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Old Tucson and Mescal history on display for fans of Westerns

Stagecoach used in the John Wayne movie McLintock
Posted at 8:55 AM, Nov 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-12 20:38:03-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Fans of Westerns filmed at Old Tucson Studios and Mescal Movie Set are in for a treat.

Saturday, a collection of wagons and carriages will be assembled in one place.

"It's real exciting," said Mark Sankey, Mescal Movie Set Marketing Director. "It's exciting for us as we try to rebuild the Mescal Movie Set."

Sankey is taking time away from helping Mescal Movie Set get back up and running as a filming location to help give Western movie fans a taste of the films shot at Mescal and Old Tucson.

Mescal and the Tucson Rodeo Parade Museum will have a special display of five wagons and carriages from famous Westerns.

"This appeared in "The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean," Sankey said pointing at the carriage. "It starred Paul Newman, Ava Gardner, Stacy Keach and other actors. For me, it's a thrill to look at this and know that those actors sat on here or this was in one of those movies."

The lineup also includes a wagon from the long-running TV series High Chaparral -- filmed at Old Tucson.

John Wayne fans won't be disappointed either.

"A stagecoach from "Rio Lobo" and another carriage that Maureen O'hara was in, in "McLintock," said Sankey. "There's another wagon that was in "Oklahoma!" All of the movies that they are highlighting, and that the museum are bringing out, have a real strong presence here in Southern Arizona."

Carriages from the movie "Oklahoma"

There are also two weathered wagons on permanent display from the 1940 film "Arizona." Columbia Pitcures actually built Old Tucson for that film.

Wagons used in the 1940 movie "Arizona"

Saturday, actors and crew members who filmed at Old Tucson and Mescal will be on hand to answer questions about the Westerns and the future of Mescal.

Visitors will also be able to experience the more than 100 other historic wagons at the museum.

"Yes, we have very much a hidden gem sitting right here on the south side of Tucson," said Stan Martin with the Tucson Rodeo Parade Museum.

Martin says many of these wagons and carriages are still being used today, with a lot of work done by volunteers.

"We actually go though and we grease them every year," explained Martin. "So they're all ready to roll in the parade."

And ready to roll when a Western is filmed again at Mescal.


The famous wagons and carriages will be on display Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Tucson Rodeo Parade Museum at the rodeo grounds.