Tombstone, Arizona became the booming city in the west and was only 30 miles (48 km) from the U.S.–Mexico border.
It was an open market for cattle stolen from ranches in Sonora, Mexico by a loosely organized band of outlaws known as The Cowboys, who began increasing their influence on the town and causing problems.
As one would anticipate, with the wild west growing, combined with treasure hunting and town entertainment, tensions would rise.
Many of the ranchers (like the Clantons) were also rustlers or other types of criminals. Compounding efforts to keep local groups under control were political differences as well. There seemed to be no effective law enforcement to curtail the growing problems.
The Earp brothers—Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan—as well as Doc Holliday, arrived in December 1879 and mid-1880. Basically, the Earps wanted to get away from the wild life and become involved in business in Tombstone. However, they met much resistance with Cowboys Ike and Billy Clanton, Frank and Tom McLaury, and Billy Claiborne.
The Cowboys repeatedly threatened the Earps over many months until the conflict escalated into a shootout on October 26, 1881.
The historic gunfight is often portrayed as occurring at the O.K. Corral; however, it actually occurred a short distance away in an empty lot on Fremont Street.
I’m glad our society has become more civilized since these old wild-west-days, aren’t you?
Hopefully we are not seeing a resurgence of these historical days.
So, Tombstone is best known as the site of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral and presently draws most of its revenue from tourism.
Below is the Part 1 video I prepared from our visit to the live reenactment of the famous gunfight at O.K. Corral. This was a performance before a live audience and provides some good insight about some of the historical event.
The entire reenactment video is 16 minutes long so I divided it into three parts. Parts 2 and 3 will be posted this week.