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East Arizona, Part 7

The town of Tombstone has been called "The town too tough to die."

It has that spark of The American Frontiersman even to this day.

Back in 1877 Edward Schieffelin began prospecting between the old Fort Huachuca (now a center for Army Intelligence and CIA operations). He wandered about the countryside prospecting. His army buddies suggested that wandering these arid lands would land him a tombstone and not a silver strike. They were right and wrong. He landed a silver strike, named it Tombstone, the town followed with the same name, and he is buried on a nearby hill.

Mining towns have never been known for their passivity and Tombstone was a center for lawlessness. President Chester Arthur threatened to declare martial law if the violence wasn't kept in check.

The embarrasing reality is that the lawlessness of today's Arizona at the hands of drug smugglers and alien smugglers is actually greater than the lawlessness of Chester Arthur's day but it is ignored.

The hardworking people of the Tombstone area supported America in two World Wars by providing America with the manganese and lead. Tombstone was also instrumental in the making of America's atomic bomb in that key machinery used to refine the bomb materials used hundreds of tons of pure silver -- and much of that silver had come from Tombstone, Arizona.

The saloons of Tombstone are rich in history -- and bullet holes. Many continue to operate to this day -- although the rich smell of gun smoke remains in the distant romantic past.

 

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