ARIZONA NEWS

Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park

Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park

The courthouse, which served Cochise County from 1882 until the county seat was moved from Tombstone to Bisbee, serves today as a museum dedicated to the history of Tombstone and southeastern Arizona .

Exhibits on the ground floor tell about early white settlers and the Apache wars and provide the two prevailing eyewitness accounts of the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, along with detailed maps of the shootout. The exhibits also explain about the Faro card game that proved both popular and lucrative for the gambling houses and display a buggy and other gear from the late 1800s.

The second floor contains the courtroom where Clanton Gang members and others were tried. The courtroom’s biggest trial, however, was not for an outlaw but for one of the leaders of the Bisbee Deportation, a historic labor dispute.

Toughnut, the street that runs in front of the courthouse, used to be called Rotten Row for the lawyers who had their offices along the street

The courthouse was built in 1882 at a cost of nearly $50,000 after the Legislature agreed to carve Cochise County out of Pima County. The move saved residents of fast-growing Tombstone from having to make a two-day trip to Tucson to conduct their business.

The two-story brick building is in Italian villa style with stone quoins decorating the corners, Tuscan columns framing the tall wooden door at the entrance, and a cupola sitting atop the structure. It was built in the shape of a Latin cross.

The building housed the offices of the sheriff, recorder, treasurer, and the board of supervisors. It also had the county’s jail and courtroom. Among them was Sheriff John Slaughter, who was elected in 1886 and reelected in 1888 and is credited with clearing the county of robbers and rustlers, including the John Taylor Gang.

Tombstone lost the county seat to Bisbee in 1929, and the building stood vacant until 1955, other than an ill-fated effort to convert it into a hotel in the 1940s. The building became a state park in 1959, and its operation was taken over by the town in 2010.

Details 219 Toughnut St. Tombstone, AZ 85638 (520) 457-3311 http://www.pr.state.az.us/parks/TOCO/index.html

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