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Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park

The park is located on the corner of Toughnut and 3rd Streets (2 blocks off Highway 80).

Tombstone Courthouse State Park

P.O. Pox 216, 
219 Toughnut Street, 
Tombstone, Arizona 85638
Phone: (520) 457-3311

Tombstone reached its pinnacle of riches and then faded, all within the short span of eight years. The West's wildest mining town owes its beginning to Ed Schieffelin, who prospected the nearby hills in 1877. 

Friends warned him that all he would ever find would be his own tombstone. Instead of an apache bullet, he found silver - ledges of it - and the rush was on.

Miners soon built a shantytown on the closest level space to the mines, then known as Goose Flats. Remembering the grim prophecy given to Schieffelin, and with tongue in cheek, they changed the name to Tombstone. The year 1881 was an eventful one for the mining camp. The population reached 10,000, rivaling both Tucson (county seat) and Prescott (territorial capital).

Gunfight at the OK Corral

The Earp and Clanton feud culminated in the famous Gunfight at the OK Corral. A disastrous fire burned out much of the infant town, but it was immediately rebuilt. Schieffelin Hall was erected to provide legitimate theater and a meeting hall for the Masonic Lodge.

When water began to seep into the shafts, pumps were installed, but the mines were soon flooded to the 600-foot level and could not be worked. By 1886, Tombstone's heyday was over, but not before $37,000,000 worth of silver had been taken from the mines.

As Tombstone's population grew, so did its political power. In 1881, the Arizona Legislature established Cochise County. No longer would the nearest county office be a long two-day ride.

Built in 1882 at a cost of nearly $50,000, the Cochise County Courthouse was a stylish building as well as a comfortable symbol of law and stability in these turbulent times. It housed the offices of the sheriff, recorder, treasurer, and the board of supervisors. The jail was at the rear, under the courtroom.

A series of colorful people held office here. John Slaughter was a local cattleman who, as sheriff, virtually cleared the county of outlaws. Some were awkwardly unconventional, such a Deputy Sheriff Burt Alford, who was experienced on both sides of the law.

Tombstone remained the county seat until 1929, when outvoted by a growing Bisbee, and the county seat was moved there. The last county office left the courthouse in 1931.

Except for an ill-fated attempt to convert the courthouse into a hotel during the 1940s, the building stood vacant until 1955. When the Tombstone Restoration Commission acquired it, they began the courthouse rehabilitation and the development as a historical museum that has continued to operate as a state park since 1959. It features exhibits and thousands of artifacts which tell of Tombstone's colorful past.

The park is open daily 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., except Christmas Day.

Park Facilities:

Visitor Center / Courthouse
The park is open daily 8 am to 5 pm, except Christmas Day.

Restrooms
This park has modern, handicap accessible restrooms.

Gift Shop
This park has a gift shop with a variety of gifts about the history of the area and great souvenirs of your Tombstone Courthouse trip, including keychains, old-fashioned tops, wild west badges, wooden train whistles, t-shirts, and more.

Museum & Exhibits
The museum in the courthouse is full of authentic interpretive exhibits on the history of Tombstone and Cochise County including, period Sheriff's Office, artist drawings and interpretations of the Gunfight at the OK Corral, Wyatt Earp, mining exhibit area, Saloon & gaming room, period lawyers office and courtroom, ranching, and residents of Tombstone.

Outside in the courtyard is a reproduction Gallows. The site where many convicted murderers met their fate. The average time to explore the park and its exhibits is about an hour.

Group: Day Use Areas
2 shaded picnic tables are available next to the courthouse for group use. No reservations, first-come, first-served only.

Picnic Areas/Shelters
2 shaded picnic tables are available next to the courthouse; a perfect spot for a picnic.

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