Skip to comments.Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (Photo)
Posted on 03/24/2013 9:32:17 AM PDT by Signalman
As someone interested in the history of the American old West, I found this photograph quite interesting.
It was taken circa 1932 by photographer John Walker and shows the location of the sight where, 50 years or so earlier, the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral took place in Tombstone, AZ at 3:00PM on October 26, 1881.
The scene depicted in the photo is probably close to what it looked like at the time of the famous confrontation that occurred between the Earp brothers (Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan) and Doc Holliday, and "The Cowboys" (the Clanton Brothers, Ike and Billy and the McLaury brothers).
The scene is looking south just to the east of the intersection of Fremont St. and 3rd St. in Tombstone, AZ. The street in the foreground is Fremont St.
Contrary to popular belief, the gunfight did not take place at the O.K. Corral, which was located 150 feet or so to the east of the alley where the shootings actually occurred. The O.K. Corral was located between Fremont St. and Allen St. which runs parallel to, and is south of, Fremont St.
The structure on the left of the alley was Mollie Fly's boarding House and the one on the right was the house owned by the then Mayor William Harwood.
You can check Google Earth (Fremont and 3rd St.) to see what this location looks like currently.
More photos are at the link.
Sight? What sight was there to see at the site? And with what sight did they see it? Or did we cite this wrong?
Site. Typo on my part.
Interesting photos...a glimpse into the past. Thanks for posting!
Interesting. Thank you for the posting.
15 minutes well spent on a Sunday. Thanks for posting
Things always look so shabby in black and white. But then by the 1920s, Tombstone had fallen on pretty hard times. Once the mines played out, almost everybody left.
Interesting....we just spent two days in Tombstone...those Earp brothers were NOT the good guys often portrayed in movies....and...the OK Corral shootout really was a MINOR incident....70 people died on the main street in Tombstone in a two year period during the time they were there...
It's interesting that DeForest Kelley, veteran of many westerns, turned out to be perhaps the only actor to appear on both sides of that particular gunfight.
There was a good article in “The American Rifleman” a few years back. It was written by a member of the 6th Cavalry who was stationed outside Tombstone during the time of the gunfight.
He lived to be over a hundred. His opinion of Wyatt Earp was the same as yours. He said he was a pimp and only used the badge for his own purposes.
He didn’t think much of Doc Holliday either. He called him an insane killer.
I guess you found out: a typo on FR is the unforgivable sin. Does no good to repent here. LOL
Wyatt Earp shoed up at the Eagle Creek gold rush in Northern Idaho in 1881 and opened a saloon in a tent.
I guess he figgered that was far enough away from Tombstone that none of the Clanton clan or their friends would fnd him there. But maybe not. A few years later that gold rush had played out and it was off to Alaska for the Earps.
Kitschy, but fun and worth the jaunt.
“...it was off to Alaska for the Earps.”
As I recall, at some point after Erp returned from Alaska, he stood trial in San Francisco and was aquited. Can’t remember if it was a civil of criminal trial, but it was big news back then.
Fascinating reading and photo.
Thanks for posting that link!
Actually, my reading indicates that there were many shades of gray between the Earp and Clanton factions. neither was all good or all bad. Probably the most accurate depiction was the animosity and the gun fight was between the Democrat southern sympathizers (the Clantons) and the Republican northern sympathizers. (the Earps)
By the way, Ike Clanton was killed by a detective” near Springerville, AZ about 10 years after the gunfight.
I used to have an old WESTERNER magazine that claimed the Earps spent their “off” duty time robbing stages in AZ.
Warp may not have been all that good...but my impression of the whole thing is that it was a battle between law and order (republican earps) vs. lawless democrats (clantons). Law and order (repubs) won.
It was a small area so it’s amazing only 3 died in those few seconds. The tv show, “Diggers”, went over the ground with their metal detectors. The two digger hosts are a bit over the top but the locales are interesting.
This is remembered because of the colorful lawmen and badmen fighting the less colorful badmen. But it is far from the largest or bloodiest battles that took place in Arizona.
First (July, 1776) and Second and subsequent Battles of the Presidio Santa Cruz de Terrenate (Spanish v. Apache). Lots of Spanish and Apaches killed.
Battle of Big Dry Wash (aka “Big Dry Fork”) (resulting in four Medals of Honor.) About 60 Apache warriors vs. 350 US Cavalry.
The Pleasant Valley War (aka “The Graham-Tewksbury feud”). Some 20-34 killed. Both families about wiped out.
The Attack on the Apache Fortress (1872), 76 dead Apaches.
Although the author appears to believe the old liberal line that the Old West portrayed in the movies never really existed, I found this book to be an excellent read. He throws the politics of Arizona at that time into his story and it shows that, no matter how much things change, they always remain the same. The only thing I found a little irritating about the book was that he starts off by spewing the old liberal DemocRAT line, “The Old West in the movies never really existed” and then goes on to describe the events as they are portrayed in the movie, “Tombstone”. He wraps it all up by again saying that the “Old West” portrayed in the movies never really existed.
The last time I was there the OK Corral was behind a bar. You go out a door and it was about a 30x30 square foot boxed/fenced in area. Less than impressive.
There was a 1972 series called “David L. Wolper Presents” which depicted the gunfight as though news cameras were present, in black & white with no sound except voiceover (”struck in the calf by a McLaury bullet, Virgil Earp goes down but quickly rises”). Very realistic effect.