Cowboys & Indians

Benson

Amerind Museum   
The Amerind Museum exhibitions tell the story of America's first peoples from Alaska to South America and from the last Ice Age to the present. At times, Amerind visitors will find Indian artists demonstrating their skills in the museum's main gallery, and special events and openings are a periodic feature of the Amerind calendar. The museum and art gallery are housed in Spanish Colonial Revival style buildings located in a pristine landscape among the wonderful rock formations of Texas Canyon. Many people come to Amerind to experience the native plants, birds, and solitude of the high desert. A secluded picnic area offers a quiet retreat amidst the massive granite boulders of Texas Canyon.
2100 N. Amerind Rd., Dragoon, AZ  85609. (520)586-3666.  www.amerind.org

Cochise Stronghold
Cochise led the Chiricahua band of the Apache tribe during a period of social upheaval in the 1800’s. The history of Cochise and his relationship with the settlers and the army is complex and turned to violence. The Butterfield Stage Line runs from Fort Bowie to Tucson crossed just off the northern tip of the Dragoon Mountains. This line was a favorite target of Cochise's warriors. Cochise is reputed to have been a master strategist and leader who was never conquered in battle. For ten years Cochise and his warriors harassed the whites by raiding lonely ranches and attacking stagecoaches and miners. Cochise retired.  He died peacefully on the newly formed Chiricahua  reservation in 1874. His son, Taza succeeded him as chief. Upon his death, he was secretly buried somewhere in or near his impregnable fortress. The exact location has never been revealed or determined. www.cochisestronghold.com
 

Sierra Vista

Arizona Folklore Preserve  
Deep in the wondrous quiet of Ramsey Canyon is the one place where Arizona’s music, lore, and poetry merge and are performed and preserved for generations to come. The Folklore Preserve features live performances of Arizona’s folk musicians, including its legendary artist-in-residence, Dolan Ellis, Arizona’s Official State Balladeer since 1966, and an original member of the New Christy Minstrels. Reservations recommended. Hwy 92 South, 6 miles; west (right) onto Ramsey Canyon Road, 2.5 miles to the Preserve. 800-288-3861 for information or 520-378-6165 for reservations. www.arizonafolklore.com

Brown Canyon Ranch
Step back to the turn of the 20th Century with a visit to Brown Canyon Ranch. First permanently occupied by John Thomas Brown and his family around 1800, the property passed through many hands until James and Tom Haverty built the ranch house sometime between 1905 and 1907. The adobe ranch house, storeroom, and corrals provide a glimpse of ranch life in the early days. The windmill still pumps water into a storage tank, and the pond, with its beautiful trees and lush vegetation, provides a home to an endangered species of frog. Trails lead from the ranch to Brown Canyon and connect with other trails throughout the National Forest. Allow 2 hours. Hwy 92 South 6 miles to Ramsey Canyon Road; west (right) on Ramsey Canyon Road; continue on Ramsey Canyon Road past Calle Metate to reach a dirt parking area on the right; turn into the parking area, then follow the dirt road to the ranch. (800)288-3861 or (520)439-6400. (BLM). www.browncanyonranch.org

Henry F. Hauser Museum
Located in the Ethel Berger Center, the Henry F. Hauser Museum features stories about the unique (and sometimes wild) west history of Sierra Vista’s early years through present day. The museum celebrates the historic events of the multicultural and robust southeastern Arizona area through themed exhibits, events, and publications. Allow 1 hour. Be sure to ask for the free Historic Treasure Hunt map to find 20 historic places and buildings in Sierra Vista.  Monday through Wednesday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
From the Sierra Vista Visitor Center, stroll across the parking lot to 2950 E. Tacoma St. (520)439-2306. www.sierravistaaz.gov/egov/apps/locations/facilities.egov?view=detail;id=144

 

Tombstone

Bird Cage Theatre
The Bird Cage Theatre is Tombstone’s most authentic attraction and one of the west’s most famous landmarks. Legend has it that 26 people were killed in The Bird Cage. Reportedly haunted circa-1881 landmark that once housed a brothel & gambling hall in Tombstone.
535 East Allen Street, Tombstone, AZ 85638. (520) 457-3421. www.tombstonebirdcage.com

Good Enough Mine Tour
It's a half-mile hike underground. You will climb. You will crawl. Spend 2.5 hours exploring the crown jewel of the Tombstone Miling District. You can expect to see areas that have never been seen by the general public until now. Huge open spaces (stopes) where silver deposits were mined. Gorgeous minerals and artifacts that were left behind by the miners 130 years ago. You'll march down long tunnels, climb ladders, crawl through tight spaces, and see areas that have been left untouched. Not for the timid, claustrophobic, or physically unfit. Wear long pants, hiking shoes, and gloves. You'll need a good headlight or flashlight. If you have a helmet that you like, such as a bicycle helmet, bring it. Otherwise you can use our hard hats. Don't forget your camera. You must be at least 10 years old to participate. The Good Enough Mine offers hourly daily tours, Monday through Friday, starting at 11:10am, and also on weekends starting at 10:10am.
Call (520) 255-5553 for reservations or come see us at the Good Enough Mine Tour ticket booth at 5th and Toughnut. www.goodenoughmine.com

Indians of notoriety during this same period were Cochise and Geronimo, although Cochise died before the silver rush but Geronimo was active and considered a renegade during the 1880s. General Nelson A Miles of Fort Huachuca played a major role in the capture of Geronimo.

