The last few days have been spent exploring the physical remains of some of Arizona’s history. There was a first short visit to the town that proclaims it was “too tough to die”, otherwise know as Tombstone. This town, that was made famous by the western dime novels, was part of the western lore of this country. Most famous for the gunfight at the OK Corral and the Earp brothers, it has, in fact, survived by preserving and reenacting its history for the tourists who parade thru to relive the past.
They have converted most of the store fronts into gift shops, which was good for once, as it allowed me to get my better half a nice Valentine’s Day present. We will be back again to play tourist and watch the gun fights and tour the Birdcage museum. The birdcage has amazingly preserved most of this infamous house of male entertainment’s fixtures. When the town was losing its rough edge, the building was closed up, with everything inside for fifty years.
Next we visited the Cochise Stronghold National Monument which preserves Cochise’s stronghold site, where he defied the invading hordes of the western movement of Manifest Destiny for ten years before making a treaty with the U S Government that ultimately resulted in his people being placed in various reservations, mostly in Oklahoma and New Mexico. Today, there are very few Chiricahua Apache Indians remaining. The site itself is not particularly impressive, when compared to the more productive lands that the Chiricahua normally preferred to live in. Some of this land has been preserved in the Chiricahua National Monument that we visited next. What makes this site impressive is its history and the struggle these people endured in an unsuccessful effort to prevent the loss of their lands to those who wanted it for themselves.