Saturday, March 17, 2012

How Did Tombstone, AZ Get Its Name?

Tombstone, AZ is 20 minutes from our house-a great place to begin our Spring Break. Most of us thought Tombstone got its name from all the famous gunslingers of the  West who are buried in Boot Hill in Tombstone. We found out we were wrong.

The town was named after an Indian Scout who was stationed at Fort Huachuca. On his days off he would venture into the desert hills that Cochise and other Native Americans habited looking for silver. He asked the Calvary to protect him as he looked for the silver mines. They refused so he ventured out on his own. He was told he would never find silver but only his own tombstone in his searching. When he indeed found silver in the rocks he named the area Tombstone-and thus his discovery created the boomtown of Tombstone when in the days of mining silver it had 4,000 people.

We walked the streets that Wyatt Earp, his brothers, Doc Holiday, Billy the Kid and many other famous gunslingers walked. We learned the history of this famous Western town in no time. The main streets are blocked off to cars. We found only stagecoaches, horses and people walking on foot on these streets. Many people were dressed in costume of these famous years of this boomtown.

Doc Holiday, Sr. Elizabeth Ann, Wyatt Earp

We had lunch at the Longhorn Restaurant and viewed some gun fights at the Wyatt Earp Theater. The gun fights at the OK Corral were already sold out.

Original bar of one of the town's many saloons.

We also walked to Sacred Heart Catholic Church where the original Catholic Church is still there but now is their parish hall. The famous Nellie Cashman, who Bishop Kicanas talked about yesterday at the diocesan conference as being one of the early Catholic pioneers of the diocese who helped to spread the Catholic faith, lived here in Tombstone. She was an Irish immigrant lass who recruited miners and cowboys in her restaurant to tear down the gallows stand and build the first Catholic Church in Tombstone. She is called "The Angel of Tombstone".

Original windows of first church built in 1881.

Largest rose tree in the world.

Trunk of the rose tree.

 A colorful character of the West today!


  1. Love the pictures! Thanks for sharing. My sisters and I were here a few years back and had a great time. I didn't remember the history of the name of the town, so thank you for the story. If we make it back, I'll have to get them to check out the Catholic Church.

  2. Oh, hope the rest of your Spring Break is as much fun!

  3. Thank you for the visit to Tombstone, AZ and the interesting history. I bet Sister Elizabeth Ann didn't know she would meet Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday. It was good that you had a break and were able to enjoy it.

  4. This was a very interesting post. I'm glad you all enjoyed your time in Tombstone AND shared it with so many others.

  5. Went here in Oct 2013...Great place!!! VERY interesting!! Looking at the photos brought back many wonderful experiences while there.