The Shaft

The Shaft, Tombstone Arizona

Distinctive clothing and gifts for men, women, and children at rock bottom prices!

Once the location of the original bar (the original bar is now located upstairs), now it is opened as the home for Big Nose Kate’s custom and unique clothes and retail items; and fun, trendy ladies and children’s clothes.

Also, while down in The Shaft don’t forget to take a peek at the ‘Swamper’s Room’ and the open mineshaft, which the Swamper painstakingly dug to gain access to nearby mines.

The Legend of the Swamper

Many years ago in the 1880s, Big Nose Kate’s Saloon was once “The Grand Hotel“. This great hotel hosted such infamous personalities as Wyatt and Virgil Earp, Doc Holliday, as well as the Clanton’s and the McLaury’s.

In this hotel was the janitor and odd-job man, known simply as “The Swamper”. He was a trusted and honest helper who was given his accommodations as part of his hard earned pay.

The Swamper

“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 guest was 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 Kate’s Saloon” will swear that they have seen a ghost wandering the halls and stairs. Photographers have caught the ghostly image of an unknown being on a photo as well as on the postcard of the saloon’s interior. 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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