Arizona,  Old West,  Research trip,  Western historical romance,  Wild West

Tombstone Picture Gallery

Recently my husband and I took a day trip to a small town in southern Arizona called Tombstone. You’ve probably heard of it, being the history buff that you are. However, even though I’m a native Arizonan, I’ll admit that I wasn’t always into history, and when my high school team traveled to the tiny town of Tombstone a million years ago, I didn’t realize its significance or the contributions the events of those days made to the cowboy stories that are so prevalent today. I’m happy to say that I now know better, and our recent trip gave me an even greater understanding of that time period in this part of the United States. I’m also happy to share a few pictures I took while there. First, we visited the courthouse, which has been turned into a museum. Then we walked down Allen Street and peeked inside The Bird Cage Theatre and Big Nose Kate’s Saloon. It was interesting to hear the story behind these places, but I have to say, I got an eerie feeling when the hostess pointed out the small cubicles where ladies of the night conducted business as well as the various bullet and knife holes in the walls of The Bird Cage. Living in Tombstone, even for the short time it was a boomtown, was no joke, as is evidenced by Boothill Cemetery, which we visited on our way out of town. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from our day trip. Enjoy!


Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park, built in 1882, which is now a museum.

Wyatt Earp was a central figure in the story behind Tombstone. Here, a brief biography and display is shown in the courthouse museum.

Wyatt Earp’s razor


Display about Doc Holladay, which includes an explanation for his nickname


The courthouse museum houses all kinds of cool artifacts and replicas, including this two-seater bike.


Single seat “runabout” buggy


Tombstone schoolhouse bell


The school teacher’s dress. Standing next to it, I was amazed by how tiny it was.


A woman’s traveling suit and boots. The skirt is made of velvet.


Items belonging to the Blackburn family. I had never seen a hat pin before.


Old saddle


This piano was shipped all the way from Boston around the horn to San Francisco and then carted over to Tombstone. It looked to be about 8 feet long.


Two bars of the jail cell in the original jailhouse in Tombstone. See how big that key is?


Faro cards laid out in the manner in which they might have been played.


Replica of the an attorney’s office upstairs in the courthouse. Check out the old typewriter.


Replica of the courtroom in the upstairs of the courthouse. Some kind of video was playing retelling a certain court case, but we didn’t stay long enough to watch it.


Hubby and I standing in front of the O.K. Corral. Yes, he really is that much taller than me.


Boothill Graveyard in Tombstone, Arizona. Very rudimentary burials of Tom McLaury, Frank McLaury, and Billy Clanton, who were killed in the shootout at O.K. Corral.


Boothill Graveyard is filled with many other graves, some of them unknown, and some of whom died heinous deaths. Tombstone was indeed a rough town. A little further down from the main graveyard, a Jewish graveyard exists as well.


Stairs in The Bird Cage Theatre leading up to the tiny cubicles where ladies of the night conducted their business. The walls of this building are plastered with risque pictures and riddled with bullet and knife holes.


A bit of gift shop humor – not sure if Wyatt Earp really said this. I guess this calls for more research.


As you can hopefully tell from the photos I took with my old iPhone (sorry, I’m not a great photographer), Tombstone is a really interesting place! It truly epitomizes the Wild West. You may be wondering if I’m planning to write a story based on this town or any specific details that I learned from this trip. I don’t have anything in mind yet, but I did take lots more pictures of brief histories of the enterprising (in a good way) women who lived in town. One of them was even an attorney! As a writer, I like to let ideas percolate for a while, so who knows what might spring up from our visit? Maybe someday…

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