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
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.