Tuesday, November 27

The wildest, wickedest night spot

Raven with some cigar store statues. Photo by Super Inky.
My buddy Inky was back in Arizona for a recent visit but we weren't able to get together ... again.

As Inky would say, "Argh!"

While she was here she and my other friend Raven visited Clementine's old home: Tombstone, Ariz.

Without us.

Clementine and I both had a good laugh when Inky wrote:

Here's Raven with some cigar store statues. We definitely learned that Tombstone, in its heyday, was not a good place for kids. It was full of saloons, cowboys, and dancing ladies. There were even gunfights. Yikes! 

Gee, you think? 

Tombstone was founded in 1879 by Ed Schieffelin in what was then Pima County, Arizona Territory. It was one of the last wide-open frontier boomtowns in the American Old West. Its population grew from 100 to around 14,000 in less than seven years. In 1881, it became the county seat of the new Cochise County.

Far distant from any other metropolitan city, by mid-1881 Tombstone boasted a bowling alley, four churches, an ice house, a school, two banks, three newspapers, and an ice cream parlor, as well as 110 saloons, 14 gambling halls, and numerous dance halls and brothels. All of these were situated among and on top of a large number of dirty, hardscrabble mines.

The gentlemen and ladies of Tombstone attended operas presented by visiting acting troupes at the Schieffelin Hall opera house, while the miners and cowboys saw shows at the Bird Cage Theatre, "the wildest, wickedest night spot between Basin Street and the Barbary Coast" according to The New York Times in 1882.

Clementine certainly had her hands full keeping peace in the streets of Tombstone.

Ever hear of the Gunfight at O.K. Corral? That's how we met.

No comments:

Post a Comment