WESTERN LEGEND MAP OF TOMBSTONE, AZ., 1881

This map (intended to be printed on Parchment) was drawn up by me using multiple sources, and was intended to give the reader a better geography of Tombstone, Arizona in 1881  — as described in “Chapter 10, Street Fight.”  Whiskey Creek Press vetoed the map’s inclusion, citing trouble with the file size.  They are practiced in formatting these files, so I didn’t give them any grief over it.  Below, you will find the map itself, and following, a legend  intended to accompany the map.

NOTE: The darkened structures depicted were not the only buildings residing on these blocks; in fact, these blocks were heavily congested with additional structures. The author has merely chosen to highlight only those of general relevance.

1. Addie Bourland’s House

2. Alhambra Saloon & Lunch Counter

3. Assay Office

4. Aztec Rooming House

5. Barron’s Barber Shop

6. Bauer’s Meat Market

7. Campbell & Hatch Saloon and Billiard Parlor

8. Can Can Restaurant

9. Cosmopolitan Hotel

10. Court of Judge Albert O. Wallace

11. Dunbar’s Corral (Dexter Livery & Feed Stable)

12. Eagle Meat Market a.k.a. Everhardy’s Butcher Shop

13. Express Office of Wells, Fargo & Co.

14. Fly’s Boarding House, Fly’s Photographic Studio

15. G. F. Spangenberg’s Gunsmith Shop

16. Golden Eagle Brewery Saloon

17. Grand Hotel

18. Hafford’s Saloon (Corner) / Brown’s Hotel (2’nd Fl.)

19. Harwood House

20. Mining Exchange Bldg. (Site of Wells Spicer Hearing)

21. Occidental Saloon

22. Office of the “Tombstone Epitaph” Newspaper

23. O.K. Corral (Entrance)

24. O.K. Corral Driveway/Exit

25. Oriental Saloon

26. Papago Cash Store

27. Post Office

28. Sampling Room Saloon & Bowling Alley

29. Site (Alleyway) of Ike Clanton’s Arrest

30. Telegraph Pole where Tom McLaury fell

31. Vacant Lot (Site of the Street Fight)

32. Water Main (which Morgan Earp tripped over)

Reference: thanks to the Library of Congress for the 1882 “Map for Fire Insurance,” an illustration by Bob Boze Bell appearing in Allen Barra’s Book, “Inventing Wyatt Earp: His Life and Many Legends,” and additional line drawings appearing in Paula Mitchell Marks book, “And Die in the West, The Story of the O.K. Corral Gunfight,” along with the Alford E. Turner edited, “The O.K. Corral Inquest.”

31 responses

  1. Rich

    This is really a great map and has answered some questions I had, however the only problem I see is the location of Can Can restaurant. I’ve seen other maps that say Item number 8 on your map is the Capitol Saloon (where Tom McLaury turned in his gun) and the Can Can located at the corner of 4th and Allen.
    I’ve also read Wyatt and Doc were held in a jail located on 6th street. Any idea where that was located?

    February 24, 2012 at 9:14 AM

    • Anonymous

      A lot of information about T’stone has to be considered as to where and when. On the lot behind where the Birdcage Theater was to be built was a cell built using lumber like bricks.

      May 1, 2015 at 11:38 AM

  2. Comments made in court testimony are what I really based the map on, primarily. All testimony that specifically mentioned the Capitol Saloon, placed the establishment on the corner of 4th and Fremont Streets. I have seen a few of the maps indicating the Can Can Restaurant on that corner, however, I have been told by multiple sources that this placement of the Can Can Restaurant (if indicated as October of 1881) is a mistake.

    Apparently, the Tombstone Historical Society also have plenty of additional evidence proving that the Capitol Saloon was at this corner location. It is possible that the Can Can held this location at a later date, possibly after the fire that swept through that entire area. But during the events surrounding the incident commonly known as the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, all principals who referred to the Capitol Saloon, placed the establishment on this corner. And you are right, this is also where Tom McLaury “checked” his gun after Wyatt found him open carrying and pistol whipped him, further back down 4th and across Allen, near Wallace’s court. That may be the reason why McLaury walked off (with assistance) in the direction that he did. Also, the doctor’s office where he got his head bandaged may or may not have also been in the general vicinity of the Capitol Saloon. It is a bit confusing as to which he did first: A) check his pistol, or B) get his head bandaged.

    In regard to the jail on 6th Street, I never had a need for that information in my book, so I never researched that. It may take some work for you to discover that information. If you have a need for that info, I would start by going to TrueWest.com and emailing Bob Boze Bell for that info. If he doesn’t have that, he might be able to put you in touch with someone who does.

    February 24, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    • Bill McDonnell

      We recently visited Tombstone and there is a marker near 4th & Allen indicating where Morgan was shot. It seems to be about where you have the Cosmopolitan Hotel located. Is your map correct ?

