Tombstone Hotels

Tombstone HotelWhat's Your Best Choice?


Tombstone hotels have been in existence just about as long as the town has had people! People began arriving after Ed Schieffelin and his associates founded the mining district here. They developed silver mine strikes like the Ground Hog, Owl Nest, Lucky Cuss, Tough Nut and the Grand Central. They officially recorded The Tombstone Mining District with Pima County on April 7, 1878.

Tombstone was awarded a Post Office in early 1879. Town lots were sold. An interim government was selected, while awaiting a general election. Fred White became town Marshal. 

Tombstone's first hotel was built in late 1879. It still stands today - the San Jose House. For Tombstone Hotel History - Click Here>



Easy List of Your Best Tombstone Hotel Finds

Right in the Thick of Things! Downtown...

Larian Motel Entrance

Budget Host Inn - 502 East Fremont Street. 1-800-BUD-HOST or 520-457-3478

  • Budget & historic rooms, some with great views. One block to Allen Street.


Larian Motel - 410 East Fremont Street. (520) 457-2272

  • Popular stay. One block to Allen Street.


T. Miller's Mercantile Hotel - 530 East Allen Street.  (520) 457-2405

  • Right at the edge of town, on Allen Street - views of all the excitement! Sit on that balcony to get your own front row seat. All rooms upstairs.


Tombstone San Jose House - 1 North 5th Street, corner of Fremont. (520) 990-5268 or bookings@tombstonesanjosehouse.com

  • Truly historic - the oldest Tombstone hotel! Three different rooms available. Just 1 block to Allen Street, right in the middle of town! A vintage experience.



Wyatt's Hotel - 109 South 3rd Street. (520) 678-7281

  • Half block South of Allen Street. All rooms upstairs. Three suites available include continental breakfast.

Walking Distance to That Town Too Tough to Die...

Sage Brush Inn - 227 North 4th Street. (520) 457-2311

  • Historic 1947 building in an area of wonderful valley views. About a 2 block walk to downtown


Trail Rider's Inn - 13 North 7th Street. (520) 457-3573

  • Basic motel, small rooms with 2 Queen-size beds and Western decor. Park right outside your door. 3 block walk to town.


Tombstone Boarding House Inn - 114 North 4th Street. (520) 457-8075

  • About a 2 block walk to town. Excellent ratings from reviewers.

A Little Farther Out - How Extraordinary?!

NOTE: Some may feel these are walking distance to town. And they probably are - ONE mile. But about half the way, there aren't sidewalks, and it's along a busy highway. So be cautious if you decide to walk.


Landmark Lookout Lodge - As you enter Tombstone city limits on Hwy. 80 South, entrance on the Right. (520) 457-2223

  • Many amenities such as included cooked-to-order morning breakfast, seasonal pool, outdoor patio, free parking, trails, business center & free WiFi.

Tombstone Grand Hotel - 580 West Randolph Way, off Hwy. 80. (520) 457-9507 or (855) 90-GRAND - Email: info@tombstonegrand.com

  • Amenities designed to provide on-site entertainment such as evening activities, complementary newspaper, free WiFi, HD TV with over150 channels & free movies, outdoor fire pit and barbecue grill. Also rooms with views, heated pool & spa, and a complementary unique themed hot breakfast.

Are There Any Unpopular Tombstone Hotel Reviews?

Tombstone Hotel reviews

Before we moved to town, we often came to Tombstone for days at a time. Just like you're planning to do. (Our Story!) We sampled various Tombstone hotel options. Another of our website pages lists the hotels in town where we've stayed, including the local bed & breakfasts.

We've given our opinion on how we liked them. You can check that out - Click Here>



Why Get a Hotel in a Surrounding Area?

When we were visitors, we never wanted to do that. We wanted to be able to walk to our room.

