Camillus Sidney Fly was a Tombstone photographer. Most folks called him "Buck". The other Tombstone photographer was Mrs. Fly, known as Mollie. Together they chronicled the Old West as no one before them had. Their photographs were published in big city newspapers and major magazines throughout the United States.
The Flys arrived in Tombstone from San Francisco CA in December 1879, the same month the Earp family arrived. They built a 12-room boarding house on Fremont Street with a photographic studio in the back. Molly usually took the portraits indoors while Buck focused on outdoor photographs of mills, soldiers, ranchers and scenic panoramas. He did some prospecting in the nearby Dragoon Mountains, but it never amounted to much.
By the late 1880's, the photographic works of the Fly Photography Gallery began to attract attention beyond Tombstone. Their photographs were exhibited in Phoenix, Prescott, San Francisco, New York and even London. Although it should be noted that almost all of their photographs were credited to C.S. Fly. We can't be certain which ones Mollie actually took, except those made after Buck passed in 1901.
Witness To A Gunfight
In October 1881 at about 3 PM, something happened next to Fly's Boarding House where Doc Holliday and Big Nose Kate rented a room. Buck heard shots fired in the vacant lot adjacent to his building. He was standing no more than 10 yards from the first shots fired during the Gunfight Near The OK Corral as it played out over the next 30 seconds.
When the firing stopped, Buck ran outside armed with a useless prop Sharps rifle just in time to take the empty Colt revolver from the soon-to-be-dead Billy Clanton.Read More