      April 21, 2012 at 2:01 PM

      • That could be the location of the Billiard parlor where Morgan was later shot and killed, following the street fight. Some of these locations are today estimated, even by those in Tombstone. The only major sources for information are A) the testimony and connected journal entries from the era, and B) the map for fire insurance available from the National Archives and dated 1882. This map was made following a fire which swept through that entire district of Tombstone and wiped out almost every business present at that time. (Unfortunately, there is no map in existence from 1881 showing the proper placement of all businesses in that district at that time.) And while many of those merchants did rebuild, many chose to relocate — some often only a plot away from where they previously located, but some more than a block away. Therefire, it is very difficult to determinte the exact placement of many of the businesses in Tombstone. In other words, the marker in Tombstone identifying the location of Morgan Earp’s murder could be correct, but given that we both have access to the same information, it could also be wrong. I hope this helps.

        btw I can’t really remember off hand where the Billiard Parlor (pool hall) that Morgan was shot in was located. It could have been part of the Cosmipolitan Hotel. Maybe, maybe not. Good luck with your research, Bill

        April 21, 2012 at 4:15 PM

        • There is a gift shop now at that corner of 4th & Allen that used to be a saloon (Hafford’s I believe). Next to that up Allen was the location of the Cosmopolitan, now an empty lot, shared by a new, small retail business. Three doors up is Campbell & Hatch’s Billiard parlor, where Morgan was killed from the rear alley. Although the alley is gone, the original rear wall remains……

          July 18, 2013 at 2:04 PM

        • Paul Geller

          Campbell & Hatch’s Saloon….it’s still there……

          February 15, 2014 at 9:32 PM

          • Anonymous

            Nope.

            May 1, 2015 at 11:39 AM

    • Paul Geller

      Rich is right about the Can Can…and the Campbell & Hatch would be closer to this side of the Cosmopolitan, 2 lots toward 4th….I live here , so anything you want to know….1881rodeo@gmail.com…..

      November 28, 2013 at 11:12 AM

  3. looks to be a fantastic map even though some of the points of interest are questionable
    is there any way i could purchase this map?
    i am making a train layout of this site (old tombstone) and the map would be a great help.

    January 14, 2013 at 8:13 AM

    • Very sorry it took me soooooo long to get back to you. You don’t need to purchase this map. You can print it out or transfer it anyway you choose, as long as you credit me as the artist and researcher of the map. Be well.

      February 14, 2014 at 11:58 PM

  4. Any idea of the location of Spangenberg’s gun shop along 4th st?

    February 6, 2014 at 10:55 AM

    • nm…I’m blind – lol…just saw it.

      February 6, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    • Paul Geller

      Yep. It’s now an empty lot next to the Bella Union. I can give lots of exact info as I live here. Vogan’s is not on the corner. Love to help you….just contact me…

      February 15, 2014 at 9:29 PM

  5. Alex Andorno

    Hey Paul Geller,James…I saw a photo from 1885 from Tombstone take it on the front of the ‘Hotel Nobles’ with a stagecouch in it,and I want it to know if this hotel is in the same lot where the ‘Cosmopolitan Hotel’ were??! because it seems to me that is the same istructure or it seems equal…

    June 2, 2014 at 5:13 PM

    • Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. Honestly, I’m not sure. You might want to join and consult the “True West” forums on that. You would be surprised at the informative responses you get. Many of the people who visit these forums are experts on various aspects of the the history of the American West. Here: http://truewest.ning.com/

      July 14, 2014 at 6:16 PM

    • Anonymous

      On the NE corner of Allen and 4th, was the Can-Can cafe. There was also a Can-Can establishment on the north side of Allen between 4th and 5th.

      May 1, 2015 at 11:16 AM

    • Anonymous

      Hotel Noble was one of the forms the Mining Exchange went through when T’stone was in decline. The Exchange had long since closed.

      May 1, 2015 at 11:43 AM

  6. David Snell

    Can someone splain me why the gunfight is called, by some, a “street fight?” It makes it sound like it was a brawl rather than a shoot out.

    March 9, 2015 at 3:05 PM

  7. David Snell

    In the photo(s) of the street front where the Earp hearing (it was expressly NOT a trial) it shows 20 and 22 as being one building. No? Yes?

    March 9, 2015 at 3:11 PM

  8. David: technically, yes, it was a ‘hearing.’ However, due mainly to the political climate surrounding the situation, it was echoed by many that the supposed ‘hearing,’ had quickly become a ‘show trial.’ But debate is ongoing. Perhaps I should have made it more clear that technically this was a hearing.

    In reference to your questions …

    1. It is more commonly referred to as a ‘street fight’ by those of us who’ve done the hard research into the actual incident, mainly because it was more often referred to as a street fight in era newspaper accounts. Such an occurrence was in that era always reported as, ‘a street fight.’ For the sincere purpose of reporting accuracy, I used that verbiage often in my book, when addressing the shootout.

    2. regarding the location of the Mining Exchange Building and the office of the Tombstone Epitaph, it has become accepted fact that the building itself was referred to as, ‘The Mining Exchange Bldg.,’ and that the Tombstone Epitaph was simply located on one floor of the building. I, however, found plenty of references in testimony and later testimonials by eyewitnesses, that in fact these were two separate locations, at the time of the actual street fight. Most of the geography of this area changed after a fire ripped through this end of town, many months later, in 1882. And the only map we have of Tombstone in that era, is a map for ‘fire insurance,’ created “after” the fire. All maps you will find portraying 1881, are modern, and generated from that map, utilizing research. All later map makers have done hours of such research to attempt to discern (as much as possible) precisely where certain businesses were located “before” the fire. I feel my map is genuinely accurate. Others, who’ve done their own research, will possibly disagree.

