Guests often ask us to explain the history behind the monument from which the ranch takes its name. It is a memorial to the prospector, Ed Schieffelin whose determination and bravery against Apache attacks led to the original discovery of silver in the Tombstone area.

Schieffelin's Monument

Schieffelin’s Monument

 

When Schieffelin’s friend, Al Sieber, learned that Ed was prospecting here he apparently said, “The only rock you will find out there will be your own tombstone.” Al’s prediction nearly came true when one day Ed spotted hoof prints without horseshoes. He knew the apaches were in the area and if they found him they would kill him. That night he left his camp and hid among the rocks hoping the apaches would pass by  without detecting his whereabouts. He was lucky; he survived.

Schieffelin’s luck continued and he eventually found his first pieces of silver ore. He fittingly named his claim, ‘Tombstone’ as an ironic response to his friend’s warning. Word spread and the area became a hot spot for mining claims. The town that grew as a result was called ‘Tombstone’ after Schieffelin’s original claim.

When Ed died he requested that he be buried,”on top of the granite hills three miles westerly from the city of Tombstone, Arizona, and that a monument, such as prospectors build when locating a mining claim, be built over my grave.”

This is the monument that you see today, built, perhaps, on the spot where he survived.