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Alhambra Saloon Welcomes You! Tombstone Tips Issue 39
June 04, 2020

Insider Info Newsletter

June 2020 - Issue #39


~ ~ Alhambra Saloon Tombstone

~ ~ May Events/Insider Update Review

~ ~ The Latest at Tombstone Travel Tips


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Elegant Bar of the Alhambra, Tombstone

As Portrayed in Arizona Quarterly Illustrated
July 1880, Vol. 1 - No. 1 - Page 16

#1 - The Editors of This Quarterly Were Well Impressed!

~ ~ The illustration in their first issue took up half the page. Sourced from "a photograph by Fly, of Tombstone." Yes, it was impressive. Of Tombstone's 18 saloons at that time, three were considered deluxe. This was one. The other two were Kelly's Wine Rooms, and the Oriental.

~ ~ The owner & creator of The Alhambra Saloon was Thomas H. Corrigan. Born in Ireland, he immigrated moving to New York State. Came West & began mining. He made money & went into the bar business.

~ ~ The Quarterly stated "it certainly has no equal, for style and elegance, outside of San Francisco." Located on the North side of Allen St., between 4th & 5th.

#2 - Even the "Best" Have Problems!

~ ~ Corrigan made sure to get the best alcohol available. He imported top brands of whiskey, wines, & brandy. Even served in posh French & Italian glassware. Had on hand cigar imports, too.

~ ~ The front was the bar area. Toward the back was the club rooms for gambling. All told, everything the sporting man of the time needed. Cowboy Stockmen coming into Tombstone also stopped in. Curly Bill was there first with several others, the night that partying ended with him shooting Marshal Fred White.

~ ~ So all the sumptuousness of the establishment didn't avoid this incident with a patron known as "Red Mike."

From Tucson's Arizona Daily Star - Thurs., Dec. 23, 1880 - Pg. 3

~ ~ And that wasn't all! The Epitaph reported the story, which the Tucson papers picked up - a knife fight over a gambling game. Between dealer Willis Lawrence & a player, nicknamed "Whistler."

From the Arizona Weekly Citizen - Sat., Jan. 22, 1881 - Pg. 1

~ ~ Lawrence Vs. Newman - After some words & name-calling, gambler Henry Newman (Whistler) got a face smack by dealer Lawrence. That's when Newman pulled the knife, & slashed Lawrence's head.

~ ~ Then he stabbed him in the gut so forcefully, "bowels were protruding" & then another to his right chest. Several more slashes on his arms were done, before he ran off.

~ ~ Lawrence was taken for medical care, expected to recover. Deputy Sheriff found Whistler in an opium den. He was arrested & jailed.

#3 - The Sporting Life

~ ~ Gambling was a popular pastime in the back area of the Alhambra. Many have heard about the high stakes poker game that was famously held at the Bird Cage Theatre. But did you ever hear about the one at the Alhambra in Tombstone?

~ ~ In the Spring of 1881, at that time it was the biggest stakes poker that Tombstone had yet seen. Player Dick Clark would one day run the Crystal Palace Saloon. John Tyler was a well-known gambler. If you remember, his character was in the Tombstone Movie.

~ ~ To get an idea of the 1881 stakes - a $10 chip in 2020 value, is $252. The $2.50 ante is approximately $63 in today's value.

From the Arizona Citizen - Sun., May 29, 1881 - Pg. 3

Subheading: [Condensed from the Epitaph]

#4 - Next: Conflagration Devastation!

~ ~ The construction materials, & lack of a city water system in Tombstone made for some dangerous fire-breeding circumstances in those early years. A few fires broke out, but didn't endanger the Alhambra. That changed in May 1882.

~ ~ The fire began not far from the Alhambra's location. Just a little farther West down the block on Allen Street. Then it began spreading Eastward. There was no stopping it along the Allen Street block between 4th & 5th Streets. It ravaged much of the town.

At the Left - Not Far from Where the Alhambra Stood

From the Arizona Daily Star - Sat., May 27, 1882 - Pg. 4

~ ~ Coverage of the fire wasn't only local. It was throughout the country.

San Francisco Examiner - Sat., May 27, 1882 - Pg. 3

#5 - Right Back to Getting Back

~ ~ You know the motto: the Town Too Tough to Die! Well, it began way back then. The Alhambra Saloon started right in to rebuilding. Adjusting & getting the job done.

~ ~ Realizing that maybe so much wood construction wasn't a good idea. The use of adobe as building material was a better idea. That took hold.

Tombstone Weekly Epitaph - Sat., June 3, 1882 - Pg. 1

#6 - Corrigan Loses Interest

~ ~ As Tombstone rebuilt, the city was getting a new Courthouse. By August, they celebrated. Despite the Epitaph commending Thomas Corrigan's fast work on rebuilding, they couldn't help but point out his missing the Courthouse Cornerstone celebration:

From Tombstone Weekly Epitaph - Sat., Aug. 12, 1882 - Pg. 3

~ ~ In the mid 1880s, Thomas Corrigan ditched his saloon interests & left Tombstone. He moved to Sonora Mexico, got married there & again began mining. At the Trinidad Mine. Then for a seemingly inexplicable reason, he was killed by Smith Gray on Nov. 6, 1889.

From The Daily American - Tue., Nov. 26, 1889 - Pg. 2

From a Nashville Newspaper
Why is it Reported There? Maybe he was there awhile on his trek out West, from NY to Tombstone?

