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Where the Heck is Pick-em-up?: Tombstone Tips Issue #28
July 07, 2019

Insider Info Newsletter

July 2019


~ ~ Pick-Em-Up - What? Where?

~ ~ June Events/Insider Update Review

~ ~ The Latest at Tombstone Travel Tips


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This Isn't Pick-Em-Up
Just An Example of You Must Use Your Imagination
If You Go to the Area

#1 - Pick-Em-Up: How Did it Begin?

~ ~ Not a whole lot of documentation is found about the small settlement of Pick-Em-Up. And what there is can be a bit confusing. The BLM Legal plotting lists the coordinates as T20S, R21E - but we're not quite sure how to map that out right now.

~ ~ Real estate deeds were recorded in 1880. Tucson's newspaper reported them. They do indicate the location, however. It places Pick-em-up 1-1/4 miles West of Tombstone. That would agree with the mining map here.

~ ~ It seems the property, with the saloon, was jointly owned by Ed Keeler & J.M. Sweeney. Together they sold it to Joseph Stump for a total of $275. Then sometime thereafter, Stump sold the property to John Gagen for $850.

From the Arizona Daily Star - Thursday, Dec. 9, 1880 - pg 3

#2 - How Was it Named?

~ ~ One prominent story is from the time that Johnny Behind-the-Deuce was brought in from Charleston. He'd just killed a popular miner there in January 1881.

~ ~ A vigilante mob was chasing him & the law. The vigilantes meant to string him up themselves. The saloon owner at Pick-em-up owned a race-horse. As the law officer holding Johnny came by, the saloon-keeper yelled to the him: "Pick-em-up" - offering his horse, instead of the slow buggy they were on.

~ ~ We can notice the logistics problem with this explanation. The deeds were recorded with the name Pick-em-up before the Johnny Behind-the-Deuce incident happened!

Most Documentation Supports 1-1/2 Miles West of Tombstone

#3 - And Where Is It?

~ ~ Yes, most of the time incidents describing the location place it 1 & 1/2 miles outside Tombstone on the road to Charleston. On occasion, though, some state it was half-way to Charleston. Either place, though, has no remains of a saloon that was there. No evidence of the little town is left.

~ ~ Most sources state the name of the saloon was actually the "Last Chance Saloon." Named for being the last place to get a drink as you rode out of town on the way to Charleston. Others state the opposite - saying it was the "First Chance Saloon." Get your 1st drink as you're getting into Tombstone from Charleston.

#4 - More Exciting Incidents There!

~ ~ A new mining strike was reported nearby in March 1882. Mr. Bagg's Traveling Show featured some outrageous satire - they stopped in Pick-em-up right after Tombstone.

~ ~ Tombstone had many Sporting Events to keep miners occupied in their off-hours. The route from Tombstone to Pick-em-up was handy for the Graeco-Roman team of Wrestlers from Tombstone to do some training...

From the Arizona Daily Star - Sun., Feb. 3, 1884 - pg. 4

~ ~ The Epitaph lists John Brady as owning the adobe house at Pick-em-up in January 1888. Its value was $180. He hadn't yet paid his 1887 taxes to the county, of $58, plus costs of $3.

~ ~ The July 31, 1891 Arizona Daily Star described an incident that was the talk of S. Arizona! A man was seen walking through Mexico, New Mexico, then Arizona "naked as when born." Except for very basic sandals. Mexicans imagined he was doing penance for sins, in NM people were frightened, in AZ they thought he may be insane! He was arrested in Charleston & brought to Tombstone. His defense was he had a skin condition & couldn't wear clothes!

~ ~ A gang of 10 broke out of Tombstone's jail - reported the Weekly Epitaph in April 1892. 1 immediately found, the others on the run. William Tomlinson lived in the Brady House in Pick-em-up the paper said. That night he came home close to midnight & found his clothes, blankets, food, rifle & ammunition taken. He joined the Sheriff's patrol to find the thieves, it was assumed were these escapees.

~ ~ There are old West places around Arizona that have disappeared, but they have interesting names that make one want to know more about them. We like to research it, and keep trying to find out more.

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

We hope we'll see you in town sometime, where people 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 - credit with just a first name & last initial; or only initials; or anonymous.)


In 1889 - Sgt. George Berry of the 10th Cavalry


~ ~ The following events are now combined onto the same weekend, the last weekend of June. Now apparently switched to starting it out Friday evening & then into Saturday all day. We didn't make this weekend - still getting back into our routine after just returning from a long trip.

~ ~ Buffalo Soldier Days - A tribute salute to the African American 9th & 10th Cavalry Regiments, and 24th & 25th Infantry Regiments. Click to See Where Buffalo Soldiers Served>

US historical flags Oil Painting
Photo by Zimand on 2 May 2011

~ ~ Freedom Days - A newer event, which is now combined with the Buffalo Soldier weekend events.

~ ~ On Friday people could view the Buffalo Soldiers of America Traveling Museum at Schieffelin Hall.

~ ~ Saturday the Buffalo Soldier/Freedom parade began on Allen St.; Peter Sherayko did his book signing at Doc Holliday’s; Tuskegee Airmen were at Schieffelin Hall at 2pm; & celebrities Morgan Brittany, Jack Gill, & Curt Schilling were also in town for talks & autographs.


~ ~ Some more new things to update & report this month! So here we go...

~ ~ 1ST - We Were Away

~ ~ You may have seen a little snippet at the end of our last newsletter, that we were away on vacation. We definitely took a good one, quite a big break. Some of the areas we toured, related to the "Old West" - our intentions were to seek out those areas. So we want to let you in on that...

