Results 1-10of 11 Reviews
Chelmsford, England, United Kingdom
November 9, 2010
From journal The Delights Of Southern Arizona.
April 27, 2007
From journal Old home Arizona
March 31, 2005
From journal Best Vacation Ever
March 5, 2005
The most notorious 30-second gunfight took place at the O.K. Corral, where US Marshall Wyatt Earp, his two brothers, and Doc Holliday fought against the cow rustlin' Clanton and McLaury gang back in 1881. After the smoke cleared, three of the Clantons lay dead. Months later, assassins killed Morgan Earp and wounded Virgil. Wyatt, taking the law into his own hands, killed three suspects before fleeing Tombstone for good.
Today, the shootout is reenacted for tourists on a daily basis. Visitors can get a multimedia introduction to the town's history at the Historama next door to the O.K. Corral on Allen Street, the main drag closed to traffic. Other attractions include historical artifacts, photos, and memorabilia at the Courthouse Museum ($6); the Crystal Palace saloon; or the authentic, untouched Bird Cage Theatre ($6). Humorous epitaphs describe inhabitants of the Boot Hill Graveyard (out of town on US 80), where the Clanton and McLaury brothers are buried.
Inside the Bird Cage Theatre, reputed to be the "wildest, wickedest night spot from 1881-1889," over 140 bullet holes riddle the walls where Wyatt Earp met his third wife, Sadie. Furnishings are untouched, as owners boarded it up when the mines flooded in 1889. Inside the bar mirror that Doc Holliday stared into reflects the image of Fatima, the bullet-marred painting on the stairwell leading to a cat walk between 14 velvet-draped bird cages where ladies of the night entertained their drunken clients. Below is the room where the longest continual poker game lasted over 8 years. Minimum bids were $1,000 ($30,000 today).
A variety of shows also compete for your attention – and money. One lady, standing while riding her horse, introduced herself as Texas Kate and handed me a flier advertising her Wild West Animal Show. A trick rider on the US Rodeo circuit for 26 years, she wows her audiences by hanging off her galloping horse, Rebel, while her Boston Terrier plays the role of a charging Mexican Fighting Bull.
Such are offerings at Tombstone, where double-takes are common. A man passing on the street muttered, "I wish they'd just all get along." He was walking his dog that had a cat sitting on its back and a mouse on top of the cat! Minutes later, a young girl dressed in western wear held her papa's whiskey bottle while he toyed with his gun as they strutted down main street.
Costumed characters from the Old West are everywhere, from the shops to the street. Shootouts, hangings, and impromptu dramas take place frequently. Friendly locals and retired actors are clearly having a ball. I spoke with a costumed US Marshall who told me about his movie-making days and years of theatre playing Lincoln. He, like so many others, encouraged photographs and hammed it up by posing. It is a great place to come if you want to practice your portrait photography or action shots!
Leaving, I picked up the daily paper, Tombstone Epitaph. The headline read, "Two men held in kidnapping, armed robbery." Guess some things never change.
From journal Saguaros, Sunsets & the Wild, Wild West in Tucson
Overland Park,, Kansas
May 22, 2004
We enjoyed visiting and experiencing the "Gunfight at the OK Corral" and thought the actors did a great job. It was noisy but good. We enjoyed the state museum at the old Tombstone Courthouse, too. There are many interesting exhibits in the museum, including the history of the OK Corral gunfight. We had a long drive ahead and didn't make it to boot hill or the Rose Tree Museum. There is a lot to see in Tombstone and we need to stay there at least a night to be able to see all of it.
From journal A Marvelous Trip to Mesa, Arizona
December 2, 2003
The whole town was celebrating "Vigilante Days." Almost everybody was at the courthouse getting their awards for a race that was held that morning; I walked down the deserted wooden sidewalks and streets of the town taking several pictures of the many original buildings still standing since they were first built in the late 1870s. It was like stepping back in time 125 years. Some of the attractions are the O.K. Corral, Bird Cage Theatre, Tombstone Epitaph, Crystal Palace Saloon, and Big Nose Kate's Saloon, where notables like Wyatt Earp, Doc Holiday, Bat Masterson, and Johnny Ringo gathered.
The Bird Cage Theatre was the most famous honky-tonk in America between 1881 and 1889. The New York Times referred to it in 1882 as the wildest, wickedest nightspot between Basin Street and the Barbary Coast. It got its name from the 14 Bird Cage Crib Compartments that are still suspended from the ceiling overhanging the dance hall and gambling casino. It was in these compartments that the ladies of the night (as they were called) plied their trade. The refrain for the song "she's only a bird in a gilded cage" became one of the nation's most popular songs.
In its 9 years of operation, the lusty den of iniquity never closed its doors 24 hours a day. Before it closed down in 1889, it was the site of 16 gunfights. Its walls and ceilings still show the evidence by the 140 bullet holes that riddle them.
Below the stage are the wine cellar, dressing rooms, and Poker Room, where the longest poker game in Western history occurred. It was a house game and players had to buy $1,000 minimum in chips for a seat in the game. The game ran day and night, continually for 8 years, 5 months, and 3 days.
When disaster struck Tombstone by the flooding of the silver mines, the Bird Cage was sealed and boarded up with all its fixtures and furnishings intact. For almost 50 years, it stood closed, its contents touched only by the passing of time. In 1934, it became a Historic Landmark of the American West and was reopened for the public to visit.
From journal Weekend in Tombstone
November 21, 2003
We got there later in the day, so the first thing we did was get roped into a 15-minute guided horse-and-wagon tour. I'm personally not sure it was worth the $5, but it did update our local history a bit.
They have done a good job of preserving a few blocks of the old town; most of the buildings are either souvenir shops or food/beverage establishments. After a long day on the road we had to stop and have a couple of beers at Big Nose Kate’s Saloon, which was fun. We found out that the bartender was from Toronto, Ontario. Small world -- we're in Toronto often. We didn't really get the story of how he ended up there, though it had something to do with the ‘60s!
Visit Boot Hill – it’s free, but don't plan on spending too long I was really surprised at how small it was. Most of the Tombstones were from the early 1860s.
The town museum is in the old courthouse, but I was told it was an hour to go through it. It was too close to closing for us, but from what I could see it looked interesting.
From journal Touring Arizona - Cacti, Golf & Mountains
February 25, 2003
From journal Arizona in February
Medford, New York
January 22, 2003
It was a lot of fun walking the same streets as Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday. There are signs posted that designate people that were shot in that spot! Then you can see a re-creation of the gunfight at the OK Corral right in the real OK Corral. The first fight is inconsequential, but the actual re-creation was great. We visited the newspaper and the saloons, and then visited Boot Hill Cemetery, where all the famous outlaws were killed.
When we drove back to Scottsdale, we had to stop at a roadblock. The border police searched our car looking for illegal immigrants. That was an interesting incident. We stopped off at Tucson for dinner, just to cut the long ride in half. Of course, when I returned home, I watched the movie Tombstone and appreciated it more.
From journal Arid Scottsdale
by J&J Reid
October 27, 2002
From journal A Week at Sheraton's Desert Oasis