Tombstone Silver

Tombstone Businesses

This article lists a few of the many places Tombstone citizens could do business in 1885.


Fremont Street

From its founding in 1879 until the spring of 1882, Tombstone was a rapidly growing boom town that aggregated thousands of people from all over the world. Most of those folks were decent, hard-working people who were just looking for a better life; but naturally, there were also a few scoundrels. During those early days, there was a serious land scandal that cheated a lot of common folks out of their money and there were also occasional fights between groups like the Earps and the cowboys. However, by the late spring of 1882, the Earps had left town and the cowboys were all but wiped out; then Tombstone settled into a wholesome place to raise a family.


In 1885 we had fine dining, world-class entertainment, a public school, an undertaker, and a volunteer fire department. We had a horse racetrack, baseball park, Turn Verein Hall (gymnasium), and a public swimming pool. Prominent buildings included the Cochise County Courthouse, the Tombstone City Hall, and the Schieffelin Hall Opera House. The Tombstone Business Directory for 1883-1884 listed the following establishments.


On my historic tour, I emphasize that 19th century Tombstone was a fine place to raise a family with many services and stores. The movies about Tombstone emphasize a 30-second gunfight since that was very dramatic, but that gunfight does not represent the history of the town very well. On your next visit to Tombstone, I would encourage you to look beyond the gunfights to discover how the common folks worked and lived.