But - if you look for a Tombstone hotel at the last minute during a Tombstone Event - you may be out of luck to find something in town. Or you may want to find something a little more budget-minded. Towns just a little drive away may have what you want. Take a look...

Sierra Vista

If you're looking for a budget Tombstone area hotel stay - there's lots of options here. It's a 25 to 35 minute drive on Charleston Road to get into Tombstone. Some close-in, direct drive choices are:

  • Knights Inn - (520) 459-5035. ~ 1551 East Fry Blvd. [When working on our Fixer-Upper home, our Tucson contractor stayed here & found it quite suitable & economical]
  • Sierra Vista Extended Stay Hotel - (520) 458-0540.  ~ 1850 East Wilcox Dr.
  • Days Inn - (520) 226-4907. ~ 3460 East Fry Blvd.
  • Comfort Inn & Suites - (520) 459-0515. ~ 3500 E Fry Blvd.

Benson

Benson to Tombstone is about a 35 minute drive straight off of Interstate 10. Take Hwy. 80 South to Tombstone. The first is right along the way to Tombstone, the other 2 choices are off the Interstate.

  • Sahara Motel - (520) 586-3611. ~ 1150 AZ-80.
  • Quality Inn - (520) 586-3646. ~ 699 North Ocotillo Rd.
  • Days Inn - (520) 720-0055. ~ 621 West Commerce Dr.


Why the History of Tombstone Hotels
Will Change Your Life!

Well - maybe not change your entire life! But it could enhance your visit to Tombstone AZ! And knowing some Tombstone hotel history may surely give you a good appreciation for the town's story, when you walk the streets. Let's see how five hotels developed here, right at the start. Which ones do you think you can find today?


The San Jose House

Samantha E. Fallon was an entrepreneurial woman from San Jose California. In 1879 she bought lots at the Northwest corner of Fremont and 5th Street. Near the end of the year construction of her 20 room hotel was complete.1 She hired a local woman, Francis Jackson, a miner's sister, to manage the place. Samantha stayed until March 1880 to ensure things were off to a good start, and then she went back to California.2 

Apparently she felt opportunities were abundant in town. She returned in August to open a local hat shop right down the street.2 She then split her time managing her two establishments.

You can still stay in this historic Tombstone hotel today - The San Jose House.


Mohave Hotel - Brown's Hotel

Brown's Hotel, Tombstone AZ

It's about a tie, whether this or the San Jose is the oldest Tombstone hotel. The San Jose construction began first - as an adobe building in very early 1879. The Mohave Hotel began as a wood frame and canvas building. Charles R. Brown completed its contruction on the Northeast corner of 4th and Allen Street in April 1879.

Soon he began working on a more permanent structure - an adobe building. When it was done he hired an experienced couple to manage it - John and Leonie Holly. They had managed the American Hotel in Phoenix.

Brown's Hotel Ad, Tombstone Arizona Territory

All the while Brown continued to expand the hotel.  Eventually it became among the largest of all hotels in Arizona Territory. So he changed its name to Brown's Hotel. As he expanded he located the hotel lodging to the upper floors, and rented out the lower floors. A restaurant was on one side, and Hafford's Wholesale Liquors on the other.3


Rural House

Henry G. Howe built this Tombstone hotel, completed in late 1879. He promoted it as first class lodging, with the best meals available. It was located on Allen Street, close to 5th. Rutledge and Crowe took over from Howe somewhere around the summer of 1880. The Holly husband and wife couple ran their kitchen, until John Holly overdosed on Laudenum in January 1880. Then Mrs. Holly took over on her own.


Russ House

Sol T. Anderson and Jacob Smith were experienced hoteliers who built this now historic Tombstone hotel. Located at the Southwest corner of Toughnut and 5th, it had a veranda on both streets. You could view the mines from there!

Constructed of adobe, it had a huge dining room and the most modern stove available in its kitchen. They also provided a reading room and a bar-room. They advertised their lodging rooms had spring mattresses. 

