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History of Tombstone, Arizona

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Introduction

History of Tombstone, Arizona ""The Town too Tough to Die," Tombstone was perhaps the most renowned of Arizona's old mining camps. When Ed Schieffelin came to Camp Huachuca with a party of soldiers and left the fort to prospect, his comrades told him that he'd find his tombstone rather than silver. Thus, in 1877 Schieffelin named his first claim the Tombstone, and rumors of rich strikes made a boomtown of the settlement that adopted this name" (www.cityoftombstone.com). "The Town site of Tombstone was laid out on March 5, 1879. At that time Tombstone had 40 cabins and 100 people" (www.americanwest.com). As of June 20. 1880, there were 3,000 people in Tombstone. In late 1881 "there was over 7,000 people in town and more gambling houses, saloons, and a larger "boothill" and "red light" district than any town in the southwest" (www.americanwest.com). The years that ensued were ones of violence and lawlessness. A group called The Cowboys, the first example of organized crime, reigned over Tombstone, leaving authority figures and civilians helpless. ...read more.

Middle

There are 140 bullet holes in the ceilings and walls to prove this. The two fires that engulfed the planked board structures of Tombstone happened not even a year apart from each other. The first fire, in 1881, supposedly started when a lit cigar set fire to a barrel of whiskey and destroyed a lot of the downtown businesses (www.tombestoneweb.com). In 1882, the second fire burned the downtown area once again. Tombstone rebuilt both times and continued to grow larger. On October 26, 1881, the event that some people say is what has kept Tombstone alive all these years occurred. "The most famous event in Tombstone's history was the famed Gunfight at the OK Corral, which didn't actually happen at the corral, but in a vacant lot near it" (www.tombstoneweb.com). Wyatt, Morgan, and Virgil Earp along with their friend Doc Holliday, had a run in with members of the Cowboys. "24 shots and 30 seconds later, Billy Clanton, Tom and Frank McLaury were mortally wounded" (www.tombstoneweb.com). ...read more.

Conclusion

"Once they hit the 520 foot level, the water table was reached which flooded the mines. Attempts to pump out the water marginally worked for a few years but soon became too costly to continue" (www.tombestoneweb.com). Because the mining slowed down, people began to leave. By the late 1920s, Tombstone's once large population dwindled down to 150 people. After being a major producer of manganese for the government during World War I and extracting lead during World War II, "Tombstone faded into obscurity, just to be resurrected at a later time" (www.cityoftombstone.com). The people who still lived there decided to give up on mining and focused on tourism. They worked hard to preserve the old landmarks and downtown area (www.cityoftombstone.com). Today "St. Paul's Episcopal Church, built in 1882; the Crystal Palace Saloon, one of the most luxurious saloons in the West; and the Tombstone Epitaph building, where the oldest continuously published paper in Arizona is still being printed" (www.cityoftombstone.com) still stand in Tombstone. "Truly a Historical American Landmark, Tombstone is America's best example of our 1880 western heritage, which is well preserved with original 1880's buildings and artifacts featured in numerous museums" (www.cityoftombstone.com). ...read more.

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