Tombstone, city (1990 pop. 1,220), Cochise co., SE Ariz.; inc. 1881. With its pleasant climate and legendary past, Tombstone is a well-known tourist attraction. The city became a national historic landmark in 1962. Silver was discovered there in 1877 by Ed Schieffelin, a prospector, who two years later laid out and named the city. Tombstone quickly became one of the richest and most lawless mining towns in the Southwest. Its newspaper, Epitaph, was first published in 1880. The city was county seat from 1881 to 1929. Large-scale mining ended by 1890. Among Tombstone's many picturesque landmarks are Boot Hill Graveyard, where many desperados are buried; Bird Cage Theater, now a museum; and O.K. Corral, scene of a climactic gun battle between the Clanton gang and Wyatt Earp, his brother Virgil, and Doc Holliday. The city's violent past is reenacted each year at the 3-day Helldorado celebrations. Nearby are the beautiful Dragoon Mts., onetime stronghold of the Native American chief Cochise.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.