Jerry Brewer aka Terco Paco, “The Tombstone Bandito,” is a fixture at special events in Tombstone, Arizona. I met Jerry at Wyatt Earp Days and he was also at Vigilante Days. He is a real character. Photographed with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ 28.
“The Town Too Tough to Die,” Tombstone was perhaps the most renowned of Arizona’s old mining camps. When Ed Schieffelin (SHEF·e·lin) came to Camp Huachuca (hwah·CHEW·kuh) with a party of soldiers and left the fort to prospect, his comrades told him that he’d find his tombstone rather than silver. Thus, in 1877 Schieffelin named his first claim the Tombstone, and rumors of rich strikes made a boomtown of the settlement that adopted this name.
During World War I, Tombstone was a major producer of manganese for the government. In World War II, Tombstone was extracting lead for the cause. After both conflicts, Tombstone faded into obscurity, just to be resurrected at a later time. The citizenry of Tombstone decided rather than depending on a vanishing mining industry, they would focus their time and energy on tourism and restoration. Good call!
Many of Tombstone’s historic buildings are within an area bounded by Fremont, 6th, Toughnut and 3rd streets. Among them are St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, built in 1882; the Crystal Palace Saloon, one of the most luxurious saloons in the West; and the Tombstone Epitaph building, where the oldest continuously published paper in Arizona is still being printed. Western printing history exhibits in the front office are free to the public.
Truly a Historical American Landmark, Tombstone is America’s best example of our 1880 western heritage, which is well preserved with original 1880’s buildings and artifacts featured in numerous museums.
“Tombstone Bandito” has been featured in:
*COWBOY / COWGIRL ART/January, 2010
Second Place in COWBOY/COWGIRL ART’s “Silly Cowboy/Cowgirl Art” Challenge/ January, 2010.
*Top 10 in MOOD & AMBIANCE – STRICTLY PHOTOS’ “Attitude!” Challenge