~ ~ The Epitaph reported that a drunken Gray (American, known in Tombstone) had been mouthing off he was gonna kill Corrigan. Then set out to do it, saw him & shot him in the back. Everyone who knew Tom was enraged, as he was well liked by local townspeople & fellow miners.

~ ~ Historical places & events create curiosity for facts about people who roamed the Tombstone area & the Old West. What's the true story? Can we discover the authentic history?

~ ~ And we enjoy sharing what we find with you.

We hope we'll see you in town sometime, (eventually in the future!) seeing areas where they spent time - back in the 1800s.

Let us know if you'll be going to an upcoming event! Tell us how you liked any of them, or what you visited here! Just reply to this newsletter for easy input! (Let us know if we can use your comments - & how to credit you.)



~ ~ 1ST - In Lieu of Earp Days: Memorial Day

~ ~ As we stated Wyatt Earp Days was cancelled. But all were welcomed back to visit for Memorial Day Weekend. That's because the Governor issued a new Executive Order allowing for a gradual opening of businesses in Arizona.

~ ~ Some people were quite anxious to return to town, others were reluctant - especially depending on how the town was going to handle a gradual opening. We have a summary of the Governors Order on our COVID-19 Update Info Page. By looking at Facebook, or if you did come to town, you can see how it was. It seems quite miscellaneous interpretations. So Memorial Day was specifically promoted as a "Welcome Back."

~ ~ 2ND - Tombstone United

~ ~ Still Available From The Tombstone Chamber of Commerce

Limited Edition Tombstone Silver Coins Available

~ ~ While helping out the town of Tombstone, through the Tombstone Chamber of Commerce, you can get one of these special edition, Limited Edition silver coins. A Collector's Item, for sure! Get A Look!

~ ~ We already got ours! It comes with an outstanding personalized certificate. Love it!

~ ~ Click the photo above to for all details - no obligation. A secure purchase method is right there. Only a limited amount available - don't lose out!!

Wed. Afternoon, April 8, 2020 on Allen St. Tombstone

~ ~ 3RD - Tombstone Continues to Welcome People

~ ~ The Chamber of Commerce now has banners across Allen Street just proclaiming "Welcome" to encourage a return. What's good is their Main Page that communicates to visitors what the local businesses are doing.

~ ~ The Chamber sent emails to businesses saying how they're getting inquiries (we've gotten some also) asking "what Precautions by the City of Tombstone and by local businesses are being taken to protect themselves and their family." So that's an important thing for consideration.

~ ~ Summer, especially June - typically the hottest Month in the desert here, is not heavy for visitors. But Tombstone has already been financially hurting from the pandemic. We know it's painful. We hope businesses will follow the Governor's plan, which coordinates with CDC guidelines.

~ ~ The City of Tombstone was awarded $149,593 as part of the AZCares Fund allocation, state created to help smaller communities that didn't get direct funding from the CARES Act. Tombstone can use it to cover public health & safety personnel costs, so local budgets can be effectively revamped.

~ ~ Wonder how the mayor will specifically handle using those funds. Haven't seen anything on it.

Please Stay Safe!

Welcome to "The Town Too Tough to Die"
Sun., May 31 - Some Visit


~ ~ One Store Closes

~ ~ ~ The Tombstone Curiosity Shoppe & Museum of the Strange, aka White Raven Trading, that occupied the historic home of China Mary closed. Weren't able to keep its doors open. They stated they "absolutely LOVE China Mary's home. Sadly even with all the love and support from our valued friends and customers we can not afford to keep our doors open." They were hit hard with the pandemic, really relying on that foot traffic to pay the rent.

~ ~ ~ They plan to keep an online presence. But that leaves another building empty again in Tombstone. And a historic one, at that. We hope a viable business will eventually come into this building to make it become something really worthwhile of its historical nature.

China Mary's House - What Next??

~ ~ One Sells & Gets a New Name

~ ~ ~ The Budget Inn Motel was a low-end place to stay on Fremont St., corner of 5th. Been there with that name quite a while. Over the years we'd stayed there a few times, had family members stay there. It was very basic, but clean.

~ ~ ~ It's been up for sale for maybe almost two years now? Something like that. Anyway, it was recently sold. The name struck us as strange. Didn't stop to interview the new people at this point, but did a little research instead. Since it had a strange name - especially for Tombstone. First thing noticed was there was also another one - in Tucson, this OYO hotel - motel.

OYO Hotel Comes to Tombstone Arizona

~ ~ ~ In their logo, it is all caps. Turns out it's an Indian Company (from India), specializing in hotel chain leasing & franchising. They began by specializing in budget motels. But now they're also getting into vacation homes, service apartments & corporate executive stays.

~ ~ ~ Ritesh Agarwal is the founder, who began OYO in 2012. He received Start-Up awards when beginning. And is considered one of the 50 most powerful people in India.

~ ~ ~ Some controversy has attached to him: 1) Their app for stays in India shares information with their government, 2) They've been accused of predatory pricing, 3) They've sent unsolicited emails to competitors' employees targeting them with job offers (so spamming them), 4) Suddenly downsizing staff in China for a 72% lay-off.

~ ~ ~ Here in Tombstone they've begun with a sign on the corner advertising their rate of $45. (But is that a bait & switch? We wonder - hmmm.) Even though it was a chain before, the manager was local. We do like to see local people make their living. So we'll see how that materializes with Ritesh's business model.


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Until Next Month,

Karen & Bill McGowan
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