After a fun filled lunch watching the locals at Big Nose Kate’s we took a stagecoach ride around town. Our driver took us back in time as explained the town and how things were laid out before the fires that destroyed the town through today’s time. We saw homes that Wyatt Earp and his brothers allegedly lived in; where the “hanging judge” lived; sheriff lived; court house and the location of the largest rose bush in Texas. It was fun and interesting and something worth the money of the “tourist” things in town.
From the stagecoach we went to see and tour the Tombstone Courthouse which is a state historical park maintained by the State of Texas. It was built in 1882 and housed the sheriff, jail, courthouse and other city officials of Tombstone. It has two stories and is a museum of the history of Tombstone with exhibits in each room that shows the history of the town as it has grown from the miners to the tourist town of today. The gallows where seven men were hung are still in the courtyard with a display of the invitation to the hanging being displayed inside.
The courthouse and museum inside is great and worth the $3.00 entry fee.
On our way out of town we stopped at Boothill. We both have heard about it a lot through the years on western shows and such. We really want to see for ourselves what it was all about and like and were really surprise.
The “Tombstone Cemetery” was first laid out in 1878 and it was where early pioneers were buried. In 1884 it was open as a general burial place. The graveyard was neglected and much of it went back to nature over the years. Finally the town realized its importance and worked hard to preserve it and now it is a national historical location and protected. There are a lot of tales of how Boothill got it name but really is it not as exciting as Hollywood would like us to believe. Because of the many violent deaths of the early days the cemetery just became known Boothill Graveyard. There are outlaws, outlaw’s victims, suicides, hangings, everyday citizens and many refined elements of Tombstone’s early day buried here. The guys that were killed in the shoot out at the O K Corral are buried here. There is a descriptive list of the more than 250 graves that you can purchase upon entry that explain as much as possible of the graves and how the people died that are buried in Boothill. This is information that has been gathered through the years, researched and discussed with heirs. We really enjoyed our visit to Boothill.