Breakfast and Burials

Naco, AZ

Present day Bisbee now includes what was at one time the nearby small communities of Warren, Lowell, and San Jose.  The original Bisbee is now known as “Old Town.”  Lowell was at one time a sizable mining town located just to the southeast of Old Bisbee.  The majority of the original townsite was consumed by the excavation of the Lavender Pit mine during the 1950s. All that is left today is a small portion of Erie Street, along with Evergreen Cemetery, Saginaw subdivision and Lowell Middle School.  These days Lowell is considered by most of the local residents to be more of a place name than an operating community.  One of the only business left in Lowell is the Bisbee Breakfast Club.  We stopped in one morning and enjoyed a great breakfast.

The restaurant is only open for breakfast and lunch.  They also have a similar restaurant in Tucson and Mesa.

After breakfast we took a walk down Erie Street.  It appeared to be a one time hub of activity for the town, but today looks more like a large museum with old autos and a few motorcycles parked along the way.

The view down Erie Street

After our brief tour of Lowell, we drove about thirty miles to the north for a visit to the legendary town of Tombstone.  Friends had told us that the town is mainly just a tourist trap, but we were interested in visiting the Boothill Graveyard.

Located on the northwest corner of the town, the graveyard is believed to hold over 300 persons, 205 of which are recorded.  This was due to some people (especially Chinese and Jewish immigrants) being buried without record.  However, most of the loss was due to neglect of grave markers and theft of these wooden relics as souvenirs.  The cemetery was closed in late 1886, as the new “City Cemetery” on Allen Street opened.

You enter the cemetery through a small gift shop pictured above.  There is no admission fee but for a three dollar donation you receive a flyer containing information about many of the people buried there.  The most famous of the graves is Billy Clanton, Frank McLaury, and Tom McLaury; the three men who were killed during the famed Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

Graves of Billy Clanton, Frank McLaury, and Tom McLaury

 

Below are the graves of Tex Howard, Bill Delaney, and Dan Kelly.  They were legally hanged in 1884 after being found guilty of killing several people during a robbery in Bisbee.

John Heath also participated in that robbery and was considered the leader of the group.  The law-abiding citizens of Bisbee apparently couldn’t wait for the wheels of justice to finish turning as he was taken from the county jail and lynched by a mob.

Apparently some people couldn’t tolerate the harsh life in the area as there were a number of graves where the cause of death was marked a suicide.  John King died from ingesting strychnine, a very painful way to die.

We spent some time looking around Tombstone but agree with those who say it is mainly a tourist trap.  But if you’re passing through on your way to or from Bisbee it is worth a brief stop.

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23 Responses to Breakfast and Burials

  1. pmbweaver says:

    I think it took us all of five minutes to walk Erie Street…hehe

    This sounds so morbid, but we enjoyed the cemetery and reading all the headstones. We did see one for the youngest child who died of some sort of disease. We didn’t pay the $3.00 Someone was leaving as we were entering and just handed us their paper. Lots of interesting reading.

  2. jimandbarb says:

    We did not make Boothill when we were there. Totally agree with your assessment on the town being a tourist trap. Regardless, it was very interesting to walk the streets of Tombstone and wonder what it must have been like back in the late 1800’s. Worth the trip for sure.

  3. Ingrid says:

    All we toured was the cemetery. The rest was just too touristy. At least you can now say you’ve been to Tombstone 🙂

  4. Lenore says:

    Definitely one of the more informative posts I’ve read about Tombstone. Thanks!

  5. Gay says:

    I would have enjoyed the old cars on Erie Street…

  6. Sheila says:

    A walk Down memory lane and iback to the past. Enjoyed seeing the old model cars. We enjoy eating breakfast out and the BBC looks interesting. We visited Tombstone several years ago.

  7. Mary says:

    Love that town of Lowell, those old buildings look great.

  8. Holly Ritger says:

    Two more future stops on our itinerary : ) I love that you and so many other traveling bloggers check out and review all these neat places around the country. Thanks!!

  9. jcgc50 says:

    We always enjoy reading the headstones in old graveyards. Now you can say you’ve been to Tombstone. Not a place we would go back to.

  10. Sherry says:

    Love the name Breakfast Club for a mostly breakfast restaurant. I’d stop in there any time. You’ve got David’s number with those old cars and motorcycles though we may skip Tombstone since we’ve now seen all there is to see thanks to you!! Love the graveyard is full sign.

  11. Sue says:

    Thanks John, history teacher. We didn’t know that Erie Street was the remnant of Lowell! We wondered why it looked like another little main drag situated in a very odd place. Never bothered to find out why, just took it all in! Another good reason to have friends like you!

  12. Jodee Gravel says:

    I read the title and thought the bacon and eggs must have been really bad……Erie street and the BBC were on our list already, and seeing the old cars and storefronts reminds me why! Our good friends live in Tombstone and we will be stopping there for one night next month. It is also our first “destination” when we launch in June when we can spend some more time (depending on how hot it is by then). I’ll be interested to see what the locals consider “noteworthy” as I know they avoid the tourist areas :-).

    • placestheygo says:

      I’d be interested in knowing what the locals recommend, also, Jodee. Make sure you tell us in one of your posts because people all say the same thing…pass on Tombstone and head to Bisbee.

  13. rommel says:

    Apt names of those places including Eerie Street. 😀 Bisbee sounds like an exciting but dangerous place back in the day, eh. 🙂

  14. Suzanne says:

    Is it wrong that I laughed at John King’s tombstone? Perhaps. Amusing in its simplicity. 😉

  15. Laurel says:

    We’ve never felt compelled to visit Tombstone, so thanks for giving us a tour. Now we don’t have to go there! 🙂 We’ve enjoyed wandering around and photographing the memorabilia on Erie Street. I’m curious, did you guys have an Indian motorcycle? I’ve always loved those signs.

  16. LuAnn says:

    I agree with your other readers, the only place of interest in Tombstone is the cemetery. However, riding your Harleys to Tombstone does make for an interesting way to see the landscape, particularly when you are trying to outrun a rainstorm. 🙂

  17. Oh how we liked going to the Bisbee Breakfast Club years ago & I always enjoyed a walk down rustic Erie Street looking at the old buildings & cars. Been to & through Tombstone about a dozen times while ranch sitting nearby & if one can look beyond the tourist thing Tombstone does share a place in American history. We did Boot Hill in early 07

    • placestheygo says:

      Erie Street was so much fun to stroll down. With all the old cars, trucks, and motorcycles we really felt like we were walking back in time. Someone has done a great job keeping the street authentic.

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