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Tombstone’s Bird Cage Theater

Tombstone’s Bird Cage Theater

Tombstone’s most celebrated theater was the Bird Cage. In its heyday between 1881 and 1889, the theater offered gambling, liquor, vaudeville entertainment and ladies of the night. In 1882, ~The New York Times~ referred to the Bird Cage as “the Roughest, Bawdiest and Most Wicked Night Spot between Basin Street and the Barbary Coast.”

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Tombstone’s deadliest gunfighter

John Peters Ringo — famously known as Johnny Ringo and dubbed Tombstone’s deadliest gunfighter — first turned up in Arizona at a bar in Safford in 1878, where he offered a whiskey to a man seated next to him. The unarmed man declined and said he preferred beer. Ringo then drew his pistol and fired, nicking the man’s ear. When the case came before a grand jury, Ringo did not appear.

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Barbering Badmen (access required)

A barber by trade, Emil Marks trimmed the hair and mustaches of Tombstone’s most notorious gunfighters, including the Earps, ‘Doc’ Holliday and the Clantons.

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Gilmore and Salisbury’s ‘custom’ smelter (access required)

Benson was established in June 1880 by the Southern Pacific and became an important maintenance center for the railroad and the shipping point for the Bisbee and Tombstone mines, neither of which was served by rail. The town was less than three months old when, according to the Tucson Citizen, “the first shipment of copper bullion from Bisbee (arrived) in Benson, where it (was) shipped to San Francisco.” It was transported to Benson by mule-drawn wagons, weighing 43,003 pounds.

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Tombstone’s Boothill Cemetery (access required)

The Boothill Cemetery, which was laid out in 1878 on a rocky hillside facing the Dragoon Mountains, earned the name for a reason. If a body was buried not wearing boots, it meant the person died of natural causes. If the body was buried wearing boots, it meant the person was killed.

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