2012 AH Classic Wall CalendarShop the AH Store >>

Our 2015 calendars are now available!

Classic Wall Calendar

CL15 $10.99

Our classic 13-month spiral-bound calendar features 30 full-color photographs and a handy map of Arizona on the back.

Order Now >>
Purchase Camping GuideShop the AH Store >>

Featured Book

Arizona Highways
Camping Guide

AGCS3 $22.95

Our newest book, which includes Arizona Highways iconic photography and maps, is sorted by region and is written for car-campers and families. Detailed information about accessibilty, amenities and fees is included for each campground.

Order Now >>
2011 AH Wildlife CalendarSee Selection of Images >>

Featured Prints

Poster Prints
Special Edition Prints

Many of the extraordinary images found in our award-winning magazine, scenic coffee-table books and exquisite calendars can be purchased as fine posters and prints.

Order Now >>
Shop the AH Store >>

Featured Gift Item

Centennial Issue Reprint

SPCENN2 $4.99

If you missed our February 100-page Centennial Issue on newsstands earlier this year, here's your second chance to get a copy of this special collector's edition of Arizona Highways magazine..

Order Now >>

  • print page
  • Tell a Friend
  • Post to Facebook
  • YouTube
  • past to del.icio.us
BULLEThistory archive

History Archive Photo
To view the O.K. Corral documents online, visit azmemory.azlibrary.gov.

© Arizona Historical Society/Tucson

>> Click on image to view
it larger in a separate window.

Dusty Pages
When Bonnie Cook and Michelle Garcia were cleaning out an old jail storage space, they probably figured it was just another day at work. That is, until they came across an envelope that read "Keep." It was dated 1881.

By David Schwartz

''The Earps had just passed down the street with their guns. I passed from their [sic] down to my house … and I was their [sic] when the shooting commenced."

Sitting in her office at the Cochise County Courthouse, Denise Lundin paged through the handwritten account by miner C.H. Light and others that she found in the manila envelope. It was as if the Holy Grail itself had been plunked down on her desk.

Sixteen double-sided, amber-colored pages, held together with dark tape as brittle as a potato chip, chronicled the 1881 coroner's inquest into arguably the most famous shoot-out in the history of the Wild West — the gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

"It was almost like time had stopped; it was very, very moving," says Lundin, the former superior court clerk. "It was like touching time gone by."

The documents, offering eyewitness accounts of the 30-second burst of violence between the Earp brothers and Doc Holliday on one side, and the Clantons and McLaurys on the other, had not been seen since the 1960s, when they were photocopied. Some feared they were gone forever. That is, until clerks Bonnie Cook and Michelle Garcia were cleaning out a jail storage space at the Bisbee courthouse on March 31, 2010. Amid the dusty boxes, they came across one envelope that read "Keep." It was dated 1881.

In short order, the documents were whisked to Lundin, who would lock them in a small safe and put it into a thick-walled vault for safekeeping. The next day — April Fool's Day — she called her friend, state archives director Melanie Stur­geon, to arrange a handover of the documents.

It took about a month to complete the meticulous process of scanning the hand-written documents into the computer system and painstakingly make them more readable for researchers and curiosity seekers. There also was a typed transcript available.

"It was important that we get them online, because the documents could not have withstood any handling," Sturgeon says. "People now have the opportunity to see them as they were all those years ago."
For now, online visits are the only way people can view the fragile documents. Sturgeon estimates that it would take thousands of hours to restore the material.

>> Back to History Archive


Story ArchivesFind previously published stories online... [more]

Global SnapshotsSend us a photo of you or someone you know posing with Arizona Highways. We'll post it on our website. It's that simple... [more]

Photo of the DaySend us a photo of you or someone you know posing with Arizona Highways. We'll post it on our website. It's that simple... [more]

 

Social MediaJoin our Facebook, Twitter and Flickr communities for behind-the-scenes glimpses at Arizona Highways... [more]

Events & PromotionsEscape, experience and explore Arizona, one event at a time... [more]

Travel GuidesThere's so much to see and do in Arizona. Let our online travel guide be your one-stop resource for planning your next Arizona adventure... [more]

site map  |  terms of use  |  privacy policy  |  corporate sales  |  about us  |  contact us

Arizona Highways Television AZ Dept. of Transportation AZ Dept. of Public Safety Arizona Highways Photo Workshops

© Copyright 2014 Arizona Department of Transportation, State of Arizona. All rights reserved. Reproduction in part or whole without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. The images on this Web site are copyrighted, digitally watermarked and registered with the Digimarc tracking system. All rights reserved. Copying and downloading images from this site are strictly prohibited.