Lilypie Second Birthday tickers

Lilypie Second Birthday tickers

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Haunted Bird Cage Theater

The Bird Cage Theater has been tested/explored by T.A.P.S., a paranormal research group, and found to be the most haunted place they have ever encountered. They do tours of this building at night. This is the actual building, artifacts, wall paper, and furniture that was here in the 1880s. 28 men and 1 woman lost their lives here. Supposedly, according to our guide, because these artifacts and the people that used to use them are tied together there is "energy" in the building and many people have stories of sensations, hot or cold air, seeing shadows, hearing voices or music, and even witnessing apparitions and figures.

Inside the main lobby. It was full of artifacts and history. The door to the top left leads to the private "parlor" rooms where for a bottle of whiskey ($25, but $700 in todays currency) earned a cowboy a full night with a "soiled dove" the ladies of the Theater.

One of over 45 bullet holes in the bar, walls, doors, and ceilings of the Bird Cage. Many, like this one in the bar still have the actual round in them, a .45 round from a six gun.

Tons of relics and in the back ground the actual stage where performers entertained Doc Holliday, The Earps, the Clantons, and Tombstones patrons.

The actual Earp's viewing parlor over the stage. Wyatt's manikin was in another parlor and it kept moving itself and throwing things down from the balcony. A historian realized it was in the Clanton's room and once moved the odd happenings ceased!

View of the main sitting area from the stage. Note the large wooden table with glass top in the middle of the room. Natalie is looking down at it as our guide explains how this 300 pound table moved itself across the room, apparently levitated over some other furniture and blocked the door to the room one day.

Original piano below the stage that was played throughout plays and poker games.

Actual morticians carriage that carried over 60 of Tombstones dead to Boot Hill. Many paranormal activities such as voices, faces in the glass, and odd blurs in pictures have been reported.

One of the basement apartments of the "soiled doves" that was used by Wyatt Earp and his mistress Josephine.

People have reported having strang female figures appear in pictures here.

Longest running poker table in history! This poker table made over 30 million for the house and was located in the basement under the stage.

Old wine and liquor locker in the basement. The barrels still have whiskey in them!

Big Nose Kate's Saloon

After we finished at the ranch Natalie and I went to town to eat dinner and then kill time before our ghost tour of the Bird Cage. We walked down Allen street and found ourselves stepping back into an 1880s saloon.
This Tombstone and explanation were located in the back of the bar by the bathrooms. The Bathroom urinal had ice in it. The sign above the urinal said, "Don't worry we don't use the same ice in your drinks.....normally!"

House band played everything from Allison Krause to Merle Haggard.

Doc Holliday giving another tourist a lesson in how to "lighten your pockets" while playing faro.

Before the house band started this fella was playing ole honky tonk songs on his piano such as you will recall from old Westerns and the movie "Tombstone."

Two shots of the tons of parephenalia on the walls: Old Cowboy quotes, pictures, John Wayne's signed picture, shot guns, boots, and anything else cowboy related was nailed, glued, or otherwise suspended from the walls and ceiling.

This bar maid got her a man! The fella was slightly distracted by beer, loud music, and Doc Holliday jabbering about something I couldn't distinguish. Before he realized what was happening Doc had switched from picking a fight to wedding vows, a witness was standing over the bar maids shoulder and he was getting hitched! The fellas actual wife, blond in the foreground, was rolling on the floor. (She was actually crying so hard you can see her wiping her eyes in this picture.) The "actors" were playing faro, doing tricks like this, and creating a VERY lively scene. Natalie and I sat with wide eyes and had an apple tart and a beer while watching.

Lucky Hills Ranch

Leaving Lucky Hills Ranch for a 2 hour trail ride. The ranch is located about 2 miles NW of Tombstone and they often do rides through town. Originially we wanted to do a longer ride, but Natalie talked me out of it knowing my rear end couldn't handle much more!
Lucky Hills has over 75 horses, most of which are wintering at their main ranch in Colorado.

Our guide, Linda, was an expert rider and was breaking a 4 year old mare while riding with us. Linda has been riding sense the age of 3 and has always had horses. She and Natalie talked the WHOLE time and I looked for banditos.

Beautiful country! You can't see from here, but we are on the side of a large hill and there are two river systems in front of us, but because of the terrain they are hidden.
Natalie and Black Satin.
A self portrait.

