Thursday, May 8, 2014

Tombstone – Ghost Towns

(Tucson, AZ) Hi 80 Lo 54 – Our last day in Tucson was a long one… and a really fun one! One of my favorite western movies is “Tombstone” starring Kurt Russell as Wyatt Earp and Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday. I’ve always wanted to see the real Tombstone, and that’s where we went today. Tombstone is a little over an hour from Tucson, and it was a nice trip out there on a beautiful day.

As we entered the Tombstone city limits we came to the famous Boothill Graveyard.

Once you pass through the gift shop you walk through a small gate and into the graveyard.

They’ve done a great job of preserving the original look of the small cemetery. They are the actual graves of the outlaws, murderers, and hooligans that terrorized Tombstone in the late 1800’s, including the three who were shot at the famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral. (Click on the photos to enlarge them.)

Many of the gravestones have humorous epitaphs.

A short distance from the Boothill Graveyard is downtown Tombstone. It’s been all “touristed” up over the years, but it was still very cool to walk the same streets that Wyatt Earp walked.

The main attraction is the O.K. Corral. It’s been re-built of course, but it’s in the exact same location as it was in 1881 when the famous gunfight happened.

Wyatt Earp, his two brothers Virgil and Morgan, and Doc Holliday made an appearance on the street.

We bought tickets to watch a re-enactment of the famous gunfight.

Three members of the McLaury and Clanton gangs were shot and killed.

If you’d like to read about the gunfight, you can click here for a scholarly report of the entire affair, including what led up to it.

One of the few original buildings still standing is the Bird Cage Theater.

We liked this beautiful view of the mountains down one of the town streets.

Most of the buildings had the name of famous buildings from the past, but were just disguised gift shops, like The Crystal Palace.

The Tombstone Court House, built in 1882, is a State Historic Park.

We enjoyed our visit to Tombstone. Sure, it’s been turned into a tourist trap. But if you’re a fan of the wild west it’s worth seeing.

After we had some lunch at the O.K. Café (good Buffalo burgers), we took a little longer route home so we could check out a couple of 1800’s ghost towns we read about. They turned out to be not very exciting. Just a couple of buildings, or the remains of buildings. And they were really out in the boonies! We went miles on this dirt road.

The first town was Gleeson, where the only remaining buildings are the Gleeson Jail…

… And what looks like an old store.

About 20 miles farther was Pearce, where again there was a jail. (Interesting that jails seem to be the sturdiest buildings.)

And there were some remains of buildings.

It was interesting to see them, but not sure it was worth all the extra miles we drove. But now we can say we saw a couple of ghost towns. Smile

That wraps up our stay in Tucson. Tomorrow we’re off to Phoenix. See you in two days!


Betty Graffis said...

Awh, you brought back special memories of our times in Cochise County. We plan on returning there this October. We'll be staying at St. David RV Resort and exploring from there.

Dizzy-Dick said...

Thanks for the graveyard pictures. I really enjoyed reading the epitaphs. We have been close to there several times but never turned south far enough to see it.

Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said...

That is such an interesting place. We have been there at least three times. Thanks for another visit:)

Gypsy said...

I wonder who wrote the epithets. Some are pretty clever.

KarenInTheWoods Karen Pfundtner said...

Yup...we stayed on a friends ranch our near Gleeson and Pearce... Near Elfrida. Incidentally, they named their dogs Gleeson and Pearce, after the towns! Such pretty scenery out there, and I enjoyed the historic old buildings too.

Karen and Steve
(Blog) RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard

Phyllis said...

We like Tombstone. I have a friend from HS who moved there many years ago and opened a B&B outside of town. Although Tombstone is touristy it is not as bad as Deadwood, SD. Loved Deadwood years ago but not the last trip Casinos and high rise garages. Also went to Dodge City, KS. Yea, Leonard is a true Western fan.