Why You Should Visit Tombstone, Arizona, in 2022

Why You Should Visit Tombstone? Tombstone AZ remains one of the most iconic towns of the Wild West. Located in Cochise County, Arizona, Edward Lawrence Schieffelin founded Tombstone in 1879 after discovering silver in the area. Schieffelin and his brother Al made millions of dollars from silver mines in the Cochise Country area. Reportedly, Cochise County silver mines produced $85,000,000 ($2,396,420,879.12 in 2019 after inflation). With so much money being made, it’s no wonder Tombstone AZ became one of the country’s most historically known towns in American Wild West history.

Why You Should Visit Tombstone? Historic architecture

Why You Should Visit Tombstone?

Bird cage theatre

Most Historical People and Events

Tombstone AZ is a historical gold mine—pardon the pun. Being that Tombstone was such a prosperous silver mining town, it attracted many people to move there looking to strike it big. With tens of millions of dollars worth of silver bullion mined from the immediate area during its hay day, Tombstone quickly became the largest bustling silver mining town in Arizona. In less than seven years, the town’s population exploded from merely 100 to 14,000 people—an astonishing amount of growth in less than a decade.

Orient caffe

Oriental Saloon

With such growth, it’s no surprise numerous famous names and events are associated with the name Tombstone. Many movies (Tombstone – 1993), television shows (Tombstone Territory – 1957 to 1960), Western novels (Tombstone by Giles Tippette), and products have been named after or referenced the historical town in some form or fashion (Tombstone Pizza comes to mind).

Why You Should Visit Tombstone?

Tombstone AZ is mostly known for being a rough, dangerous mining town, which is probably why so many people are so enthralled by its history.

Wyatt Berry Stapp

Why You Should Visit Tombstone?

Tombstone is best known as being the location of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral between famed lawmen Virgil Earp, Morgan Earp, Wyatt Earp, and Doc Holliday and a group of outlaws called the Cochise County Cowboys. Many tourists coming to Arizona pay a visit to the O.K. Corral to learn about the actual events that took place there by watching live reenactments.

Gunfighters reenact

Three members of the Cowboys—Billy Clanton, Frank McLaury and Tom McLaury—were buried in the Boothill Graveyard which is yet another great tourist location. After 1883, the Boothill Graveyard became the first burial place for outlaws and got its name for all the men who died in gun battles with their boots still on. Other famous interments and grave markers located at the Boothill Graveyard include:

Boot Hill Cemetery

Marshal Fred White (October 30, 1880) who was killed by outlaw Curly Bill BrociusThe perpetrators of the Bisbee massacre—Daniel “York” Kelly, William E. “Billy” Delaney, James “Tex” Howard, Omer W. “Red” Sample, and Dan “Big Dan” Dowd—who were hanged (with their boots on, of course)Jack Dunlop—also known as “Three-Fingered Jack”—who died from gunshot wounds received during an attempted holdup.

Welcome to boothil graveyard

Massive structural fires were other notable events recorded in Tombstone’s history, most likely because of the town’s fame. Structural fires were quite common in Tombstone AZ in those days as a result of poor fire safety practices and the lack of good fire protection. On June 22, 1881, the first major fire took place, quickly spreading out of control and destroying the entire eastern half of the town’s business district. Someone allegedly tossed their lit cigar next to a leaking barrel of whiskey which ignited the initial fire in the Arcade Saloon.

The largest and most destructive fire took place on May 25, 1882, and destroyed over 100 structures. Since there lacked good firefighting coverage, the townspeople dynamited those structures in the path of the fire to prevent the entire town from burning down.

Why You Should Visit Tombstone? Best Tourist Locations and Special Events in Tombstone, Arizona

In March 1881, miners begun striking freshwater springs rather than veins of silver. This ultimately led to the silver mines flooding. And though several mining managers traveled from various parts of the United States to try and solve the flooding issue, it was a lost cause. Once the mines were completely flooded and no longer viable, Tombstone’s population plummeted from nearly 20,000 to a meager 700 people in 1900. Tourism saved the once-thriving silver mining town from becoming an utter ghost town.

Today, a majority of Tombstone’s revenue comes from the tourism industry. According to an article published by CNN in 2005, Tombstone is visited by nearly half a million tourists annually. Some of the top tourist attractions include:

The Classic Cochise County Courthouse

Why You Should Visit Tombstone?

  • Museum East Allen Street
  • Home to Wyatt Earp wild west memorabilia, gift shops
  • 19th century-style saloons, and quaint restaurants
  • Bird Cage Theatre Fremont Street
  • The exact location where the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral started

Helldorado Days – Tombstone’s oldest festival world’s largest rosebush, Tombstone Historic District Schieffelin’s Mine Schieffelin Hall, Longhorn Restaurant, City Hall, Crystal Palace Silver Nugget Bed and Breakfast and so many more Tombstone should be on your bucket as the Wild West town to visit.

Doc Holidays Salon

O.K. Corral Gunfight

Gunfighters reenact

Read more – Tombstone Freedom Days in Arizona Explodes with Excitement

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Marko Jankovic
Marco is a travel blogger and technical writer for many subjects


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