~ ~ 2ND - We went to Australia

~ ~ Some of Australia's historical aspects parallel that of the U.S. They have/had cowboys, ranching, gold-rushes, outlaws, etc.

~ ~ We were in Balranald, New South Wales - a historic town which was a major cattle stock crossing. There's an old gaol there, where the Hatfield Bushrangers were imprisoned. Bushrangers are more or less the equivalent of American Outlaws or Tombstone's "Cowboys."

~ ~ We moved on to Jerilderie NSW, where we followed the Ned Kelly trail in town. He was a notorious bushranger & you may have seen the old movie about him with Mick Jagger. Not at all accurate. There's A Newer Kelly Film, starring Keith Ledger, lots better. We hear a better one yet is in the works.

~ ~ In town he held up a bank & robbed the safe. He destroyed the town's-folk mortgages inside. That safe is now in the Royal Mail Hotel's cafe area. The hotel is historically involved in the whole episode, where he wrote his famous 1879 "Jerilderie Letter" - a manifesto justifying his bushranger activities.

~ ~ The Royal Mail Hotel owners were very welcoming, gracious & so helpful to us when we were in town! A wonderful, historic place to stay &/or have a meal.

Bill & Karen at the Safe Robbed by Ned Kelly

~ ~ Finally, the last historical part of the OZ trip, we went to Echuca, Victoria. This town has many vintage Paddle Wheel boats on the Murray River. We rode on the 1911 Pevensey - it was featured in the movie, All the Rivers Run.

Karen at the Bow of the Pevensey Paddlewheeler

~ ~ After Australia, we took a 2-week stop in New Zealand. Some out-of-this-world (!!) scenery there! And then we moved along.

I'm Going Into the Original Parker Ranch Home

~ ~ 3RD - Our Final Pre-Home Stop: Hawaii - On the Big Island

~ ~ There's been cattle on Hawaii since the King was gifted with a few in the 1700s. Serious management with ranching & cowboys began in the 1830s. King Kamehameha III hired 3 Mexicans from California to teach locals to cowboy. Hawaiian cowboys were/are called Paniolos.

~ ~ Hawaii's 1st ranch was on the Big Island - Parker Ranch. Still operating today - we toured there, its historic area & tributes.

Paniolos Compete & Do Well on the Rodeo Circuit
Ikua Purdy: 1908 Steer Roping


~ ~ When having lunch 1 day, our bartender found we were from Tombstone. Said he loved The Movie & before moving to Hawaii, had lived in New Mexico & visited our town. After a while he let us know someone with a "I'm Your Huckleberry" shirt had come in & was sitting at the end of the bar! I had to find out!!

~ ~ I went & asked him about his shirt! His name is Paul, from Sacramento CA. He loves that saying & the movie. Although he gets to Yuma sometimes, still hasn't gotten to Tombstone. Wants to, though.

Paul Plans to Get to Tombstone, Arizona!

~ ~ 4TH - Yaaah!! It's Back - Tombstone at Twilight!!

~ ~ They stopped this 1-day a month extended hours & entertainment day in Tombstone awhile back. Now they've returned it to town. We're very glad. We always like this idea. We featured more info about it on Our Blog Page.

~ ~ See this year's schedule on Our Events Page.

~ ~ 5TH - Must Mention: In Memoriam

~ ~ While we were away 2 people well-known in the Tombstone community passed away. Another passed, who was related to someone well known. There were also a few others - but we're mentioning these, because these are the ones we knew, & those you may have seen or come in contact with.

~ ~ The 1st person was nicknamed "Keevers" - Robert Lopez. You may have seen him walking around town, he was always walking. He was in Tucson, rarely if ever went there - & hit/killed by a drunk driver. He was 62. He loved music, played guitar. He sang karaoke, especially loved the Beatles, & would sing "Imagine." We talked of the time he lived in Hawaii (he knew we loved HI). He also spoke of his days in Louisiana. But mostly he lived his whole life in Tombstone, with his large family. Someone said "He was a town fixture." That was an apt description.

~ ~ Another passing was quite sad - our friend Kate. On our site, you'll see her photo helping out with "Beers N Balls" at Four Deuces. She always volunteered her help for that event, & for potlucks at Ringo's. She was very friendly to everyone. Kate was very talented in her home decor also. Many condolences to her husband, Dan.

~ ~ Then, if you've been in Big Nose Kate's - Mike, the bartender there lost his Mom. She was actually Keevers' sister - so there were 2 recent deaths in that family. Our sympathies go out to Michael & his family.

~ ~ 6TH - COMING UP! Getting Back to Normal

~ ~ Just about getting back into our normal, regular hometown routine now. Here's some advance notice on upcoming subject items for soon in-the-future newsletters:

****** Contest - In Next Month's Newsletter: Sort of Related to Hawaii Ranching! Don't Miss It!!

****** Johnny-Behind-the-Deuce (expanding on this issue's main story - where he's mentioned, above)

****** Haffords Saloon

****** Jack Crabtree & Livery (& that historic building is up for sale right now)

****** Samantha Fallon

****** And Much More!!


If you have an idea you want explored in one of our newsletters - please just reply to this one & let us know! We'll investigate it & put it on our To-Do List. We're here to get our readers what you want, after all.


~ ~ Right now we've just begun work on our upcoming Tombstone Custom Calendar for 2020.

~ ~ When we get it finished, our subscribers will be the first ones to know. And when it will be available for you. Probably around August is a good guess. Keep watching...


What's going on this month or next month - check out our Events Page:
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Until Next Month,

Karen & Bill McGowan
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