Old Butterfield Stage Coach Tours
Ride the Old Butterfield Stage Coach and enjoy a 20 minute narrated tour of Historic Old Tombstone. Adults $10.00 - Children $5.00 - Kids under 6 ride for FREE - Open 9am - 5pm. Days of operation vary.
Ticket booth on Allen street, in front of the OK Corral

Old Tombstone Tours
Narrated tours of the history and landmarks of Tombstone Daily 9 – 5
Old Tombstone Tours is owned and operated by a fourth generation Tombstone Native Family. Their Great Grandfater John Escapule arrived in the Tombstone area in 1877, before the town was founded in 1879. The tour come from first hand information that has been passed down through the generations. It is the best way to start your visit to Tombstone. We tell you about the buildings, mines, Apache Indiuans and the famous gun battles and where they happened. The tour takes fifteen minutes and will give you a “wagon load” of history about Tombstone A. T.  “The Town Too Tough To Die” and the surrounding areas.
Located in the center of Tombstone's Historic District on Historic Allen Street across from the world famous Crystal Palace Saloon. (520) 457-3018. www.oldtombstonetours.com

Old Tombstone
Enjoy a half hour comedy stunt show with the National Champion gunfight team The Tombstone Cowboys at Helldorado Town.  This award-winning show features actors and stuntmen performing live shows. The theme park also includes Pan-for-Gold, an interactive Shooting Gallery, Mini-Golf, the Chuckwagon Café, and Cerveza’s Cantina, where you can "settle the dust in yer throat" with a $2 beer or Sarsparilla! Three explosive and entertaining shows daily.

Shootout at the OK Corral
The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral was a 30-second gunfight between outlaw Cowboys and lawmen that is generally regarded as the most famous gunfight in the history of the American Wild West. The gunfight took place at about 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 26, 1881, in Tombstone, Arizona. See Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Virgil and Morgan Earp fight the McLaurys and Clantons in daily reenactments at the O.K. Corral®. Stand beside life-size figures of the eight gunfighters located on the very spot where the Gunfight began according to a map on display drawn by Wyatt Earp himself. Hear what caused the 30-second showdown that left three cowboys dead, Virgil and Morgan Earp wounded. Walk through the O.K. Corral® as it appeared in the 1880s.
326 E Allen St, Tombstone, AZ 85638. (520) 457-3456. www.ok-corral.com

Trolley Tour
See all of the hotspots in Tombstone with our trolley tours!  Our expert conductors know all the ins and outs of the history of the Town Too Tough Too Die. Features service to and from Legendary Boot Hill Cemetery! Also on the weekends: don't miss the chilling Ghost and Murder Tour: taking you to Boot Hill and the 13 most haunted places in Tombstone!
137 S 4th St, Tombstone, AZ 85638. (520) 955-3090

Wyatt Earp and Gang
Wyatt Earp is best known as the fearless frontier lawman of Wichita and Dodge City, Kansas, and as principal survivor of the Gunfight at the OK Corral. But the Marshall Earp of legend accounted for only about 5 years of Wyatt's long and eventful life. Wyatt spent most of his years traveling and living in the deserts of the Southwest with his four brothers Virgil, Morgan, James and Warren, as well as his wife Josie. His lifelong passion for mining, gambling and sports led him from one boomtown to another across the span of the western frontier and into the 20th century. On October 26, 1881, a feud that had developed between the Earp brothers and a gang led by Ike Clanton culminated in the most celebrated gun-fight in western folklore -- the Gunfight at the OK Corral. Three of the Clanton gang were killed, while Ike and another wounded member escaped. The three Earp brothers -- Virgil, Wyatt and Morgan -- along with Doc Holliday survived. Both Morgan and Virgil were wounded, and Virgil was later terminated as marshal for his role in the homicides.
www.bignosekates.info/history4.html

 

Willcox

Chiricahua Regional Museum

Learn about the fierce Chiricahua Apaches and the fearless leaders Cochise and Geronimo at this research center, located in downtown Willcox. Other interesting tidbits about the area can be found in displays featuring the U.S. Cavalry, a nice collection of rocks and minerals, and relics of the famed Butterfield Overland Stage Route. One oddity the museum points out is that the memoirs of Civil War general Orlando Willcox, for whom the town was named, don't even mention a visit to Arizona. Open: Monday through Saturday10:00AM - 5:00PM. History of Apache Indians, military, ranching, railroads, and mining in the Willcox and Sulphur Springs Valley area.

Cochise Stronghold
Stunning rocks and great climbing and hiking. It is the place where Cochise and Tom Jeffords met as seen in the movie “Broken Arrow” with Jimmy Stewart.
Take US 191 south 2 miles to Ironwood Road. Turn right (east) on Ironwood Road. www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/coronado/recreation/picnickinginfo/recarea/?recid=25446&actid=70

Fort Bowie National Historic Site
Fort Bowie was established in 1862 after a series of engagements with the Chiricahua Apaches, the most violent of which was the Battle of Apache Pass in July 1862. The fort was named in honor of Colonel George Washington Bowie commander of the 5th Regiment California Volunteer Infantry who first established the fort. Fort Bowie was the combat post of the southwest in the Apache wars of the 1860’s ending in 1872. A great historical place to see if you love the west or westerns.
Located one hour south of Willcox via Hwy 186. www.nps.gov/fobo/index.htm

Willcox Historic Cemetery
The Old Willcox Cemetery is only a short walk from Railroad Avenue through the Willcox sand dunes. The cemetery holds the graves of more than 90 citizens, buried between 1880 and 1918. Seven Chinamen, victims of Apache Indians who attacked a stage coach in which the men traveled in the 1880s, were buried in a single grave. Here lies Warren Earp, as well as local bandits, ruffians and prostitutes -- infamous members of Willcox society. Here, too, are buried the productive law-abiding townsfolk, and some of their children. Willcox apparently never had a "Boot Hill," thus separating the good from the bad and the ugly. If there ever was a complete and accurate list of all the burials, it has been lost in time.

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