A famous Old West gun is finally returning home to Colorado after a museum bought it in the hopes that it will bring tourism.
The Glenwood Springs Historical Society pulled the trigger and authorized the $84,000 purchase of Doc Holliday’s derringer.
The derringer is one of the few items that is believed to have been in the Hotel Glenwood room where the notorious gunslinger died on November 8, 1887.
The previous owner was Jason Brierly of Vancouver, British Columbia. The society originally planned on renting the gun, but after reviewing it met and voted to buy it, reported the Post Independent.
The derringer was given to Holliday by his common-law wife, Mary Katherine ‘Big Nose Kate’ Horony- Cummings, who was a Hungarian-born prostitute. The handle reads ‘To Doc from Kate.’
It is currently in a safe deposit box until an exhibition can be planned. The society plans to have it on show to the public as soon as possible.
Doc Holliday was one of the Old West’s most notorious gunfighters.
He worked as a dentist and a gambler, and at just 36 years old moved to Glenwood Springs in hopes that vapor caves would help in curing his tuberculosis.
He died in a bed at the Hotel Glenwood from the disease.
Mayor Mike Gamba told the Post Independent: ‘Doc Holiday is a very important character in the history of Glenwood Springs, and we are extremely excited that this piece of history will return to the city where he spent his final days.
‘Along with visiting the cemetery where he is buried, we have no doubt that this will be one more attraction that will draw visitors to Glenwood Springs’.
Historian RW ‘Doc’ Boyle, and other society members pledged contributions on Wednesday night to help repay the lender, and the same night Boyle assessed the gun’s authenticity.
‘The gun is real. There’s no doubt the gun is real,’ he said emotionally.
The derringer is believed to be one of few possessions in the hotel room with Holliday when he passed.
Hotel bartender William G Wells received the gun as partial payment for his funeral, and it remained in his family until it was purchased by a Utah gun dealer in 1968.
The gun was bought again in the early 1980’s by a Tennessee lawyer, then by the current owner in July.