Just outside the green and lush Mormon village of St. David, Highway 80 rises onto the dry scrubby plane where Ed Schieffelin struck silver in 1879, defying the soldiers who’d predicted he’d find only his own tombstone out there.
The town of the same name became one of the largest, rowdiest, and deceptively sophisticated locales in the Southwest for a time, a place where legends were created daily by overheated newspapermen, and where a 30-second gunfight of dubious legality became a defining frontier myth.
These days, about 1,600 residents still call Tombstone home, many of them retirees or people working in some capacity for the town’s tourism industry, which attracts visitors, many of them from Europe, year-round.
In March, Tombstone celebrates its founder during Ed Schieffelin Territorial Days. In April the Tombstone Rose Tree Festival shines the light on the record-making rose tree, and in May, Tombstone’s most famous citizen gets his own party during Wyatt Earp Days. The anniversary of that infamous gunfight warrants a celebration every year in October.
© Tim Hull from Moon Tucson, 1st Edition