bar that was partly outdoors and 100% fun. sarsparillaThe following day we recovered with some outstanding Sarsaparilla, although we couldnt rent any pigs which was disappointing. shootingThen I went to practice my shooting. Actually it was my first time holding a gun and the fake bullet thing ricocheted off the target and hit a tourist. Sorry to that lady. ok corral tombstone signWe took one of Tombstone’s most famous stories, here is my sister having a Fabulous Time modelling the sign which marks the spot.exhibition listThe Earp brothers arrived in Tombstone in 1879/80 to retire together, they had all been lawmen and ended up serving in this capacity while they were there. After repeated threats against the Earps by the Cowboys over many months, the conflict escalated into a confrontation that turned into a shootout, the now-famous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.tombstone, exhibition list

You can find them buried at the Boothill Cemetery where the sign on the door reads ‘No guns please, we’re full. lester mooreIf you can’t make it to Tombstone, and I advise you make every effort to do so, then you can watch the film. Look out for a chubby Billy Bob Thornton…

Location: Tombstone, Arizona

Entry Fee: Its free to walk around. everything else is worth every $