|The ladies from Heritage Clubs, International, plus the gunfighters!|
|Feeding the burros|
|Cactus landscaping on main street - enter at your own risk!|
|Historic Route 66 sign... plus an indication on where locals stand on gun rights.|
The view down main street
The one place where I did find signs is in the window of the Oatman Hotel. Here you find the warnings not to feed the burros carrots and junk food, and to be cautious with dogs. We found MANY folks with carrots in their hands who had no idea they weren't supposed to feed them to the burros. Perhaps a large sign upon the entrance to the town might be in order? That is, if they are serious about protecting the health of the herd.
Please don't feed the burros anything but the provided alfalfa cake. The carrots give them diabetes and other health problems. Plus... let the dogs beware of the burros!
The Oatman Jail, built in 1936.
Tucked away off of Main Street is the Oatman Jail. There is a $2 admission to go inside, which is very reasonable. You can have your photo taken in the gallows, and there is a small gift shop. Again, no interpretation of the historic nature of the jail except the sign that says it was built in 1936.
A mine shaft entrance on main street.
Near the south end of main street on the east side is obviously the ruins of a building and the entrance to a mine shaft. When you go into the mine, it turns sharply to the left and seems to go back quite a ways. I thought I had a flashlight app on my phone, but don't, so I didn't go very far. Absolutely NO signage to tell what the mine was, where the shaft goes, how far back it is safe to explore. Honestly... make up a story and give me an experience! Don't just leave me to my own devices.
The historic Oatman Hotel.
The cornerstone of the Oatman experience is the Oatman Hotel. Lore has it that Clark Gable and Carole Lombard spent their honeymoon night here, though I have found adamant assertions online that this is not true. However, it does make a charming story.
Michael Fox, local historian and entertainer.
There is a stage in the dining room, and Michael Fox, who has lived in Oatman for 22 years and obviously has a love for the place and its history, entertains there. It is from him that we heard the story of the Oatman family for whom the town is named, and some of the early history of the area. Thank goodness! This was the only source we discovered, except for some books for sale in some of the gift shops.
It is estimated there is more than $100,000 in single dollar bills fastened to the walls throughout the hotel and dining room.
Burro ears accompanying pulled pork lunch.
Delicious home made chips "burro ears" accompanied the meal.
Gathered on Main Street for the gun fight.
Though it didn't seem like there were this many people in town, you can see that the streets are lined with visitors waiting for the gun fight.
Up close and personal with a burro
The burros obviously have the right of way on the sidewalks as well as the roads.
The highlight of the experience is the gun fight. The Oatman Outlaws regularly rob banks, insult each other, entertain the tourists, then pass the hat. The donations they collect go 100% toward Shriners hospitals. Their motto is "We fall down so the children can walk." To date they have collected more than $70,000 for the charity.
This is one of the newer additions to the herd, foaled within the last week. You can see the sticker on his forehead warning tourists not to feed him.