Fan of Western movies? Then there’s no doubt you’re already familiar with Tombstone and the infamous gunfight at the O.K. Corral.
But instead of walking in the footsteps of Kurt Russell on some Hollywood set, walk the wooden boardwalks along the dusty main drag in the real mining town of Tombstone.
After getting its start as a silver mining claim in the late-1870s, the settlement grew along with its Tough Nut Mine, becoming a bustling boomtown of the Wild West. From opera and theater to dance halls and brothels, Tombstone offered much-needed entertainment to the miners after a long shift underground. In 1886, the mines flooded and hit rock bottom, and the miners moved on to the next claim.
But the “Town Too Tough to Die” didn’t earn its nickname name for nothing.
Now a tourist hotspot, you can still hang up your cowboy hat and dust off your chaps in the numerous saloons, restaurants, and shops that line Allen Street – each building with its own story to tell. Begin your tour at the old Tombstone Courthouse, now a museum, and be a part of the action with live reenactments of the shootouts that made the town famous held on every corner – the most notable at the iconic O.K. Corral
Visit the site of the famous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral® in historic Tombstone. See daily reenactments of the exciting Gunfight with Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Virgil and Morgan Earp, and the Clantons and McLaurys. Stand where the Gunfight began. Admire life-sized animated figures of the gunfighters placed according to Wyatt Earp’s own map. See Doc Holliday’s room. Visit five historic museum displays. Enjoy over 100 fascinating photos of 1880s Tombstone and the Apache Geronimo taken by Tombstone photographer C.S. Fly. Watch the Corral’s 1880s blacksmith work.
On October 26, 1881, long-simmering friction between the Earps and the Clanton-McLaury gang erupted in the vacant lot behind the O.K. Corral. In a fateful thirty seconds the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral left three men dead and three wounded. Today we paint this iconic event in images of black and white – lawmen and cattle rustlers, heroes and villains, a legendary example of Western vigilante justice – our vision framed by movies like Tombstone and My Darling Clementine. Whether walking side by side with Wyatt Earp along Allen Street’s covered wooden sidewalks, grabbing a coffee at a bed-and-breakfast overlooking the desert, or touring historical museums or haunted mines, Tombstone – a National Historic Landmark – offers unique opportunities to brush shoulders with the legends of the Wild West and experience “The town too tough to die.” The O.K. Corral Historic Complex includes daily reenactments of the infamous gunfight, as well as historic exhibits such as a photographic gallery and boarding house and a mining sluice where you can try your hand at gemstone mining. It’s also home to the “Tombstone Epitaph,” Arizona’s oldest newspaper still in publication.