Friday, July 28, 2017

Arizona Adventure Pt.2

Our next day in Arizona took us to Tombstone. Brennan and Sydney warned us that the town was extra touristy and that, "the whole town was in on it." They weren't wrong. We walked down the street and just about everyone was in period garb. Although we heard one individual in costume talking about geocaching, which was rather amusing.

The most famous event in Tombstone is the shootout at the O.K. Corral. There have been numerous movies about the shootout. The one Connor and I made a point to watch before coming out was the one aptly called "Tombstone" with Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer.

The town was fun, but just about everything had a fee to see, so I looked up the most historical aspects of the town. The first thing we chose to pay for was a tour of the Good Enough Mine. The shootout at the O.K. Corral might be why people remember Tombstone, but the Good Enough Mine is what put it on the map in the first place.

The story goes that prospector Ed Schieffelin was walking around the desert when he tripped over some silver ore. When he found the source of the ore, he staked a claim. The men at the nearby fort told him he was crazy to do so and that all he would find out there was his own tombstone. I guess Ed had a sense of humor because that is what he named his stake. It turned out he found one of the richest silver strikes in Arizona and as a result, supposedly all the Liberty Dollars with the "O" mint stamp of New Orleans from 1880-1881 came from silver mined at the Good Enough Mine.
How Ed ever recognized Silver Ore, I'll never know. It just looks like blackish rock to me.

The other thing we learned is that although the mine was in Apache country, the miners never really had a problem with the war-like Apache. According to our guide, the Apache were deeply religious and believed that the men who had gone underground into the mines would have communed with the devil. They believed that the miners were capable of stealing their souls and dragging them back underground with them.

Connor and I really enjoyed the tour. Afterwards we decided to walk around town and have a look at the courthouse. There are only a few remaining original buildings because Tombstone was burned down more than once. The courthouse, luckily, was brick, and survived. You could pay a feee to have a look around, we chose not to due to time constraints.

Instead we paid to go inside The Birdcage Theatre. I wish I could show you some pictures of the inside, but they had signs everywhere saying that you had to get written permission to post anything online. I've decided to respect that. What I can show you is the outside.

The Birdcage Theatre is one of the other original buildings to survive. If you choose to go inside you can see where Doc Holliday and Johnny Ringo had their Handkerchief Duel. There are also a fair number of bullet holes throughout the building. One of the paintings in the first room has six bullet holes and a hole from a knife. I guess things did get as wild as the movies would have you believe. There are many other interesting artifacts inside, but I think you'll just have to go see them for yourself.


my sisters knitter said...

Oh I love that you are here in my state. I went to Tombstone many moons ago (12 years ago), yep it is very touristy but it is rather fun to see some of the old buildings. The Birdcage Theatre is pretty fantastic. Did you visit Big Nose Kate's? Kind of fun to have a beer there. Enjoy your time. Sorry- I know it is hotter than the devil right now here in AZ.

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