The Tombstone and Arizona Territory Collection of Jim Melikian

For Immediate Release
September 21, 2016

Jason Czerwinski, Arizona Capitol Museum


WHAT: Rare artifacts reveal the well-rounded story of Tombstone
WHO: Items from James & Ana Melikian, and the Arizona State Archive
WHERE: Arizona Capitol Museum, 1700 West Washington Street, Phoenix
WHEN: September 22 – October 27 - Special presentation on October 5
WHY: The most dramatic moments of history, are discovered in details.


October is National Archives Month. To celebrate, the Arizona Capitol Museum, in cooperation with James and Ana Melikian and the Arizona State Archives, are proud to showcase an exclusive look at early documents from the founding of Tombstone. “Legends of the West: The Tombstone and Arizona Territory Collection of Jim Melikian” will open in the Marguerite B. Cooley Room at the Arizona Capitol Museum Library Annex on Wednesday, September 21st and be on display until Thursday, October 27. Exhibit viewing hours are 9am-4pm Monday-Friday.

On Wednesday October 5th from 2-4pm, there will be a special one day display of the original inquest papers from the gunfight at the OK Corral, on loan from the State Archive. It will open with the reading of a Governor’s Proclamation celebrating the Arizona State Archive and Archives month. At 3pm Denise Lundin, former Clerk of Courts in Cochise County, will give a presentation on how she found the OK Corral documents in the basement of the Cochise County Courthouse.

On September 24, 1877 Ed Schieffelin filed a silver mining claim and called it Tombstone. A legend was born; so was an actual boomtown with government and social organizations. Accusations from The New York Times called Tombstone “the wildest and wickedest spot between Basin Street and the Barbary Coast”. It was also home to 14,000 residents who attended church, read the community newspaper, went bowling, and attended shows at the Schieffelin Opera House.

“Legends of the West” will showcase artifacts from these institutions, including a bank draft from the day of the OK Corral Shootout, mining claims, papers signed by Schieffelin himself, Pima County Banknotes from OK Corral victims, and the earliest known postal cancellation from Tombstone. The Melikian collection includes hundreds of unique documents that are invaluable in discovering the real history of “the town too tough to die”.

To arrange interviews with the Arizona Capitol Museum, or to request promotional images, please use the information below. Information for the public about the AZCM, can be found at our website: or by calling 602-926-3620.