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Tombstone Arizona: Boothill Graveyard, old west discovery road trip

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Formerly called the "Tombstone Cemetery", Boothill Graveyard in Tombstone, Arizona, has been made famous by the gunfight at the OK Corral. Although there are other cemeteries called "Boot Hill," the most notable use of the name is in Old Tombstone.

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Tombstone Arizona is a one hour drive south of Tucson. From Tucson take Interstate 10 south to Benson, and then take State Highway 80 to Tombstone "The town too tough to die".

Located along the highway as you enter the town of Tombstone the graveyard makes a great first stop on your tour of town. Travelers enter through the fun gift shop that carries many items of interest about the old west and westerns. There is a humorous sign on the wall stating, “Guns not allowed. The Graveyard is full.” Daily Hours are 8 a.m. to dusk.

The most infamous people buried there are Billy Clanton, Frank McLaury and Tom McLaury; the three men who were killed during the famed Gunfight at the OK Corral. Their graves are well-marked to the right of the cemetery entrance. Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday aren't buried here however, Earp died in California and Holliday in Colorado.

The graveyard is believed to hold over 300 people’s remains, 205 of which are recorded. This was due to some immigrants, primarily Chinese and Jewish who were buried there without a record.

The Tombstone "boothill" cemetery was closed in late 1886. But was restored in the late 1920′s, through the diligence of Tombstone Citizens, the cemetery and the grounds have been kept up ever since. Many of the current tombstones carry humorous epitaphs to entertain the tourists:

"Here lies George Johnson, hanged by mistake, 1882.
He was right, we was wrong, but we strung him up and now he's gone."


"Here lies Lester Moore, Four slugs from a .44, No Les, no more."

The graveyard is free to the public, but a $2 donation will get you a pamphlet containing some of the more detailed information available about the graves. The donation goes towards the upkeep of the cemetery grounds.

©Lindsay Godfree 2014 article
For more personal insights and travel tips go to my blog at
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