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HELLDORADO DAYS Engine and Tractor Show

Tombstone, Arizona

| September/October 1995

  • Gerald Rasmussen
    Gerald Rasmussen, our club's first president, showing off our club's t-shirt. He is also the new owner of the engine shown on the shirt.
  • Club banner
    Club banner at last of two rows; yours truly's display in foreground.
  • Tombstone Court House State Historical Park
    Our show area, with the Tombstone Court House State Historical Park in the background

  • Gerald Rasmussen
  • Club banner
  • Tombstone Court House State Historical Park

5801 East Fifth Street Tucson, Arizona 85711-2403

The newly formed club in southern Arizona, 'Power From The Past,' had its first show of the season in conjunction with Tombstone (the town too tough to die), Arizona's 'Helldorado Days' the third weekend in October 1994. That made it the fourth year of holding an engine show in conjunction with the annual Tombstone event. There generally are exhibitors from southern New Mexico, as well as those from the other three clubs of Arizona Arizona Early Day Engine and Tractor Association, Arizona Flywheelers, and Salt River Power Association. The event is held Saturday and Sunday. Most of Sunday morning is taken up by the parade down Allen Street (the main street). There are between 300-400 different floats and groups that participate, everything from dance hall gals, gunslingers, to antique and classic cars, motorcycle clubs, Shriners, bands, and our engines and tractors. The engine show group usually enters a wagon with engines, washing machines, and other 'go-withs' drawn by a tractor. If we get enough wagons we will be able to have the whole engine group in the parade. Every year our show is getting larger.

The old two story brick court house is located across the street from the engine show area. At one time Tombstone was the county seat, which was later moved to Bisbee, in 1929. It is now the 'Tombstone Court House State Historical Park.' Up until about two years ago the state only owned the building, as someone else owned the land, because of the mining claim underneath. Now the state owns it lock, stock and barrel. The 'head honcho' Hollis Cook and his side-kick Art Rodriquez (both are park rangers), and his better-half Jay are members of our club. The park has an old engine on the lot that the rangers just got operational about two years ago. It ran pretty good for awhile until, during the 1994 show, a part of one of the valves fell off and it sucked the valve. Luckily it didn't damage anything in side except for the sucked valve. They have since replaced the valve and it's back in working order. You should have seen Art's face when it happened! Only those who know Art could understand what he said!!! When Hollis found out, he was cool as usual!

Saturday night the gang from the courthouse put on a big hamburger-and-hot-dog-with-all-the-trimmings feed for the exhibitors and families out at the airport, under the stars, where a few spent the night dry-camping in their RVs. All in all, it was a great little show and the weather cooperated.

Tombstone is a picturesque thriving little town with real people living there. It is located on a low rolling hilltop in the southeastern part of Arizona and was made famous long before Phoenix was even known for its rich silver mines. It is not only famous for the above mentioned silver but, also for the O. K. Corral Gun Fight and its real Boot Hill Cemetery where you can see the graves of the McLaurys and Clanton that were shot dead in the fight, and other graves with white wooden markers with simple and sometimes comical inscriptions, like the one: 'Here lies Lester Moore: four slugs from a 44no less, no more.' A road heading west out of town will take you past a little frontier cemetery, on the north side of the road. Continuing along the road a short piece, you will come upon the Ed Schieffelin monument with an inscription mounted in the stone monument telling of him and his burial beneath it.

The Helldorado Days event, during which the townspeople dress in authentic looking dress, is comprised of mock gun fights, quick draw contests, mock hangings, hard rock hand drilling, a fashion show of the period 1880s and after, street vendors, and a melodrama at Schieffelin Hall. The hall is named after Ed Schieffelin, U.S. Army Cavalry Scout turned miner who had the first mining claim. He was told by some of his acquaintances when he said what he planned to do in the now Tombstone area, that all he would find was his tombstone because of the marauding Apaches. That is how Tombstone got its name.


Gas Engine Magazine A_M 16Gas Engine Magazine is your best source for tractor and stationary gas engine information.  Subscribe and connect with more than 23,000 other gas engine collectors and build your knowledge, share your passion and search for parts, in the publication written by and for gas engine enthusiasts! Gas Engine Magazine brings you: restoration stories, company histories, and technical advice. Plus our Flywheel Forum column helps answer your engine inquiries!

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