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Wyatt's Houses? Quite a Few! Tombstone Tips Issue 41
August 06, 2020

Insider Info Newsletter

August 2020 - Issue #41


~ ~ Wyatt Earp House

~ ~ July Events/Insider Update Review

~ ~ The Latest at Tombstone Travel Tips


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Wyatt Earp - Circa 1890

Roamed the West
Owned Few Houses - Rented Many More

#1 - Intro

~ ~ Wyatt Earp continues to be a man of much interest. When we research subjects for newsletters, many are searching areas of his life's varied details. We decided to look up places he lived, look for homes he'd lived in.

~ ~ There is one called the Wyatt Earp House in Tombstone - we WILL get to that one! But what others are there? Are they around still? Wyatt was a roamer. Never stayed in one place very long. So we'll investigate the places. Let's see.

Mural in Monmouth IL - Photo Credit: David Wilson
Taken June 13, 2016 . flickr

#2 - Birthplace & Early Years

~ ~ Wyatt Earp was born in Monmouth Illinois. Wyatt Earp's first house is now called the Wyatt Earp Birthplace Museum. They do appreciate the history they have there. They even recall the front bedroom of his birth. Visit at 406 So. 3rd St. You can see more details for the Wyatt Earp Birth Museum here.

~ ~ The Earps moved to Pella Iowa. Lived in a ground floor apartment of a rented row house on Franklin St. According to the Pella Historical Society, built by Van Speckeren, a man of Netherlands immigrant descent. Closed this year for restorations. Within the Pella Historical Village.

~ ~ Wyatt's father then moved the family to the San Bernardino area of California. According to the city, they first camped just East of today's intersection of Sierra Way & Court St. Dad Earp found a rental farm - along the Santa Ana River in the northern part of what's now Redlands. Both areas all changed today. Built up, modern citrus farms, some trails & park areas. His memory gone!

Old Green Spot Bridge in NE Redlands CA over the Santa Ana River

Photo Credit: Don Graham on Flickr
The Santa Ana is Now Often Dry

#3 - Wyatt's House When A Young Man

~ ~ The family moved to Lamar Missouri. When looking at Wyatt's Lamar history, we see he didn't want to remember that town. His wife died there, it's when his law trouble began - though it was also his first lawman job. The City only mentions him in passing, while promoting the town as President Truman's birthplace.

~ ~ On a downward spiral by general standards - Wyatt's next stop was Peoria Illinois. That's where we find the next Wyatt Earp house. Neighborhood complaints prompted a warrant: Wyatt's accused of "keeping and being found at a house of ill-fame..." Thus, he "kept" the house. A city directory has him on Washington St., near Hamilton. He paid his fine. From there, he moved the business to an Illinois River gunboat, the Samuel P. Carter. We discover this boat/house because of a raid.

~ ~ After these events, Wyatt returns to his family. That's Aullville MO, then moves to Kansas, Sumner County, for honest work along the Chisholm Trail.

#4 - On To Lawman Days

~ ~ Wyatt turns up in Wichita KS. In the 1800s, Wichita kinda had a love/hate relationship for him. He lived somewhere, but they're not anxious to claim him now, it seems. Their historic Old Cowtown Museum says "Wyatt Earp served as a police man for year [sic] but was not the 'marshal that saved the town.'" In fact, he left under inglorious circumstances.

From the Wichita Eagle - Thurs., June 27, 1878 - Pg 3

Even With His Shady Exit, They Still Followed Him!

~ ~ Then to Dodge City. He probably rented there. But there's little left of the Old West town. Taking their Dodge City Walking Tour you find an Urban Renewal Project destroyed much. They do point out the spot where Bat Masterson's home was! While there, Wyatt detoured to Deadwood a very short time.

~ ~ Goodness! Back to Dodge City. Then traveled Texas (met Doc), moved to Fort Worth awhile. Worked at the Cattle Exchange Saloon, Corner Houston & 2nd St. Likely lived with brother James, who lived at 47 Main St. Then back to Dodge.

~ ~ Left for Las Vegas, New Mexico. Why? Retrieving Doc, since called by Virgil to convene in Prescott AZ for subsequent Tombstone AZ travel plans.

