New owner of Gleeson Jail

On a lonesome road between Tombstone and Willcox is the town of Gleeson. Part of the Ghost Town Trail, this mini-museum, the town's former jail house, is full of Native American artifacts, Western gear including old saddles, tack, an old bunk, mining and prospecting tools, ranching tools and other antiques.

Built of reinforced concrete in 1910, this jail replaced the former structure... a nearby tree. During the town's mining heydays, marshals would handcuff prisoners to the tree. Next to the Jail Tree is a wash. Sometimes after a rainstorm, the water would rise dangerously close to the prisoners, and they’d be forced to endure the elements.

If you tour of the area, you'll see the remains of Gleeson, once home to about 1,000 people between 1900 and 1920. Today, a few people live nearby, but they generally like the wide open spaces of this little ghost town.

Pictures of other structures nearby:

Below is the saloon, once owned by Joe Bono. If you go, please do not enter it!

The foundation is all that remains from Gleeson’s third school (they kept outgrowing them).

Below is a photo of the remains of Gleeson's Shannon Hospital

Gleeson's Shannon Hospital

Visit the Gleeson Jail on the first Saturday of each month to hear other stories. Gleeson is about 15 miles from Tombstone via a dirt road. It’s also accessible by a paved road off of Highway 191 from the east. For directions, check the Gleeson Web site. Please check their  calendar and hours of operation before you go. The jail is privately owned, as is most of the surrounding land.

Want to read up on its history before you go? Check out the historical sketches, which are written by Glenn Snow and are about bootleggers, scam artists and unsavory characters of the Old West.

Celebrate Cochise County's unique heritage and culture throughout the year.

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