The walls of this memorable Tombstone hotel still stand. Much of the interior has been lost and/or reworked. But enough is still there for the establishment to be on the National Register of Historic Places.

Through the years it has had reinventions. For some time it was managed and partly owned by Nellie Cashman. Thus in more modern years it was called Nellie Cashman's, reinvented as a restaurant. Now it has totally been changed. The Russ House Building is now a restaurant called Las Margaritas. When it was sold to the most recent owner, I understand the right to the Nellie Cashman name did not come along with the sale (sigh!) - which transformed the whole atmosphere.


Grand Hotel

Grand Hotel Business Card

Charles Brown and Sylvester B. Comstock partnered together. They obtained lots on 4th Street, swinging over to meet past the Southeast corner of Allen Street. On it they constructed their fine hotel of adobe brick. Along Allen Street, the lower window panes were designed with fine archways.

The grand opening was on September 9, 1880. The main entrance was on 4th. The Grand Hotel had two stories. It was truly a grand establishment!

  • The first floor had the main office, plus a bar and dining room
  • A kitchen was located in a rear separate building - they could feed 300 people at once
  • A wonderful stairway went upstairs to the lodging rooms
  • At the top of the stairway was an exquisite public parlor with opulent carpeting
  • Private rooms designed for singles and families, were decorated with the lush carpeting and deluxe furnishings

Today you can see the front archways along Allen Street, which once fronted the Grand on Allen Street. The other Grand Hotel today, has taken the name - but has nothing to do with this original. 

Some historical notables through the years:

  1. Johnny Behan, a foe of Wyatt Earp, worked as a part-time bartender there
  2. On October 14, 1880 a meeting of the local Masonic Association was held in their public parlor. It was to organize a Masonic Lodge hall plan.
  3. October 26, 1881 - Frank McLaury and Billy Clanton arrive in Tombstone, come in to the hotel and see Doc Holliday there. They greet each other. Later that day they're all involved in the Shoot-out at the O.K. Corral.
  4. When the Cowboys came to town - specifically the Clantons and the McLaurys - they normally would stay at the Grand.
  5. May 16, 1882 - the devastating Tombstone fire destroyed most of the Grand
  6. The Grand was not rebuilt, but in its place Comstock built another structure which could contain multiple businesses. He rented out these portions, including a basement.2


Cosmopolitan Hotel

Cosmopolitan Hotel in Tombstone AZCompleting the Upper Floor of the Cosmopolitan - 1880

Carl Gustave Frederick Bilicke and his son Albert Clay came to Tombstone in the autumn of 1879. They were toting a lot of furniture with plans for a Tombstone hotel. Carl partnered with farmer Sam Wise, for financing.

At first they erected a hotel tent on the North side of Allen Street, close to 4th. They had 50 beds, a bar with a restaurant, and a piano! But they immediately began working on a permanent structure. It became two stories. By 1880 Carl bought out his partner, so that he and his son were the sole owners.

The new lodging area of the finished hotel accommodated 25 upstairs. They also had a Ladies' Parlor, sitting rooms, a meeting/event room, and a store. A front veranda facing an orange grove was a delightful addition.2

When the Earps began facing troubles from the Cowboys they decided to move out of their homes. They felt they would be safer temporarily living in a hotel. Virgil and Allie, Wyatt and Morgan all moved into rooms in the Cosmopolitan Hotel.

The Evolution of Other
Favored Historic Tombstone Hotels

As the Tombstone population grew, and the reputation of the town spread - more and more hostelry rooms were needed. Enterprising business people headed straight to town to find their best spots. 

Some other favored Tombstone hotels were...

