Big Nose Kateís Saloon




Grand Hotel - Past ...

 A favorite Allen Street watering hole popular with tourist today is "Big Nose Kate's Saloon." While the saloon itself, was not one that was in Tombstone during itís heyday, the name "Big Nose Kate" is synonymous with Tombstone history. "Big Nose Kate" Elder or Fisher, as some called her, ran the first combination saloon and brothel in Tombstone. Kate is also known for her turbulent relationship with the gambling former dentist, John Henry "Doc" Holliday. For many years Kate was "Docís" live in girlfriend. To some peoples dismay, Holliday was never married to "Big Nose Kate."

Originally in itís heyday, this same building was the Grand Hotel, where the Clantons would stay when they came to town. In fact, Ike Clanton and the two McLaury brothers were registered guests, the night before the famous OK Corral gunfight, October 26, 1881.

Originally, the bar area was down stairs in the basement, while the upper levels were strictly the hotel. One of the many Tombstone mining shafts still leads into the basement bar area, that has just been opened back up to customers after 100 years! This really made it easy for the thirsty miners in the 1880's. They would simply come up through the shaft into the basement bar area, have a drink, then head on back to their jobs as hard rock miners.

The Grand Hotel bar, now up stairs in the saloon, is the only original bar in Tombstone still in use today! The only other bar that survived the fires of 1882, is the bar in the famous Bird Cage Theatre, which is now a museum. If you get a chance to visit Tombstone, Visit "Big Nose Kate's Saloon," walk up and order a drink from the very same bar that Ike Clanton, Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday ordered from, and Iíll promise you goose bumps!

The other thing I must tell you about is "Swamper the Ghost!" Thatís right a Ghost! "Big Nose Kate's Saloon" is said to be haunted by the spirits of an old miner, nick named "Swamper." Tombstone residents, saloon employees and even tourists, have experienced the "Swamper!" A Tombstone photo journalist named Jim Kidd, even has a photo of the alleged "Swamper!"

Do you believe in ghosts?