Arizona's Territory capitol in Prescott - ca. 1876

The Legislature met in the 2-story building.
3 Earp brothers gathered in Prescott before heading South.

~ ~ Arriving in Tombstone, eventually the brothers obtain homes. We know there's the home on Fremont St., NE corner of 2nd called Wyatt Earp house. For quite a few reasons, we contend Wyatt never lived there. Some say he owned the land this house is on - we've not seen corroboration. However, we have lots of documentation - [click to see>] for where Wyatt Really Lived in Tombstone. The place now is a sad looking vacant lot.

#5 - Life After Tombstone

~ ~ With an Arizona Warrant for him, Wyatt was gone from there! Settled in Gunnison Colorado for about 6 months.

~ ~ After that there was no doubt he was with Josie, when he showed up in Silverton Colorado, opening a gambling Hall. Stayed a bit over 1 year.

Silverton Colorado - From a 1901 Post Card

~ ~ The next arrival for a length of time was Eagle City Idaho, where he was Sheriff for Kootenai County. Also ran a Saloon with Gambling. As usual, in about 6 months they're on the road. 5 more intermittent places thru the West, before ending up in Aspen Colorado, partnering in a saloon. Just a little longer - in 7 months, gone again!

From Idaho Semi Weekly World
Tues., May 27, 1884 - Pg. 3
News From Idaho City

~ ~ Wyatt went to San Diego California. He bought a race horse, & opened the Oyster Bar with gambling at 835 5th Ave. (bordering today's Gas Lamp Quarter), leased 3 others. Bought properties. We passed the historic hotel, Grand Horton at 4th & Island, each time going into the city when we lived/worked SD for 10 years. Our favored parking a few blocks away. Just discovered from research Wyatt had lived there awhile! Wyatt found a home rental at 946 3rd Ave. - now taken over by Horton Plaza & Broadway Circle into Broadway. The area must've really agreed with them - they stayed 5+ years!

Interior Room of the Horton Grand Hotel in San Diego's Gas Lamp

Photo Credit: Bernard Gagnon - Own Work

~ ~ Next stop: San Francisco. They rented homes at a few addresses. At 145 Ellis St. - now overtaken by a Parking Garage; 720 McAllister St. - corner of Gough - now overtaken by a 3-story multi unit apt. complex & the same with 1004 Golden Gate Ave., corner of Laguna St. But one was 514A 7th Ave., in Richmond. The home is still there.

~ ~ Stayed in SF about 6 years, except for one summer traveling the midwest.

Wyatt's Rental Home in San Francisco, Still There

Photo Credit: Jypsijan Own Work

~ ~ In the Spring of 1897 the couple go to Yuma Arizona & stay til Aug. Guess they figured the warrant was forgotten? They're right over the California line, though. I can imagine leaving Yuma in Aug. - for Alaska! One extreme to the other. But it was for the Gold Rush.

~ ~ He's in Nome Alaska, partnering to open the Dexter Saloon. Back to Cal. every summer, but goes to Seattle the winter of 1899 opening a Gambling Hall.

Nome AK During the Time Wyatt Was There

#6 - Back in the SW of the U.S.

~ ~ 1902 Wyatt Earp's house now is someplace in Tonopah Nevada. Because the couple open the Northern Saloon. By next year's summer Wyatt's in El Paso Texas running saloon gambling games. Then next year in Cibola, Arizona in the Nov. election wins a constable election: 9 - 1.

~ ~ He returns to California the following year, begins mining. In a few years forms his own company. The couple moved back & forth between their mining venture in the Whipple Mountains in winter, where they lived in a house in Vidal. Returned to Los Angeles in summer, renting homes.

The River is the Colorado
From The Citrograph of Redlands CA - Sat., June 24, 1905 - Pg. 5

~ ~ But Wyatt Earp's house was in LA, a rental home: 4004 W 17th St., when he died in the winter of 1929. The home's no longer there. An article in 2011's Glendale News-Press says there's a plaque marking where it stood, another writer verified that last year.

~ ~ 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, (sigh - 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 - Independence Day

~ ~ Occurred without a hitch or disturbance.

