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Rafaela Murieta Montoya


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In the Tombstone Novel:

A ranchero not far from the beautiful ciudad of Monterey is where Rafe was born. Her family settled in California following in the footsteps of the Franciscans. Scions of a noble Spanish house, the Montoyas were leaders in their community and firm believers that California should be for Californians. This is why they broke with tradition and joined the Californios, other Spanish and Mexican families who helped bring California's independence from Mexico.



To escape an arranged marriage Rafe moved to the Arizona Territory. Settling in Tombstone she opened a mercantile on Allen Street. Fate was not kind to Rafe and after the burning of Allen St. her family found her forcing her to return to California and the man who waited there.

Not to be forced into anything, Rafe was able to convince her family to release her from those vows and allow her to return to Tombstone. Her padre thought it was mostly a lark and although he gave her money to start a business he did not truly believe she'd see it through. Her madre, a very very wise woman, knew that the Murieta part of Rafe would win out and she'd survive in the life she'd chosen.

The result of this move was Rafe's opening San Jose House, a boarding house where she catered to her guests making them feel at welcome and at home.








My birthday present, a Colt 1849 Pocket Pistol.




My thanks to Billy Claiborne for these modern pictures of San Jose House








Sacred Heart Church of Tombstone




Church services were held in any vacant room or closed bar and the need for a decent church building was quite evident! In 1879, Rev. John Baptist Salpointe, Vicar Apostolic of Arizona, sent Father Antonio Jouvencaeu to Tombstone to ascertain the need for a church in the busy mining camp. Led by Nellie Cashman "Angel of the Camp", the citizens of Tombstone raised money to build a one and one-half story adobe building that housed a rectory on the top floor and a church on the bottom floor. This church-rectory was dedicated as Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church on January 1, 1881, becoming the first church building of any denomination in Tombstone.

The present building is located on N. Sixth and Safford Streets.

The original one and a half story adobe church-rectory was dedicated January 1, 1881, the first church building of any denomination in Tombstone. It faces south towards Safford Street with a medium pitched gable roof and gable dormers. Originally, the thick adobe walls enclosed two rooms used for church services on the first floor, and two rooms used as a rectory on the second floor. A narrow, winding stairway provided access to the second floor. The original doors were of wood panel design and featured highly detailed Victorian hardware often found on buildings of this age. Originally, the building had a full width, three bay porch with a second floor veranda guarded by a railing. In 1882 an addition was made to the north elevation, which was the rear of the building, in a rectangular shed-roofed form with a porch on the east side











My Novels:

Tombstone
Wild As The West Texas Wind - Out of Print
Zone : Westerns

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Wild West

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George Parsons
Wladimir Wienkowsky
Brett Masterson
Mouse Adams

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