This is a river bed, which floods quickly during the spring rainy season, but now is ideal for navigating cross country and giving the horse's feet a rest from the rocky ground above.
Indians used these natural corrals to channel and catch wild horses. They would run the horses into the river bed and trap them in an area with large rock walls where the horses couldn't escape.

Old rail line used to move minerals, gold, and silver from mines around Tombstone into town.

We had beautiful weather and you can definitely tell by how clear the sky is in these pictures.

Back at the ranch we went down to see some of the other horses. Here, Linda and Natalie are calling over a few for further inpsection.

Beautiful mare who loved Natalie and came right up to her.

One of the ole cowboys working the ranch owned this dog. He followed us around and when I threw him a small twig came back with a huge log the size of my arm as if to say "THIS is what we play with out here partner!"

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Town Too Tough To Die

The Tombstone Epitaph was founded by John P. Clum, an interesting character who originally came to the area to work for the Army. After the army he started this newspaper, a Republican paper, that backed Wyatt Earp and his deputies. The Republican party was very interested in keeping the area under control of the local sheriffs because Washington wanted to send more U.S. troops there if it got any worse. Arizona Republicans were making a killing on cattle, mining, and the towns that supported them so they didn't want government intervention. Clum's paper justified the Earp's acts as the "law" and swayed public opinion. Also, Clum was the first Mayor of the town as well.

One of many wagons that ran tourist up and down Allen street giving tours. In the 1880s the same wagons would be seen, but only a few times a year as minors came to town for supplies.

Natalie loved this sign. She said the water was good, I don't know I had beer.

The original Crystal Palace was named the Brewery but burned to the ground during one of 2 big fires in the town. An exact replica was built on the spot and was later refurbished by the town historic club when Tombstone became a touriest attraction. (Tombstone was, at one time, the biggest city between the California coast and Dallas. It's legendary status as the town to tough to die has reached fans around the world and, ironically, now tourism keeps it alive.)

Pool table where Morgan Earp was shot in the back by the infamous "Cowboy" gang after the OK corral gun fight. The Cowboys were comprised of the Clantons and McLaurys,two families who rustled cattle and caused major commotion when they came to town.

Doc Holliday taught us to play "faro" a card game that is supposedly a "clean game." However, if a dealer was good, and the players were drunk, he could swindle chips and cards with slight of hand and other distractions, such as the bar maid he had over his shoulder.

Allen Street, the original main street of Tombstone. Many gunfights, lynchings and robberies happened here. Curly Bill shot Sherriff White on the spot to the left where the sign is. This was the reason that Virgil Earp became sheriff. Later, his brothers and Doc. Holliday were deputized to help him.

Johnny Ringo, one of the infamous Cowboys, known for his lightening fast draw and quotations of the book of "Revelations" in the movie Tombstone.

We saw a re-enactment of the OK gunfight. Here the deputized Earps and Doc Holliday try to peacefully disarm the Cowboys. The fight was the result of two Cowboys being locked up three days prior and Ike Clanton, their leader, having a run in with Wyatt Earp where he was humiliated and had his pistol taken away. (The Earp's upon being sworn in made it illegal to carry guns in town.)

One of the only ORIGINAL (1880s) buildings left in Tombstone! The Birdcage was a stage, bar, game room, brothel, and blood bath. The History Channel and two different paranormal groups have rated it the most haunted building they have ever tested. Heavy tables move across the room, people passing by outside hear music, and children going to school have reported smelling stale cigar smoke coming from the building. My favorite story is that a manikin of Wyatt Earp was put in one of the viewing parlors over the stage. Every morning when the owners came in his hat was on the floor below or he was turned completely around. A historian pointed out he was actually in the Clanton's (Cowboys) box seat and once moved to another area the misplaced hat and odd positioning of the manikin stopped.

Tombstone Courthouse. Tombstone was founded by Edward Schiefflin. In 1877 he was working supplying the Army at Fort Huachuca. He left the fort to explore and prospect on the side. Some soldiers told him all he would find was his "tombstone or a graveyard" if he kept leaving the camp alone in Indian country. Instead he found silver and the town of Tombstone was founded. Tombstone's inexplicable demise is simply because rising water tables underground made the mines inaccessible and without silver the town all but dried up.

Contrary to the movies, Boot hill is not right in town, it is actually 3 miles away, but is still an eerie place. Below is one tombstone you will recognized from the movies "Tombstone" and "Wyatt Earp". Others described men lynched by mobs, bar maids stabbed in the back, various diseases, and of course the Cowboy men shot in the OK Corral.