The Crystal Palace was originally opened as the Golden Eagle Brewery in 1880, which featured a German-style lunch along with cold beer. The original building burned in the 1882 fire, but it was rebuilt as the much larger Crystal Palace. The new bar was quite ornate and included a goldfish pond and fountain. The second floor had room for several offices, including Marshal Virgil Earp and Dr. George Goodfellow. During Prohibition the building was used as a movie theater. After Prohibition ended the Crystal Palace was reopened as a saloon and restaurant. In the early 1960s Tombstone Historic Adventures restored it back to the way it looked in the 1880s. Today, the Crystal Palace has the same look-and-feel of the days when Tombstone was still a young mining town. Many guests in town stop at “The Crystal” for lunch or to beat the heat with an ice-cold beer. Weekends, the Crystal Palace features live entertainment. It is safe to say that something is always “jumping” at the Crystal Palace.
The Crystal Palace is also a haunted location. One of the men who work at the Goodenough Mine Tour reported an incident when he was invited to join a group in the basement of the Crystal Palace for a ghost hunt after closing hours several years ago. The basement of the Crystal Palace used to connect to one of the mines, but that entrance was walled shut many decades ago. It is believed, though, that spirits from the mine still use the basement of the Crystal Palace as a gathering spot before visiting above ground, so there is a good bit of paranormal activity here. When the ghost hunt began, one person in the group adjusted a paranormal activity detector sitting on a table against the mine wall. Soon after the session began, the Goodenough Mine worker heard a voice that quietly whispered in his ear “Get Out.” He said that he laughed at that voice, then it repeated the demand but loudly enough for the other people in the room to hear. When he did not move fast enough, he was pushed (or maybe slapped) on his back so hard that it knocked him down. He reported that when he got home a little later his wife noticed a huge handprint in the middle of his back.
Also, bikers tend to like our town and groups frequently visit. Several years ago, a biker got a bit “fresh” with one of the women working at the Crystal Palace. He later went to the men’s room and while he was washing his hands, he looked in the mirror above the sink and noticed that a man in period costume was glaring at him from behind. The biker thought that it was a great costume, so he turned around to speak to the gentlemen, but no one was there. The biker thought that was very strange and he turned back to the sink to rinse his hands. When he did, he noticed in the mirror that gentleman was now standing just behind him. This time, though, the gentleman reached forward, grabbed the biker’s shoulder, and spun him around; but there was no one there. The biker quickly left the building and did not come back. We know that Virgil Earp used to keep the peace in this place using techniques like what this biker experienced, he would physically throw misbehaving cowboys out onto the street and tell them to never come back. While we cannot know if this biker ran across Virgil, something made him leave the bar and not return. Ever.
The Crystal Palace is located at 420 E Allen St, Tombstone, AZ 85638, on the corner of Allen and Fifth streets. It is a restaurant and bar with good food and entertainment. The Goodenough Trolley Tour passes the Crystal Palace where I tell a few stories about this location. The Tombstone After Dark Tour does not pass the Crystal Palace but guests may want to check out this location on their own.