~ ~ No other events are regularly scheduled in July.

~ ~ However just an FYI for this month of August: Doc Holli-Days is still on. The major guest appearance of Tombstone Film's Big Nose Kate actress, Joanna Pacula cancelled, though. For details on that - see our Events Link toward newsletter's end.


~ ~ Shuts - Sort-Of

~ ~ ~ Major happenings recently. 3 local bar-restaurants had a visit by Arizona's Liquor Board. Since the Governor's last Executive Order, according to their particular Liquor License, these could open with certain restrictions (link to that on our COVID page). Seems they weren't aligned with requirements. 2 of them we'd normally frequented pre-pandemic.

~ ~ ~ One was showing their bar/restaurant open as Normal. On Facebook photos posted fairly regularly.

~ ~ ~ That one responded with anger & closed down. Another immediately stated they'd now have take-out (allowed). Another went to take-out, but started wrangling: brought their entertainment & menu to an alternate business (it had been closed) for inside & patio dining/drinks.

~ ~ ~ Many local complaints started about this board action & the Governor's EO. The EO is somewhat tedious to follow (we try, when keeping the COVID page updated!). So many different types of Liquor Licenses, with varied rules. Could it be easier to line this out? (That's just rhetorical!!)

~ ~ Another Shut - What Happened at the Oriental?!!

~ ~ ~ Late in May the Oriental Saloon brought in Bingo slot machines as an added attraction. Arizona has Gaming Regulations mentioned on our Old West Gambling page. They were approved by the City & the proceeds went to Tombstone Forward a local charity, who had the Gambling License.

~ ~ ~ July 21st, AZ Dept. of Gaming raided with a warrant & confiscated 32 Bingo machines + an ATM & computer. Part of a state-wide illegal gaming swoop, included 13 others.

~ ~ ~ The machines were leased from Lynxx Technologies Inc., whose president insists they are legal devices. He noted in the press that no citations were issued & they're filing suit with ADOG. RJ closed what he'd kept open at the Oriental, saying it wasn't worth it now.

Oriental Saloon in Tombstone AZ is Empty for Now

~ ~ COVID In Cochise County & Tombstone AZ

~ ~ ~ The Governor extended the last Executive Order, still in early Aug. Arizona's curves for active cases & total death trajectories are skyward. But some averages have positive signs, show his Orders helping. Summary & links on our COVID-19 Update Info Page. + details on how COVID spreads.

~ ~ ~ Aug. 3rd AZ active cases 152,654. On Tue. Aug 4 in Cochise County, 1554 (almost double last month) cases overall, approx. 282 active, curve still increasing. Tombstone zip-code map confirms up to 10 cases. NOTE: Until more than 10, for privacy concerns, ADHS won't state specific number.

~ ~ ~ Please remember that COVID is a respiratory (airborne) disease. Once contracted, though, may affect many body systems & can have long-lasting effects.

So Please Stay Safe!

~ ~ Help Wanted in Tombstone - A Couple!

~ ~ ~ The Tombstone Bordello owner wants to hire a couple, starting Oct., to manage their place. Have your resume ready. Prefer experience, but if you're responsible, serious, dedicated, they're willing to train. 2 days off/week.

~ ~ ~ You'd have to cook breakfast, clean, take reservations, do checking-ins. Plus manage general needs: pool & hot tub care, proactive problem-solving, etc.

~ ~ ~ We posted this on our Facebook Page. You can also see it by going to & search for it there. Not sure where else you may find it. They have a Facebook Page, but of course the current managers take care of it. They won't be perusing your resume!

Tombstone Bordello Bed & Breakfast in Tombstone AZ

~ ~ No Longer the OYO!

~ ~ ~ I guess either the new management/owner or their corporate oversight recognized OYO wasn't something suitable for Tombstone Arizona. Even if it was their corporate branding!

~ ~ ~ So now the name & the sign out front is changed. Certainly is an improvement. Even if it doesn't quite have that historic feel! Meet the Tombstone Hotel on Fremont & 5th.

Now Called the Tombstone Motel


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Karen & Bill McGowan
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