Guidebooks to Tombstone

When reviewing travel guide books, Samuel Johnson’s quote often comes to mind: “Every writer of travels should consider that…he undertakes either to instruct or please…. He that instructs must offer to the mind something to be imitated, or something to be avoided; he that pleases must offer new images to the reader, and enable him to form a tacit comparison of his own state with that of others.”

Researcher Jane Eppinga meets the pleasure standard with Tombstone, part of Arcadia Publishing’s “Postcard History Series.” Those postcards that most succeed include a Depression-era image by Dorothea Lange, Crystal Palace Saloon by Burton Frasher, a photo of Ah Lum’s Can Can restaurant and the ever-famous photo of the 1884 hanging of John Heath.

To find the site of that hanging, you can check out Eppinga’s Historic Walking Guides: Tombstone & Bisbee, Arizona.

The guide is good for those who want a cursory understanding of the history of Bisbee and Tombstone. The guide features a few black-and-white historical images of interest, but it’s by no means a flashy, color and photo-centric book that most travel guide readers would expect.

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