    I hope this helps. Be well and have a better one.

    March 9, 2015 at 4:16 PM

    • Anonymous

      The Mining Exchange Building’s off ices were upstairs, part of the downstairs was leased to the city as a court-house. The Epitaph was on the east end of the building.

      May 1, 2015 at 11:35 AM

  9. David Snell

    Thanks for the reply, James.
    Before we go any further: KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS – I am pro-Earp, and expressly n o t a dupe of Hollywood. Some (most?) would call me “opinionated.” You know where I’m coming all the time on this stuff. ***Everything I say is with respect to all.***

    IMH(?)O :
    The term “street fight” grates on the modern ear, however popular it might have once been. I consider it a term used only by non pro-Earps. No one goes to Tombstone to see a “street fight.” Today, the term expressly connotes a public brawl, no guns included. Guns included, it becomes a “shooting incident,” at least. If the OK Corral was not a “gunfight,” then just what the hell is/was? Again, with all due respect, I consider it’s use to be an affectation of those who somehow/someway/god-knows-how see the Earps as bad guys. It’s use must be off-putting to people/customers who don’t understand that hairs are being split here, to no useful purpose.

    The 1 vs 2 buildings thing is not a particular issue, except that it dominos into how authentic is that street-scape photo alleging to pinpoint the h e a r i n g ‘s location.

    I know all about that alleged hot-shot lawyer’s book on the “trial.” I was so mad I wrote the publishers (who really cared, haha). It was not, and never will be, a “trial.” It established that there was no evidence whatsoever that a “trial” was called for. How can that be turned into a “trial?” The Earps have been mock-tried more than a few times for the OKC. They’ve received a total walk each time, once from a Supreme Court justice. Further your affiant rests. For now.

    March 9, 2015 at 6:03 PM

    • Anonymous

      Soften up a little, Dave. A lot of verbiage between then and now has changed. “Making a fight” is not a term in common usage today but it was then. The fight started with the bad-guys standing between the two buildings and the good guys partially between the buildings. After the first few shots, the focus of the fight switched to the street.

      May 1, 2015 at 11:32 AM

  10. Dave Snell

    JA,
    Hope I didn’t wear myself too thin, especially this first time around.
    Didn’t mean to pick on you about “street fight.” Holy Haysoos, its use is epidemic. Thanks for the background on its origin. I consider it a perjorative term, and tend to stop reading whenever it’s used. Same with “trial” vs “hearing.” A while back I had just received an OKC book ; looking through the photos there was a caption that read, “So and so almost succeeded in convicting the Earps.” I gently closed it up and sent it back.

    Thinking later about it, my bit about 1 vs 2 buildings was pretty petty. By sheer coincidence I had just paid for a photo of that block, and I wondered if I had done the right thing.

    That “Trial” book is really a pet peeve of mine. I attended a talk the guy gave at the local law school (U of AZ). When it was over I stood at the end of a line to talk to him about the title. When it finally came my turn, he walked away before I could say a word. I don’t know what the little weasel’s problem was.

    In the end, TRVTH is what you find, and what you make of it.

    Dave

    March 10, 2015 at 12:47 PM

  11. Not a problem, and no worries.

    March 10, 2015 at 2:57 PM

  12. David Snell

    One thing that has always amused me about OKC: the number of shots fired vs the number of wounds inflicted. I’d bet, if you could compute the trajectories as well as possible, maybe/just maybe you could find bullets fired from there.

    March 10, 2015 at 5:01 PM

    • Anonymous

      Research has already been done and number of rounds fired and trajectories plotted, estimated, at least. Gun fights, even today, show fewer wounds than rounds fired. The buildings that were there then have long since gone away.

      May 1, 2015 at 11:23 AM

  13. Paul Geller

    Howdy, The Cosmopolitan Hotel was on Allen, starting at the 3rd lot from the corner of 4th and took up 3 subsequent lots 9on the NE side). The Brown Hotel was actually on the corner itself with a saloon. I have a tax assessor’s from 1882.

    May 1, 2015 at 12:49 PM

  14. Steve

    Dear sir..thank you for this wonderful map. It has cleared up a lot of confusion. I love Tombstone and it’s history and learn something new with each visit. Congratulations on a super job. Thank you!

    February 4, 2017 at 3:53 PM

    • Steve,

      You are very welcome. A lot of research went into the creation of this map, which I made several years ago. It was hand crafted, both to assist with my research into the gunfight, as well as to evidence an info graphic for readers of my book. Unfortunately, the original publisher chose not to include it when the book was e-published. I am, however, expecting to see the map, along with a handful of photographs acquired with permission, printed within the physical publishing of the hard bound version of the book. But in any event, I greatly appreciate your compliment. Thank you.

      ~ Jim

      February 6, 2017 at 9:53 PM

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