First Time (for Tracy) at Tombstone

Twenty years ago Lee was driving a truck cross country for work and he took a route that led him through Tombstone and ultimately to the site of Johnny Ringo’s grave.  As with Hearst Castle, this was high on the list of things he experienced alone that he always wanted to show me and I was curious as well.  I am not a Western buff by any stretch of the imagination, but I love the movie Tombstone and everyone knows about the gunfight at the OK Corral.  So we jumped in two vehicles and Greg, Kelly, Bill, Lee, and myself went to Tombstone.  Cori unfortunately had to work that day, but she encouraged the rest of us to go. The town is remarkably close to Kartchner State Campground (23 miles) and although Lee warned us it was on the touristy side we all wanted to see it.  Tombstone is a regular town, but the old historic part of it is closed off and you can wander around, similar to Silver City.  What is somewhat unique about it though was the many folks in period costume and character that wander around also.  They have some shows you can see, and restaurants, and numerous shops, and there was definitely enough to keep us busy.

The main street

The main street

People were going on stagecoach rides throughout the day

People were going on stagecoach rides throughout the day

Lots of guys in costume, smoking cigars, and trying to encourage folks to attend their particular show

Lots of guys in costume, smoking cigars, and trying to encourage folks to attend their particular show.  These guys were in front of Big Nose Kate’s Salon.  Big Nose Kate was the girlfriend of Doc Holiday

And Kelly was getting her cowboy hat on!!

And Kelly was getting her cowboy hat on!!

Greg decided to try out a cigarillo

Greg decided to try out a cigarillo

I enjoyed a quilt show they were having in town

I enjoyed a quilt show they were having in town

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Although there were several show to choose from, we chose the re-creation of the Gunfight at the OK Corral.  It takes place on the actual site of the OK Corral and the actors who played the parts were pretty good.  Plus we had a 2 for 1 coupon from the Tuscon Entertainment book we all purchased, so it only cost $10 per couple to get in. Even better, as a bonus we got tickets to the newspaper museum (which Bill loved) and a movie about the town with it’s own spinning diorama.  That was my favorite part as it was very Disney and the movie screen kept lowering and raising to show the rotating diorama behind it.  Made me feel very nostalgic for my childhood and the movie was narrated by Vincent Price and actually pretty decent.

They had some memorabilia in the OK Corral such as this saddle used by Kurt Russel in the Tombstone movie

They had some memorabilia in the OK Corral such as this saddle used by Kurt Russel in the Tombstone movie

The Earp brothers and Johnny Ringo

The Earp brothers and Johnny Ringo in the town street

Side view

Virgil, Johnny, Wyatt, and Morgan in front of the OK Corral

Johnny Ringo in the street before the show

The guy that played Johnny Ringo was very good

The stage for the reenactment

The stage for the reenactment

One of the Cowboy gang

One of the Cowboy gang

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The gunfight was short and loud!!

Afterwards we ate lunch at the Crystal Palace, one of the first brick buildings in town and then Kelly and I wandered in and out of some very unique shops while the guys took in the newspaper museum.  On the way back to the campground we also stopped at Boot Hill Cemetery, which I really liked.  Lee said the cemetery had changed the most in the 20 years since he had been there and it was free to get in with only a $3 donation for a grave map if you wanted one.

The inside of the Crystal Palace

The inside of the Crystal Palace

The food was great and the service was actually pretty good although there was a long wait for the food after the show let out

The food was great and the service was actually pretty good (outfits aside) although there was a long wait for the food after the show let out

Real coyote pellets. Never seen these in a store before

Coyote pelts. Never seen these in a store before.  There was lots of unique western clothing in the stores.

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Sign on the door. We say no firearms signs on many of the stores, but this one was funny

We saw many no firearms signs, but this one was by far the best

The graveyard was beautifully kept

The graveyard was beautifully kept

With some interesting stories of how people died

With some interesting stories of how people died

A few of the graves were more ornate than others

A few of the graves were more ornate than others

This same headstone is in the movie Tombstone. When they are pulling into town it's in the shot

This same headstone is in the movie Tombstone. When they are pulling into town it’s in the shot

There was a Chinese section in the graveyard. The marker makes it clear they were not always treated well

There was a Chinese section in the graveyard. The marker makes it clear they were treated as second class citizens

This member of town though was rumored to have ties to the Tongs back in China

This Chinese citizen though was rumored to have ties to the Tongs back in China and was given a much nicer burial

And this grave was erected for an African American solider who lived in the town

And this grave was erected for a former slave

These graves are for the three people that dies in the OK Corral gunfight

This grave was for Marshal Fred White whose accidental killing started the war between the Earp’s and The Cowboy Gang

A separate section of the cemetary was for the Jewish pioneers and some native americans

A separate section of the cemetary was for the Jewish pioneers and some native americans

This was the grave of the three men killed at the OK Corral

This was the grave of the three men killed at the OK Corral

And it seemed appropriate that since Lee had bought Cactus Jack 20 years ago in Tombstone we finally replaced him with Cactus Joe.  It was a sad day and hard to say goodbye, but as you can see the time had definitely come.

RIP Cactus Jack

RIP Cactus Jack

Welcome Cactus Joe

Welcome Cactus Joe 🙂

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7 thoughts on “First Time (for Tracy) at Tombstone

  1. We loved the history around Tombstone. If you can see past the touristy stuff you can almost imagine what it was like back in the day. We saw the same show and thought it was pretty good. See you in a few days!

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