"Tombstone, Arizona: When the West was Wild" Top 5 Page for this destination Tombstone by Stephen-KarenConn

Tombstone Travel Guide: 215 reviews and 722 photos

If Tombstone did not have such an incredibly violent and interesting past, it would probably have no present. It would be just like so many other ghost mining towns in the American Southwest, abandoned and forgotten. But this is the site of the most famous gun battle in the history of the west - the shootout at OK Coral. It is place of the first Bootheel Graveyard, the infamous Birdcage Theatre, and The Epitath, Arizona's first newspaper, still being published after more than 120 years. This is the legendary Tombstone: the town too tough to die.

The West's wildest mining town owes its beginning to Ed Schieffelin, who prospected the nearby hills in 1877. Friends warned him that all he would ever find would be his own tombstone. But instead of an Apache bullet, he found silver - ledges of it - and the rush was on. Miners soon built a shantytown on the closest level space to the mines, then known as Goose Flats. Remembering the grim prophecy given to Schieffelin, and with tongue in cheek, they changed the name to Tombstone.

In the early 1880s Tombstone reached a population of 10,000, however, within eight short years Tombstone's heyday was over. Today it is once again a thriving town, albeit smaller than in the early 1880s. Now people come here not seeking silver, but hoping for a glimpse, however distant, of the West when it was really wild. They will not be dissapointed.

  • Last visit to Tombstone: Dec 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (17)

Comments (20)

  • Kaspian's Profile Photo
    Jul 25, 2008 at 7:33 AM

    Awesome Tombstone page!! I'm headed there in September--can't wait!

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Jun 13, 2008 at 9:17 AM

    I was fascinated by your tales of the Boothill Cemetery in particular. I can't believe we visited Arizona and didn't come here!

  • starship's Profile Photo
    May 14, 2008 at 5:25 AM

    This is a really a fun & interesting page and the introductory page was great! Nice work!! Now I really regret not taking the time to visit when we were just in Arizona!!

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Feb 12, 2007 at 4:02 PM

    Great info! I enjoyed my time in Big Nose Kate's Saloon a lot, too - I've seen a wedding ceremony there. I liked most authentic old wooden sidewalks and architecture most. I didn't know about the cemetery :-(

  • LadyXoc's Profile Photo
    Dec 24, 2006 at 4:27 PM

    Thanks for sharing the great Tombstone info! Heading that way tomorrow :)

  • May 6, 2006 at 2:00 AM

    You can visit China Mary's actual restored house circa 1900 at 215 E. Allen Street (corner of Third and Allen)

  • roamer61's Profile Photo
    Mar 14, 2006 at 5:26 AM

    Nice page on the town. Hope to make a daytrip there from Tucson when I go in May.

  • Waalewiener's Profile Photo
    Mar 3, 2005 at 8:54 PM

    Haha the wild wild West ,I did not see John Wayne where was he hiding ,O my what a great time that must have been . Looks like many were shot by accident according to these tombstones what a COOL page Stephen good writing as usual

  • sim1's Profile Photo
    Feb 7, 2005 at 9:36 AM

    Great page Stephen! Lots of history to see and experience in Tombstone! I love that graveyard with those old signs. That really gives you a feel of history and this place.

  • moonlighting's Profile Photo
    Feb 3, 2005 at 9:46 PM

    Great photos and texts full of emotion. Keep it up! Boothill Graveyard is awesome.And you know a lot. Mabuhay from the Philippines and happy travels forever!

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