A Visit to Boothill Graveyard and Giftshop


The graveyard/cemetery was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966, as part of the Tombstone Historic District, reference #66000171.

Here is a commonly asked question:
Are there really any bodies buried in Tombstone’s Boothill Cemetery? Isn’t Boothill just a tourist trap with fake headstones? Weren’t all the bodies disinterred and moved to a new cemetery?
Boothill is authentic. It was Tombstone’s first City Cemetery, established in 1879. It wasn’t called Boothill until the 1920’s, probably as a result of Hollywood westerns or dime novels.
After the new City Cemetery was established in 1884 at the end of Allen Street, what became known as Boothill was referred to as the Old Cemetery. Most Tombstoners wanted their loved ones buried in the New Cemetery, so there were few burials at Boothill after 1884.

In fact, after the New Cemetery was established, many locals had the bodies of their loved ones disinterred and moved to the New Cemetery. Presumably, they didn’t feel comfortable with their deceased family members spending eternity next to thieves, murderers, rustlers, prostitutes, and Chinamen.

Who provides the maintenance of the Boothill Giftshop and Graveyard?
The City of Tombstone has the ultimate maintenance responsiblity for the Graveyard (markers and landscaping) and for the building maintence of Giftshop building.

Who staffs the Boothill Graveyard and Giftshop and greets the thousands of visitors annually?
The Tombstone Chamber of Commerce is responsible for daily staffing and management of the Boothill Graveyard & Giftshop. The Boothill Graveyard and Giftshop is open 7 days a week/10 hour a day (staff shift is actually 11 hours daily with an open and closure of the facility).

What do some of our visitors say about the Boothill Graveyard and Giftshop?

An interesting self-guided tour
I am a huge fan of historical sites and that includes grave sites. I've been to the Salem witch memorial in Salem, and while very interesting I can easily say it's not half as informative as this cemetery. Upon your arrival you are given a warm welcome from a local cowboy type who will offer you a guide map for a small donation of 3 dollars. This money goes towards the ongoing preservation of some of the oldest grave sites in the area. The self-guided brochure takes you site by site explaining how each of the unfortunate souls in the yard perished either by an "accidental" hanging or by gunfire. An interesting and sobering glimpse into the past. Highly recommend.
Visited January 2017

Historical Gem!
We took a walk up to Boothill from our campground in search of a geocache and some history. The shop attendant was informative and helpful. Graveyard was well kept and HIGHLY educational. Definitely enjoyed our visit.
Visited January 2017

A must see for western history
I was hesitant thinking this might have been converted to a tourist trap but it was NOT. Graveyard is run by the city, free per person, and only $3 for map that can be shared by your party. Receptionist was very informative about local points of interest and history points of the graveyard. Glad we stopped in.
Visited December 2016

The lady at the front desk greeted us and was very pleasant. We bought the $3 booklet which told us about the people buried in the graveyard. A map would have been better but we spent time just meandering around and matching the booklet to the gravestones. Great piece of history!
Visited October 2016

Kudos and THANK YOU to the Boothill Giftshop & Staff!
The Boothill Graveyard and Giftshop is a MUST see stop for most of Tombstone's visitors. Many of our visitors are first-timers... and are often visiting Tombstone from another country. Our staff and volunteers make sure that our guests are made to feel welcome, and given a warm and friendly greeting. The staff and volunteers are on hand to provide information and tid-bits of Boothill and Tombstone history when asked by our guests.

The positive experience that our guests have is because of our staff and volunteers.

Our guests... the visitors to Tombstone consider the Boothill Giftshop and Graveyard a destination location. This location is a vital part of the history of Tombstone Arizona. It is truly more than a business - it is an historical experience for all of our visitors!

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