Many people with an interest in our regional history relocate here, and there are plenty of opportunities to grab a slice of your own western heaven.
Read on to find out about one particular property, currently available for sale, that spurred the imagination of its creative owner, who loved all things wild west!
Wild Wild West
In a quiet corner surrounded by dusty beer bottles and a bullet-ridden tin can lies infamous gunman Billy Clanton.
His wooden grave marker declares he was murdered on the streets of Tombstone.
Look to the north and the imposing Huachuca Mountains fill your view, while just a few hundred yards away traffic makes its way along S. Highway 92 to historic Bisbee.
If you’re familiar with “the town too tough to die” then you know its renowned Boot Hill Graveyard, where the real Billy Clanton was laid to rest in 1881, is located many miles from the aforementioned State Route.
What’s being referred to here, is an astonishing recreation of a Wild West town on a property in Hereford, complete with its own Boot Hill cemetery.
The authentic looking facades, which include a saloon, general store, livery, cantina, and even a house of ill repute, were painstakingly created by Norm Osten and his wife June.
Their love of all things Wild West is apparent throughout the property – the house was built in 1984 but has the feel of a Victorian-era home with its wood burning stove, wallpaper, and hardwood flooring.
But now it’s time to move on.
The couple moved out west from their hometown of Creston, Nebraska, more than two decades ago after falling in love with the sprawling high desert of Cochise County.
They bought the former ostrich farm in partnership with June’s brother Gene Cattau and his wife Linda, who remained in Nebraska to continue running their business – which just also happened to be an ostrich farm.
“Norm was always into Westerns,” said Gene, who eventually moved to Hereford with Linda. “He lived in a small town in Nebraska and whenever there was a centennial or bi-centennial celebration in any of the surrounding towns he’d be on the board of all of them. He was always there with his old west theme.”
“It didn’t look anything like it does now,” recalls Linda. “The house was here and the barn was here, and the guest house was just a gazebo.”
Added Gene, “It all just evolved over the years. When he had the time, Norm would build and paint, and he was always collecting old west things.”
The result is a unique and fun barn façade that stands in testimony to Norm’s wicked sense of humor.
Inside, the joviality continues with an authentic looking saloon bar – apparently the scene of many a party.
Scattered throughout the expansive space are cowboy hats, metal rancher silhouettes, old movie posters, and even a wagon – in storage for a neighbor.
Back in the day, the barn hosted the Cowboy Poetry & Music Gathering children’s event, and has been the venue for weddings, baby showers, and birthday celebrations.
The property is for sale at $285,000 and while Gene and Linda acknowledge it’s now too much for June to handle, they will be sad to see it go.
To find out more, call (520) 266-1354.