Another Day in . . .

We’re back in Tombstone, it’s still kind of early so we’re walking the streets pretending we’re cowboys.

A lady who was staying here let us look at her room, very nice.

Nellie Cashman and her partner Joseph Pascholy co-owned and ran a restaurant and hotel in Tombstone called The Russ House. The Russ House offered meals to miners and homeless at little or no cost. Nellie served 50-cent meals, advertising that “there are no cockroaches in my kitchen and the flour is clean.” Nellie had rooms available for $8.00 per week. Nellie fed the hungry, needy and desperate never turning anyone away.

Just down the street a bit is the legendary Bird Cage Theatre

It opened on December 24, 1881, and gained a reputation as one of the wickedest theaters between New Orleans and San Francisco.

Its doors were open 24/7 and by 1889, it would be the site of 16 gunfights and 140 bullet holes in the building. 

Beside having a wide range of nightly nightly entertainment from Can-Can dancers to comedy shows it was also a casino, a dance hall, a poker hall and a brothel.

The theater also had women in the world’s oldest profession who sat in cribs up above the lobby and  above the stage, doing their thing.

It’s said that the longest playing poker game in U.S. history took place down here in the poker hall of the Bird Cage Theatre, lasting 8 years, 5 months and 3 days. Players had to buy a $1,000 minimum to play.   The game started when The Bird Cage Theatre opened and players would have to give notice before vacating their seats and there were always players waiting to step in to take their place.

Not much has changed at the Bird Cage Theatre since its heyday. Although it’s now a museum, just about everything in there is original, including the stage curtain, the ‘bird cages’ and many objects down in the poker room.

Are you ready for a Gunfight.

The original OK Corral

It was a fun show, they also acted out things that happened before the big gunfight.

Big Nose Kate’s Saloon first got its start as The Grand Hotel opening in September 9, 1880.

The Grand Hotel was declared as one of the finest hotels in the state, the hotel was luxuriously furnished, provided thick carpeting, and its walls were adorned with costly oil paintings. Providing 16 bedrooms, each with a “view,” they were fitted with solid walnut furnishings, toilet stands, fine fixtures, and wallpaper. The lobby was equipped with three elegant chandeliers and more luxurious furnishings, while the kitchen boasted hot and cold running water and facilities to serve some 500 people in the span of a couple of hours. The hotel opened with an invitation-only ball on September 9, 1880.

Today, the building is home to Big Nose Kate’s Saloon. A number of changes have been made to the original structure since it burned and has been rebuilt but it still holds the Grand Hotel’s original long bar.

Big Nose Kate / Her real name was Mary Katharine Harony.

It seems as if everyone, men and women, had nicknames in the Old West.  But, we know her as Big Nose Kate, Doc Holliday’s girlfriend. She didn’t have a big nose. It’s said she got that nickname because she had a habit of sticking her nose in other people’s business.

We had dinner here, it was really good, plus there is always live music playing just like back in the 1800s.

Just down the road from Tombstone is the Boothill Graveyard.

In the early years Tombstone’s Boot Hill Graveyard (1878-1884) was originally called the “City Cemetery”. After the city built the Tombstone Cemetery on the west end of Allen Street, the “City Cemetery” was then called the old cemetery. Sometime around 1929 and the towns first Helldorado Days, people started calling the “Old Cemetery” Boot Hill Graveyard.

Cowboys who “died with their boots on” lie next to housewives, business men and women, miners, gamblers, ladies of the “red-light district” and all the famous and not so famous occupants that are part of Boot Hill Graveyard. Here are only a few pictures of what we saw.

This poor guy, Tom Waters was shot because somebody didn’t like the color of his shirt. I wonder what color it was?                                                                                                

This graveyard has it’s own song performed by Johnny Cash, “The Ballad of Boot Hill.”

Unmarked graves

There was a section for all the Chinese and another area for the Jewish. It is believed some 300 persons in all were buried here. It was common for bodies to be found in various parts in and outside of town, with no one ever being able to identify them, so they were buried with no markings, or as “unknown.”

The population in Tombstone increased to approximately 7,500 by the mid-1880s. However, this figure only consisted of the white males over the age of 21 that were registered vote. The figure that consists of women, children and other ethnicities, the population was at least 15,000 and possibly as much as 20,000. Tombstone was considered as the fastest populating city between San Francisco and St. Louis. Tombstone was home to more than 100 saloons, a multitude of eateries, a huge red-light district, a large population of Chinese, newspapers, churches and schools.

2 thoughts on “Another Day in . . .

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