Meet the Swamper

This photo was taken by Tombstone photographer James Kidd, inside Big Nose Kates Saloon. If you carefully look between, and just above the first bar stool to the left, you'll see what appears to be some sort of energy. Some say this looks like a man standing towards the camera and his back against the bar.  Others including myself, think it looks like the image of a horse leaning his head over the bar.  Even others see what appears to be a face just below the bar between the first and second bar stool from the left, look carefully and you'll see what appears to be a right eye, nose and faintly the left eye.

The legend of the Swamper?

Many years ago in the 1800's, Big Nose Kates Saloon was once the Grand Hotel. This great hotel hosted such infamous personalities as Wyatt and Virgil Earp, Doc Holliday, as well as the Clantons, and McLaurys.

And as legend and folk lore have it... in this hotel was a janitor and odd job man, known simply as "The Swamper". He was a trusted and honest helper who was given his accomodations as part of his hard earned pay.

"The Swamper" had his own special bedroom which was located in the dark basement of the Grand Hotel. This was his own special and private haven where he could enjoy peace and solitude away from the hustle and bustle of the hotel's many guests. Within his private domain where no guests were invited, he also kept secret his passion for silver.

The basement was deep enough below the surface of the ground to afford entrance into one of the catacombing mine shafts which ran underground beneath the hotel as well as most of Tombstone. "The Swamper" spent many painstaking hours over a period of years tunneling an entrance into the shaft. When the digging was completed, he could gain access to a thick vein of silver where he extracted ounce by ounce of the glorious silver nuggets. This mine entrance is still a prominent feature of the bar's basement.

It is still unknown if "The Swamper" spent his silver or if he hoarded it in an unknown niche somewhere on the premises of the Grand Hotel. However, several workers of the now "Big Nose Kates saloon" will swear that they have seen a ghost wandering the halls and stairs. It has been reasoned that the ghost is indeed "The Swamper" and that his afterlife is being spent protecting the silver that may still perhaps be buried somewhere in this legendary building.

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