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Tombstone Historic District: Tombstone Tips Issue 32
November 07, 2019

Insider Info Newsletter

November 2019


~ ~ Tombstone Historic District

~ ~ October Events/Insider Update Review

~ ~ The Latest at Tombstone Travel Tips


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Many Tombstone Citizens Realized the Value
of Preserving These Buildings on Allen Street.
But How Many Were Saved & Verified as Original?

#1 - The Town Begins to Appreciate the History

~ ~ In 1903 the 1st car arrived in Tombstone. A few citizens wanted them. Many more were skeptical! Then police became involved in these trending purchases. In 1916 a traffic ordinance was passed. Officers were rigorously enforcing its directives. But traffic was bringing tourism, those interested in traveling historic Rt. 80, aka "Broadway of America."

The 1st Car to Travel Tombstone's Streets
A 1903 Packard

~ ~ George H. Kelly was the Epitaph editor in the later 1920s. He realized 1929 was the 50 year anniversary of Tombstone's establishment. He took the lead in enlisting help to organize the city's first "Helldorado." Some from its historical era attended. It was a great success for drawing publicity nationwide.

#2 - Restoration Commission

~ ~ Some citizens were concerned that historic buildings were being razed. They knew it was important to preserve important ones. This commission was formed & they began efforts to renovate. The Crystal Palace in 1948, Schieffelin Hall in 1950. They were instrumental for passage of Ordinance 146 in April 1954. It created the restoration zone, requiring buildings therein to have an 1883 appearance.

Even if the Original Building Wasn't Still There
The Restoration Zone had Specific Appearance Requirements

~ ~ From this work the National Park Service was inclined to survey the town. They recognized buildings from 1880s that existed: Bird Cage Theatre, Schieffelin Hall, the Courthouse, City Hall, St. Paul's Episcopal Church, & others. They named the City of Tombstone a National Historic Landmark in the summer of 1961. Officially proclaimed in 1962.

Tombstone's Historic City Hall - Photo From Aug. 2012
Credit: WJMcGuire220

Although Big Nose Kate's isn't a Historic Entity -
It Must Indicate What the Historic Origins Were

#3 - National Historic Preservation Act of 1966

~ ~ This act recognized the value of historical archaeology in the U.S. It created the National Register of Historic Places, an official List of National Historic Landmarks & authorized State Historic Preservation Offices. Tombstone Arizona got an additional boost from this legislation. In 1972 an in-depth project published: "A Plan for the Creation of a Historic Environment in Tombstone, Arizona."

~ ~ In Feb. 1972, Tombstone City Hall was placed on the National Register. The original Sacred Heart Catholic Church was on the Register in May 1976.

Restored 1882 Sacred Heart Church
Now Functions as the Parish Hall

~ ~ Side benefits ensued from the promotion of the Tombstone Historic District. For instance, Project Boardwalk had begun. Donations were taken, with a matching grant from Arizona State Parks. Altogether $23,000 enabled a stretch of boardwalk completion on Allen Street in 1975. It covered both sides from 3rd to 6th Streets.

Designation for the National Register

#4 - History & Preservation

~ ~ The Tombstone Historic District encompasses six city blocks in "downtown" Tombstone Arizona. Many of the buildings are privately owned. A few are city owned.

~ ~ We here at Tombstone Travel Tips fully support the historical aspect of Tombstone Arizona. We hope all private ownership in the historic district, and even outside it, within the original town-site, will respect the town's history. And will want to reflect that in the appearance, and upkeep of the city.

~ ~ There are often historical remembrance events that make one want to know the true facts for people who roamed the Tombstone area & the Old West. What was their true story? And what happened to them - do we even know? Can we discover the authentic historical details?

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

We hope we'll see you in town sometime, 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 - October: What a Month!!

~ ~ One activity after another! Are we exhausted? Maybe!! We're just barely getting this issue out. Phew!! Haven't even had a chance to update our Events> page yet. Because, of course, all the October events are completed.

~ ~ We'll get to ALL our updates soon. ;-)

~ ~ 2ND - Benson!

~ ~ You know that town, right? Just off I-10, starting onto historic Hwy. 80 to Tombstone. We were there for 2 events over the weekend: Oct. 12 & 13.

~ ~ We stayed overnight at the Quality Inn on Ocotillo. Was a pretty good place to stay. Clean, nice free breakfast. Reasonable price. You can see our room, here:

~ ~ 1st was Butterfield Days at Benson's Apache Park. Many vendors, historic presentations & demonstrations. Plus regular entertainment on their stage. Our Tombstone's local buscar, Johnny Bones - caught him there about to go on with his performance!

~ ~ Stopped in at the Benson Historical Museum Display. Chatted with a couple of their volunteer ladies. They informed me of how they're always welcoming volunteers & historical docents.

Checking on Benson History - Lots of it Relates to Tombstone
Have You Been to This Museum?

~ ~ Benson Butterfield Rodeo is held at the Arena Bar grounds. This is a terrific venue. It was the 1st time we were there, though we've heard about it through friends. Nice rodeo grounds, with good stock.

~ ~ Kids' mutton bustin' plus all the regular events. Good bull riding topped it off! Food (very reasonably priced) & all the refreshments you need available. What a steal to get in all day! Highly recommend this yearly event.

Last Event - Cowboys Waiting on the Bull Rider!

