Tombstone hotels have been in existence just about as long as the town has had people! People began arriving after Ed Schieffelin founded the Mining District here. They developed silver mines like the Lucky Cuss, Tough Nut and the Grand Central.
Tombstone was awarded a Post Office in early 1879. Tombstone's first hotel was built in late 1879. It still stands today: the San Jose House.
Right to Tombstone In-Town Hotels>
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Larian Motel - 410 East Fremont Street. (520) 457-2272
Allen Street Inn - 101 E Allen Street.
Sage Brush Inn - 227 North 4th Street. (520) 457-2311
Mountain View Efficiency - 590 South Skyline Circle. (856) 341-6515
T. Miller's Mercantile Hotel - 530 East Allen Street. (520) 457-2405
Trail Rider's Inn - 13 North 7th Street. (520) 457-3573
Landmark Lookout Lodge - As you enter Tombstone city limits on Hwy. 80 South, entrance on the Right. (520) 457-2223
Tombstone Grand Hotel - 580 West Randolph Way, off Hwy. 80. (520) 457-9507 or (855) 90-GRAND - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
There are other types of choices to be had for your Tombstone lodging in Arizona. Why not consider these?
Before living in Tombstone, we often came to town to visit for days at a time. Just like you're planning to do. We tried various hotels in Tombstone Arizona. Sometimes we still sample them. Check our website pages that list the hotels in town where we've stayed. That includes other Tombstone lodging like local Bed & Breakfasts and the really convenient Vacation Rentals.
We've given our opinion, reviews about how we liked them. Or the opinions of any of our relatives or friends who've stayed. See our Hotel - Tombstone Arizona - Reviews>
As visitors, we never liked doing that. We wanted to be able to walk to our lodging.
But - if you look for a Tombstone hotel at the last minute during a Tombstone Event - you may be out of luck finding 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...
Click Your Deal to Choose Your Dates...
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, on Hwy. 80. The other 2 choices are off the Interstate.
Well - maybe not change your entire life! But it could enhance your visit to Tombstone AZ! And knowing some Tombstone hotels, with their AZ history may surely give you 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?
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 local woman, Francis Jackson, a miner's sister, to manage it. Samantha stayed until March 1880 ensuring things started off well. Then went back to California.2
Apparently she felt opportunities were abundant in town. She returned in August, opening a hat shop right down the street.2 She then split her time managing the two establishments.
You can still stay in this historic hotel in Tombstone Arizona today: San Jose House.
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 construction on the Northeast corner of 4th and Allen Street in April 1879.
Soon he began working on the more permanent structure: an adobe building. When completed, he hired an experienced couple to manage it: John and Leonie Holly. They'd managed the American Hotel in Phoenix.
Brown continued expanding the hotel. Eventually it became among the largest of all hotels in Arizona Territory. So he changed its name to Brown's Hotel.2 While expanding he relocated the Lodging Areas to upper floors, renting out lower floors. A restaurant on one side, and Hafford's Wholesale Liquors on the other.3
Henry G. Howe built this Tombstone hotel, completed in late 1879. He promoted it as first class lodging, with the best meals available. Located on Allen Street, close to 5th.2 Rutledge and Crowe took over from Howe around summertime, 1880. The Holly couple ran their kitchen. Then John Holly overdosed on Laudenum in January 1880. Mrs. Holly took over herself.
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. View of the mines from there!
Adobe construction, with a huge dining room and the latest modern stove in its kitchen. There was a reading room and a bar-room. And their lodging rooms had spring mattresses!2
The walls of this memorable Tombstone hotel still stand. Most interior has been lost and/or reworked. But enough still there for the establishment to be on the National Register of Historic Places.
Through the years it's had reinventions. For a time Nellie Cashman was part-owner. Thus in more modern years it was called Nellie Cashman's, reinvented as a restaurant. Now it's totally been changed. The Russ House Building is now a restaurant called Las Margaritas. When sold to the most recent owner, I understand the right to the Nellie Cashman name didn't come with the sale (sigh!) That transformed the Whole Russ House Atmosphere.
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.
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:
Carl Gustave Frederick Bilicke and his son Albert Clay came to Tombstone in autumn, 1879. With lots of furniture and plans for a Tombstone hotel.
At first it was a hotel tent on the North side of Allen Street, close to 4th. (Just to the West was Brown's Hotel.) With 50 beds, a bar and restaurant, plus a piano! They simultaneously worked on a permanent structure: two stories.
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. The front veranda faced an orange grove, a delightful addition.2
When the Earps began facing troubles from Cochise County Cowboys they moved out of their homes. They felt they'd be safer temporarily living in a hotel. Virgil and Allie, Wyatt and Morgan all moved into rooms in the Cosmopolitan Hotel.
As the Tombstone population grew, and the reputation of the town spread. More hostelry rooms and lodging were needed. Enterprising business people headed straight to town to find their best spots.
Some other favored Tombstone hotels were...
With World War II ending, U.S. citizens had optimism that encouraged travel. Tombstone took part in that positive outlook, and began appraising 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. Hotel rooms in Tombstone Arizona would be needed.
In 1946 a plan was presented to the city council. To refurbish the old court house, making it a Tombstone hotel. In February 1948 the Tombstone Hotel Corporation was formed to fulfill this. The facility was to have 60 rooms with a private bath. Work began. But funding for completion was never produced. Work was slow. Probably a good thing. The city lease they held was revoked in 1952 for breach of contract.2
Instead work began for restoration as the Courthouse it had historically been.2 The rest is history!
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/