John Ringo Grave

John Ringo Historic Site Monument

The Historic Site Monument at the Ringo Gravesite.

If you’ve read about the untamed American frontier and have never heard of Tombstone, Arizona, for shame! This little town is a great place to learn about frontier life in a mining boom town. Tombstone is rife with legends and stories that would keep anyone interested for weeks on end. It was a silver mining town known for its rough-around-the-edges citizens. Names like Wyatt Earp, Curly Bill Brocius, Big Nose Kate, Doc Holliday– are a dime a dozen in the annals of Tombstone history. Tombstone is noted for the longest poker game in history (8 years, 5 months, and 3 days) and the infamous gunfight at the O.K. corral which was primarily between the Earps and the Clantons and McLowerys.

Part of the culture of the “Wild West” was to bury a body along the trail where the person passed away. There was no transporting the body anywhere unless the deceased was close to the rail lines at their time of death. Decomposition was rapid because food didn’t have preservatives and embalming was still in its infancy. Bodies still relatively intact that were found on the trail were buried deep enough to keep the coyotes, vultures or other desert scavengers at bay. Most makeshift graves were covered with rocks and marked with a simple wooden cross near the place the body was found and buried. The practice of leaving a cross or headstone is still observed in parts of the American southwest– though, the bodies are typically transported and interred in an actual cemetery instead of beside the road.

One such body that was found and buried on the trail is the source of much historical intrigue as there is some disagreement over the death of this man whose personal legend is linked to the infamous “Town Too Tough to Die”– Tombstone, Arizona. The body of John Peters Ringo is interred near the oak tree where he was found. A coroner’s inquest was held to determine his cause of death, but not everyone agrees with the verdict. Continue reading

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Murderous May: The Black Legend of Richard III

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Tower of London as viewed from the Thames River.

Tower of London as viewed from the Thames River.

After becoming fatally ill at Easter in 1483, King Edward IV of England added a codicil to his will, naming his brother Richard, Duke of Gloucester (later King Richard III) Protector while the King’s eldest son, Edward V, was in the minority. Shortly following the April 9, 1843 death of his father (King Edward IV) Edward V, Prince of Wales, traveled from his boyhood home in Woodville to London. In late April, the party was intercepted by Protector Richard III who arrested and subsequently ordered the execution of the Woodvilles who were traveling with the young king. Edward V (12 yrs old) was escorted to the Tower of London where he was soon joined by his younger brother, Richard of Shrewsbury, 1st Duke of York (10 yrs old), supposedly to await Edward’s coronation. However, in July 1483, it was Richard III who was being crowned king– The two young princes had disappeared without a trace.
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Haunted Lodgings: Hotel del Coronado

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Hotel del Coronado

Hotel del Coronado. Image from the Hotel del Coronado website.

The locals call this ginormous hotel “The Del”. Its iconic Victorian style is one of the last remaining monuments to American architecture. The Hotel del Coronado is an elegant resort hotel perched on an island overlooking the Pacific Ocean at 1500 Orange Avenue. No matter which direction you gaze, you can’t beat the views from this palace by the sea.

Hotel del Coronado has a nostalgia and charm that takes you back in time. It is a place of romance, a place of love and a location that offers the experience of a lifetime, even if a lifetime lasts forever…
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