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The Russ House: What's Happened? - Tombstone Tips, Issue #007
October 01, 2017
Insider Info Newsletter
~ ~ The Russ House - Its Past & Present
~ ~ September's Events/Insider Update Review
~ ~ The Latest at Tombstone Travel Tips
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THE RUSS HOUSE - ITS PAST & PRESENT
The Russ House property is on the Northwest corner of Toughnut & Fifth Streets in Tombstone AZ. It's one of the most historic "buildings" in town. It's on the National Register of Historic Places.
Nellie Cashman was a woman whose history is attached to this building. If only these walls could talk! We'll try to imagine some of what they'd tell us...
For the Russ House Corner
It's right there - see that tree down the street. It's just outside, shading the walls of the Russ House.
HISTORIC RUSS HOUSE
#1 - One of the Earliest Lodgings in Town
~ ~ Jacob Smith & Sol T. Anderson built it across from the mines. They knew they'd attract miners there. The rooms were comfortable & the food was good.
~ ~ Added attractions were a barroom, 2 street-side verandas & a reading room. The restaurant area was the biggest in town at the time.
NELLIE CASHMAN (1874)
#2 - Nellie Cashman & the Russ House
~ ~ Nellie Cashman was an Irish immigrant to America. She made her way through Western mining communities. After some time in Northern British Columbia, she came to Tucson AZ & opened a restaurant. When word of the silver claims were the talk of all her customers - she sold out & moved to Tombstone.
~ ~ First she opened a dry goods store. She had lots of energy & often had a few business enterprises going at the same time! In September of 1881 Nellie entered a business arrangement with the Russ House's new owner, Joseph Pascholy.
~ ~ About the same time, Nellie's sister Fanny came to the area. Fanny was a recent widow with 5 children. Nellie helped her by putting her to work. But soon Fanny came down with her husband's illness - consumption - today's tuberculosis.
Probably Around March 1915 When It Was Remodeled as a Hotel
Note the Arched Doorway on the Right
It Was Purchased at That Time by J.B. Montana
#3 - Russ House For Sale
~ ~ Nellie now tended to her sister & watched over her nieces & nephews. She couldn't fit that in with running the Russ House. She offered her share for sale in December of 1881.
~ ~ She sold her part in the Russ House. She still often cooperated with current owners to benefit town-folk. She was always ready to give help to anyone in need.
~ ~ Tombstone citizens still thought of Nellie Cashman when they thought of the Russ House. That was true until she left town to move to Alaska in 1898.
~ ~ Actually, it's true today! She only owned the Russ House for about 4 or 5 months. She was so influential - when people think of the Russ House, they think Nellie Cashman!
Photo is probably from the 1920s, when tourists were beginning to come into Tombstone. The invention of the automobile helped people get to town. The Broadway of America came right through Tombstone!
#4 - Russ House Fire
~ ~ Mrs. Josephine Keagle owned the Russ House on an eventful day - January 20, 1959. Fire broke out & burned all interior areas. Only the outside adobe walls were left untouched.
~ ~ Two months later Mrs. Keagle sold the property to a couple, Floyd & Minnie Laughrun. They rebuilt the interior as a hotel. Over the next few decades it had a few more ownership changes & purpose reinventions.
Around the Turn of the New Century - 2000
Bill & Karen's Favorite Place to Eat!!
As you may have seen on our About Us Page - we've been visitors to Tombstone Arizona, long before we were able to move here. Every time we'd be in town, we'd go to Nellie Cashman's for dinner.
We loved the ambiance. We loved the history & its attachment to Nellie Cashman (I really admired much about her). We also liked the food, the menu options.
It was run by a German woman. For a while, there was a piano in the corner. An older gentleman there played classical & old time music. That was a delightful way to add atmosphere!
At this point, the elderly gentleman playing piano was no longer there. The inside of the restaurant reflected the history of the building, and Nellie Cashman herself. It was charming, and added to the historic feeling.
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