Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Arizona Transportation Museum Tucson, Arizona August 2013

                             Quintin and I with the Steam Engine in the background

At the Amtrak Depot in downtown Tucson is a small but impressive museum which chronicles the building of the second transcontinental railroad linking the Eastern United States with the Pacific Coast. Displays begin with the Gadsen Purchase of 1853 between Mexico and the United States and end with information about the present day mainline of the Union Pacific. An interesting section also gives information about the different railways which served mining towns in Southern Arizona many of which are abandoned. Docents working at the museum give a tour of Southern Pacific 1673 on Depot grounds. Admission to the museum is free but donations are appreciated.

                           Railroads of Southern Arizona

Statues of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday Tucson, Arizona

This statue shows Wyatt Earp and "Doc" Holiday ready to fight. At the Tucson Depot the Earp clan killed Frank Stillwell  (a member of the cowboys).

Background: 1879 Tombstone, Arizona, was a lawless place. Stage coaches were robbed  and murders took place on the streets. Much of this violence was caused by the "Cowboys" led by John Behan and the Clanton gang. Deputy US Marshall Virgil Earp and his brother Wyatt Earp fought to maintain order.
                 On October 26, 1881, hostilities between the Earp clan and Cowboys reached a breaking point with the famous shootout at the OK Corral. After the shootout had ended three Cowboys lay dead in the street.  In the weeks to follow surprise attacks would kill Morgan Earp and cripple Virgil Earp.  The Earps hunted down many of the Cowboys in revenge including Frank Stillwell who was killed at this very spot. (Information from Depot kiosk).