~ ~ In the morning we stopped out for breakfast. We didn't quite have it together to get the hotel breakfast before 9 am. Plus we wanted to sample this Benson place. Can you believe - we'd actually never tried The Horseshoe Cafe before? Passed it a million times & heard about it from almost everyone. Well, finally got there!

~ ~ Holy mackerel! We had enough food for breakfast for 2 more days at home! And so delicious. What a menu, too. So many selections - it takes awhile to decide. Well worth a try, if you haven't yet. Have you?

~ ~ 3RD - Big Boy Train Fever

~ ~ Love historic trains? It fits right in with Old West history. One came through Southern Arizona in October. First stop in our area was in Tucson on Oct. 17th. It was the "Big Boy" - coming through & stopping at the historic train station. But not for long.

~ ~ We decided to catch a view, as did many others, as it was riding the rails through town. For its 150 year celebration. Found a little side street. Got some video & some pics. Here's a good one below.

Big Boy Roarin' Thru Tucson!

~ ~ We thought maybe we'd go see the public display, where it was parked at the Tucson train yard the next day. It was there for hours. But we couldn't even get close. Guess you had to get there really early. So we ditched that plan.
You can read about its trip:

Big Boy's 150th Anniversary Race Across the SW

2019 Helldorado

Greeting Intro Banner Now Seen on Fremont

~ ~ 4TH - Helldorado -

~ ~ Always the 3rd weekend in October. This year it was back to being a tremendously busy scene! Lots more people than the past 3 or 4 years. Cars were already parking up Eastern Allen Street, halfway up to Tenth!

Friday Morning Helldorado 2019
Cars parking up Eastern Part of Allen

~ ~ We just spent a little time in town on Fri. morning. We lucked out finding a spot across from Schieffelin Hall - 1 angled spot on 4th! We could've walked in, but we were going out of town after lunch, anyway.

People Beginning to Get Into Town
Crystal Palace is Always a Place for Us to Stop!

~ ~ 5TH - Tombstone Territorial Rendezvous (TTR)

~ ~ This is a terrific event sponsored by the Wild West History Association. It's a yearly feature in Tombstone Arizona. Presentations from historian volunteers in WWHA given daily in Schieffelin Hall. This year's theme was "Tombstone's Melting Pot."

~ ~ You don't have to be a member to attend. Just pay the fee for the 5 days (or just the Sat., if you want). But they do hope you'll join - that will certainly make it easier to know the dates of their events. Plus they offer wonderful information in their journals.

TTR Presentations at Schieffelin Hall, Tombstone AZ

~ ~ But not only that. There are tours, skits, re-enactments, book discussions & more. Audience involvement is encouraged.

Nancy Takes a Question During the Walking Tour

Special Pioneer Home Tour - 1880s Original Miner's Cabin

Evening in the Historic Courthouse
Re-Enacting W.C. Greene Trial for Murder

Revenge May Be Motive - But It Isn't A Defense!

~ ~ It all tops off with a Saturday evening dinner. This year it was at that fabulous ranch - Tombstone Monument. And it finished off on Sunday with Cowboy Church - this year it took place at The Larian.

P.S. Both recommended places to stay when you're in town - we've stayed at both of them before!

Bill with Tombstone Bob at the TTR Dinner at Monument Ranch

~ ~ 5TH - What Made Wyatt Tick?

~ ~ On Sat., Oct. 19th at the Courthouse, author Mark Warren gave this presentation. We wanted to attend, it was the Helldorado weekend. Something came up & we had to leave town the prior afternoon, so couldn't make it. But we were surprised - he was at the TTR. We heard his wonderful talk on Wyatt: "Rocky Road to Researching Wyatt Earp." Purchased his Wyatt Trilogy. Bill is nearly finished with them all! He's enjoying them, for sure.

~ ~ 6TH - Frogs Legs? Does that sound scary? Or not!

~ ~ Johnny Ringo's Saloon had a unique Pre-Halloween Special dinner. On October 30th, it was fried Frogs Legs & Boom Boom Dipping Sauce, plus french fries. We were a little skittish, but signed up for the 5 pm serving. It turned out just fine & we did find we liked them. At least served the way Ringo's did 'em!

~ ~ We're not way adventurous on sampling different sorts of food. We did have some salt water crocks, starter style, when Down Under. But not any roos! I'm a bit more squeamish than Bill, for sure! But we both did A-OK with the frogs (fried, anyway). So, have you ever had 'em - the frogs legs?

Frogs Legs & Fries at Ringo's, Tombstone
Thanks to Tombstone Bob for taking the Photo!

~ ~ 7TH - Some Insider News

~ ~ A few new things going on in town. Just wanted to get a short update here. Will have more on these next month!

~ ~ First off - Four Deuces Saloon has been up for sale. Well, there's now a taker. Someone has a deal, but no one seems to know who it is. So to be continued!

~ ~ There's a new opening in town. As you arrive on Hwy. 80, only just past Boot Hill, you'll see it on your left. Called "Tombstone Trading Post." We'll be checking it out before long.

Hope You Had a Fun & Safe Halloween!


~ ~ The Grand Prize Winner - The First and Second Prize Winners will be announced soon! It will take approximately 10 days to round up all our judges, to get their evaluations.

~ ~ The deadline for all entries was midnight Arizona time (Mountain Standard Time), November 3, 2019.

~ ~ The contest was a promotion. We are giving away the prizes & we provide the method of getting them to the winners.

Click Here to Have a Peek!



Click Here>


Hope Everyone Has a Wonderful

Thanksgiving Holiday


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Until Next Month,

Karen & Bill McGowan
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