Tombstone, Arizona’s Boothill Graveyard is famous for the “Wild West” outlaws buried inside. However, this small graveyard is also home to many lesser-known residents of the legendary boomtown.
The city cemetery was established in 1879 (though it wasn’t named Boothill until the 1920’s) and it was only open for a few years until 1884, before it filled up with Tombstone’s dearly departed. The burial ground included an interesting area separated from the main cemetery, which was set aside for the Jewish residents of Tombstone, and Cochise County. Most western graveyards of the day did not have a section for Jewish internments.
The Jewish cemetery was filled by the late 19th century and was mostly abandoned when the new city graveyard was built in 1884. It languished forgotten for the next hundred years.
In the 1980s, the neglected Jewish section of Boothill came to light, and the Jewish Friendship Club of Green Valley began efforts to restore the cemetery. In 1991, a memorial to the Jewish Pioneers and Indian Friends was dedicated along with the re-opening of this section of the famous cemetery. The two-tiered monument is made of rocks gathered from the mountains of Arizona.