Tombstone Silver

Roller-Skating In Tombstone

It surprises many of our guests, but Tombstone citizens in the early 1800’s enjoyed roller skating.


Introduction

The Turnverein Hall hosted occasional roller-skating parties, but we also had a roller-skating rink that was a popular location for parties. The first mention of a skating rink in the Epitaph newspaper was in the late fall of 1882 and it was last mentioned in October 1895. While there were many one-line ads in the Epitaph over the years, here are a few of the more detailed excerpts about the skating rink.


The skating rink is now in full tide of success. New skates of the most approved pattern have been received, and an expert skater is always in attendance to wait on beginners. From and after this date ladies will be admitted free of charge.

The skating rink will be open this afternoon from 2 to 4 o'clock for the accommodation of schoolchildren. Skating is a most healthful pastime, and an opportunity, such as will be presented today, should not be unheeded by parents who have the welfare of their children at heart.


For some reason there was a long gap in the record and the skating rink is not mentioned again until 1891. Perhaps it closed for several years or maybe something else happened, but here are two excerpts from the 1890s.


Something New.

The new managers of the skating rink, Messrs. Blewitt and Templeton, have lots of fun in store for next Saturday night at the rink. There will be a free for all one mile race for the prize of a fine fat turkey. At 9:30 a greased pig will be turned loose, which will be won by the one who catches it and succeeds in skating three times around the rink with it. In addition to these, other sports will be introduced. It is needless to add that seats in the gallery will be preferred by lady spectators. Admission to the floor will be 50c. Spectator's tickets 25e. Doors open at 7:30

The Domino Ball. The Domino ball at the Skating rink last night, given by the Tombstone Social Club, was a grand success. The many maskers in their picturesque costumes gliding merrily about presented an enchanting scene. The rink was well crowded, and to the tuneful strains of the Tombstone string band the light fantastic was tripped until a late hour, everyone present enjoying themselves hugely. The floor was placed in excellent condition and the decorations added to the brilliancy of the occasion.

The Tombstone Social Club comprises 30 members, and as its name implies is an organization for mutual social pleasure. Weekly meetings are held and the evenings spent in skating or dancing, while every Saturday afternoon the rink is thrown open to the school children to skate at pleasure.

The Domino ball is the opening event of the dancing season and Tombstone will doubtless have other similar occasions during the winter.


Location

I’ve been unable to find the skating rink on any map and the Epitaph articles do not give a clue to its location. If I find out where it was located, I’ll update this page. It is not possible to know if The Goodenough Historic Trolley Tour passes the old skating rink but I mention the skating parties in the Turnverein Hall when I pass that location.