  • Morton House - An early hostelry in town owned by Mrs. Morton, an elderly semi-invalid woman. It was a large wood frame building on the South side of Toughnut Street, between 2nd and 3rd. Mrs. Morton lived there, and rented out rooms. It burned down on May 16, 1882 - that fire spread to other nearby structures.
  • Fly's Boardinghouse - In July 1880, Camillus Fly and his wife Mollie completed a boarding house with 12 rooms that attached to Camillus's photography studio.5 Mollie ran the hostelry. It nearly burned down in the 1882 fire, but just escaped with her hard protection work. Doc Holliday rented a room from her when he was in town. Big Nose Kate stayed there with him when she was in town.
  • American Hotel - Opened around the Spring of 1882. The proprietors were the very busy and productive Nellie Cashman, and her business partner Miss Cunningham. It was located just West of the San Jose House on Fremont St.
  • Tourist Hotel - Located at the Southeast corner of Allen and 5th Street. The hotel dated from the 1880s.4 It was next to the Bucket of Blood Saloon.2
  • Arcade Hotel - Owned by James Macia, of the Tombstone pioneering family, on 4th Street. It was severely damaged in a May 20, 1924 fire. After repairs and refurbishment by February 1936, it was renamed the Rose Tree Inn. Read More>
  • Sunnyside Hotel - Located at the Northeast corner of Toughnut and 5th Street, it was owned by Charles L. Cummings. He was a mainstay of the business community of Tombstone since its beginnings. The hotel burned down on May 17, 1919.
Occidental Hotel, Tombstone AZOccidental Hotel - Drawing from 1884
Palace Lodging House, Tombstone AZ
  • The Palace Lodging House - It billed itself as the only hotel in town which maintained two floors of rooms. Located on 5th Street, it was located between Allen and Toughnut Streets. The proprietor was Mrs. L. Young.
  • The Occidental Hotel - Built by Joseph Pascholy and Godfrey Tribolet (of Golden Eagle Brewery fame). It opened on April 7, 1883 - a great need after the devastation of the 1882 Tombstone fire. Located on Allen Street, Northeast corner of 4th, it had adobe construction and 40 rooms. There was a billiard room, a card room and a deluxe restaurant. It burned down on September 14, 1888 and they didn't rebuild it.
Hotel NoblesHotel Nobles in 1907
  • Arlington Hotel - By the summer of 1902, this was the only open hotel in town, since there had been such severe local economic depression for the past 7 years.
  • Hotel Nobles - From the refurbished Gird building at the corner of Fremont & 4th, Gene Nobles turned the second level into a hotel in August of 1902.


Tombstone Hotel Corporation

With the end of World War II, U.S. citizens had an optimism that gave way to travel. Tombstone took part in that optimistic outlook, and began looking at their historic town. A coast to coast roadway nicknamed "The Broadway of America" - actually U.S. Hwy. 80 at that time ran directly through town. How exciting!

Restoration of local history was in the works! Tourists could come to town, making it a destination. Tombstone hotel rooms would be needed.

In 1946 a plan was presented to the city council. To refurbish the old court house, and make it a hotel. In February 1948 the Tombstone Hotel Corporation was formed to carry out this plan. The facility was to have 60 rooms, each with a private bath. Work began on the building. The funding to complete this project never did get it off the ground. Work was slow - probably a good thing. The lease they held from the city was revoked in 1952 for breach of contract.2

Instead work began to restore it as the Courthouse it had been.2 The rest is history!


References

1 Weekly Nugget (1879, October 28).

2 Bailey, L.R. (2004) Too tough to die: The rise, fall and resurrection of a silver camp; 1878 to 1990. Tucson AZ: Westernlore Press.

3 Arizona Quarterly Illustrated (1880, October).

4 Pioneer Landmark After Fire (1942, May 28). Burned tires draw saddest sigh from Tombstone victim. Tucson AZ: Arizona Daily Star.

5 Arizona Women's Hall of Fame (2017) Mary "Mollie" E. Fly (1847-1925): Inducted in 1989. Retrieved from https://www.azwhf.org/inductions/inducted-women/mary-mollie-e-fly-1847-1925/


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