Our Ghost Town Tour leaves from Costco parking lot at I-10 & Kino Parkway at 8 AM. Usually, we go mid-week. It takes about an hour & a half to get to our first ghost town, Pearce, Arizona.
Upon arrival at the Old Pearce Jail, Anna Nickell, head of the Pearce Historic Preservation Association, greeted us, gave us a couple informative handouts and sent us on our way to the cemetery (below).
After a half-hour or so, we motored back to what little remains of "Downtown" Pearce where we visited Marcia's Garden. Marcia makes goat milk soaps and lotions from her small herd of Nubian Dairy Goats. Ms. Karen says Marcia's products are among the best in the world. You can order online, but it's much more fun to visit in person. I thought this stop would be of interest only to the ladies, but the gentlemen enjoyed it as much.
Leaving Pearce, we traveled the unpaved Ghost Town Trail 15 miles south to the ghost town of Gleeson. On the way, we passed the ruins of Courtland (below). As recently as 1921, Courtland had an automobile dealership, two newspapers, a movie theater, hotels, saloons, and about 2,000 residents.
Joe Bono, below, (4th from the left) whose father & uncle ran the Gleeson Saloon back in the day, was at the old jail to greet us and give us a tour of the little museum he created inside. Other than by appointment, Joe opens his jail to the public on the 1st Saturday of each month.
Some in our group walked down to the ruins of the Gleeson School. When Gleeson was abandoned, the beautiful wood floors of the school where taken to Tombstone. Today, you walk on the Gleeson School floors when you visit the Crystal Palace Saloon. A little further down the road, we visited the Gleeson Cemetery. Then it was off to Tombstone for lunch & libation.
Once in Tombstone, we were greeted by the Cameo Ladies, a local group that does much to promote Tombstone and put on special events, such as the upcoming Garden Tour on Mothers Day May 8, 2016 and their annual historic home tour around Christmas time. We delight in their authentic period dresses.
Big Advantage of Our Tours
One of the many advantages to going on our tours is preferential treatment. For example, when our tour group arrived at Big Nose Kate's Saloon for lunch and drinks, there was, as usual, a long line of folks waiting to be seated. But, by prior arrangement, our group went right in, sat down at our reserved tables, and had our drinks and meals served within two minutes. (These guys are good!)
Shop Arlene's and The Shady Lady and receive a 10% discount!
Big Nose Kate's Saloon
Why does our Ghost Town Tour ALWAYS dine at Big Nose Kate's Saloon? Because it is the BEST COWBOY BAR IN AMERICA! For example, only here can you belly-up to the same bar that served the Clantons & McLaurys; Doc Holiday & Big Nose Kate; and Virgil, Wyatt, and Morgan Earp. That, and their pub grub is really good. Did we mention really fun Western Music? And on the big screen, you can watch Wyatt kill the Cowboys over and over.
(Above: me & Dr. Jay) After lunch at Big Nose Kate's Saloon, our tour group met Dr. Jay at the Tombstone Courthouse to begin another of his educational and entertaining walking tours of this, "The Town Too Tough To Die". Dr. Jay calls his tour "edutainment". He makes history fun. Southern Arizona Guide recommends anyone going to Tombstone for the first time take Dr. Jay's Walking Tour.
(Above: our Son-In-Law, Rick visiting from Hawaii) On our way out of town, we visited Boothill Graveyard. Many famous people from Tombstone's boom-years are buried here, including China Mary, Florentino (Indian Charley), Billy Clayborne, Dutch Annie, and the 3 Cowboys who lost the most famous gunfight in Old West history.
Southern Arizona Guide has a couple of features about Boothill you will find interesting:
Does Southern Arizona Guide offer custom tours? Of course. Contact Jim: [email protected] or call 520-820-2710.