Todd DeFeo

Five experiences when in Tombstone

The O.K. Corral attracts thousands of visitors every year. (Photo by Todd DeFeo / (c) 2012)

TOMBSTONE, Ariz. — The first glimpses of the “Town Too Tough to Die” could easily bring about sensory overload.

Which way to go? What to do first?

But, a visit to this wild west doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Here are five attractions worth experiencing:

The Bird Cage: Often described as “the wildest, wickedest night spot between Basin Street and the Barbary Coast,” setting into this old theater really is like stepping back in time. When the establishment shuttered in 1889, its doors were sealed until 1934 when new owners opened the building and found a literal window to the back.

Tombstone Courthouse: Built in 1882, this building served administrators of the then-newly created Cochise County, the building served in that capacity until 1929, when the county seat was relocated to Bisbee. At one point, a hotel was planned for the structure, but today the courthouse houses a museum dedicated to telling the complete (and historically accurate) story of Tombstone.

Boothill Graveyard (or Cemetery): Between 1879 and 1884, this was the town cemetery. Its permanent residents include Billy Clanton, Frank McLaury and Tom McLaury — the three men gunned down during the now-infamous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. By the 1920s, the cemetery was in dire need of restoration. Now restored, the cemetery is one of the city’s main tourist destinations, in part because of its sometimes humorous epitaphs (for example, that of Lester Moore: “Here lies Lester Moore / four slugs from a 44 / no Les no more”).

The Tombstone Epitaph: Founded in 1880, this famous newspaper is today the oldest continuously published newspaper in the Grand Canyon State. While the newspaper office isn’t a working newsroom, it is home to a rather interesting museum dedicated to telling the story about newspapers.

OK Corral Re-Enactment: When you’re here, you might as well experience Tombstone in all its glory.




About Todd DeFeo

Todd DeFeo loves to travel anywhere, anytime, taking pictures and notes. An award-winning reporter, Todd revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He is owner of The DeFeo Groupe and also edits Express Telegraph and