Tombstone is one of the most famous mining towns in the United States. In the 1870s, prospector Ed Schieffelin left Fort Huachuca in search of silver in the heavily populated Apache territory. He was told all he would find was his tombstone and the Native Americans would never let him return. Thus, he named his first silver mine Tombstone, which became the town name. The town was notorious for saloons, gambling houses and the Earp-Clanton shootout at the O.K. Corral. Tombstone grew quickly and was known as the most cultivated city in the west, but this boom town came to an end in 1911. In the 1930s, Tombstone survived the Great Depression and the shifting of the county seat to Bisbee to become known as the “Town Too Tough To Die.”

Principal Economic Activities

Tombstone’s economy has changed drastically since its days as a mining town. The town's colorful history is the key factor for steady growth. In 1962, the Department of the Interior designated the Tombstone Historic District a National Historic Landmark District. A restoration zone was established and a commission organized for the preservation of its landmarks. Tourism is a mainstay of the economy. The mild year-round climate and low humidity make Tombstone an attractive place for retirement.

Scenic Attractions

Cochise County, including Tombstone, is the site of a fascinating chapter in American history. It was home to the Apaches, Chief Cochise and Chief Geronimo. Chiricahua National Monument, Fort Huachuca and the 1877 Calvary Post Museum preserve Native American and pioneer heritage. Tombstone’s historic buildings include the courthouse built in 1882 that now serves as a state park. Other historic buildings include the Rose Tree Museum, three churches, Bird Cage Theater, Crystal Palace Saloon and Big Nose Kate’s Saloon. Daily stagecoach tours are offered of historic Tombstone. Tombstone’s early days are re-enacted in October during the Helldorado Celebration. Daily shows depict the town's western heritage at the O.K. Corral, Helldorado Town and Six Gun City.

Community Facilities

Tombstone offers a wide range of community facilities including a library, four museums, three parks, two lighted tennis courts, a swimming pool and a lighted baseball field.

Basic Information

Founded 1879 Incorporated 1881
Elevation 4,540 ft. Location Cochise County
Distance to major cities:
Phoenix 181 miles San Diego 478 miles
Tucson 70 miles Los Angeles 556 miles
Las Vegas 477 miles  


2000 2010 2023 (est.)
Tombstone 1,504 1,381 1,313
Cochise County 117,755 131,436 126,463
State of Arizona 5,130,632 6,401,569 7,285,370

Office of Economic Opportunity

Arizona Dept. of Revenue & Arizona Tax Research Foundation


Tombstone 3.50%
Cochise County 0.50%
State 5.60%

Arizona Dept. of Revenue & Arizona Tax Research Foundation

Labor Force

2000 2010 2022
Civilian Labor Force 732 564 493
Unemployed 22 30 21
Unemployment Rate 3.0% 5.3% 4.3%

Office of Economic Opportunity

Workforce Education Attainment

Count Share
Less than high school 71 7.1%
High school or equivalent, no college 296 29.6%
Some college or Associate degree 481 48.1%
Bachelor’s degree or advanced degree 152 15.2%

American Community Survey

Industry (ranked by employment)

  Count Share
Public administration 95 21.3%
Arts, entertainment, food & recreation services 71 15.9%
Retail trade 69 15.4%
Education, health care & social assistance 50 11.2%
Transportation, warehousing, & utilities 42 9.4%
Finance, insurance & real estate 35 7.8%
Construction 22 4.9%
Information 22 4.9%
Professional, scientific, & administrative services 19 4.3%
Other services, except public administration 14 3.1%
Manufacturing 8 1.8%
Agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting, & mining 0 0.0%
Wholesale trade 0 0.0%

American Community Survey

This profile was prepared by the Arizona Commerce Authority in cooperation with local sources. For further information, please contact:

City of Tombstone
Brenda Ikirt
613 E. Allen Street
Tombstone, AZ 85638
Phone: 520-457-2202
Email: [email protected]
Cochise County Economic Development
Sharon Gilman
1415 Melody Lane, Building G
Bisbee, AZ 85603
Phone: 520-432-9332
Email: [email protected]
Tombstone Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 995
Tombstone, AZ 85638
Phone: 520-457-9317
Email: [email protected]

Local First Arizona
407 E. Roosevelt St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Phone: 602-956-0909
Email: [email protected]
Arizona Commerce Authority
Statewide Economic Development Group
100 N. 7th Ave., Suite 400
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Phone: 602-845-1200
Email: [email protected]

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