Little Gertie “Gold Dollar”

Not too much is known about Little Gertie. But her one night of jealous rage is infamous in Tombstone lore and will forever link her to Tombstone and the Birdcage Theater.

Little Gertie who was also known as “Gold Dollar” had a boyfriend who she had been seeing for some time and he was a gambler named Billy Milgreen. A “Soiled Dove” who worked at the Birdcage Theater named Margarita was very flirtatious and attracted to Milgreen. Gold Dollar had caught wind of this from another “Soiled Dove” that worked at the Birdcage and confronted Margarita.  She warned Margarita to stay away from her man or she would cut her heart out. She had also told Milgreen that she wanted him to stay away from her as well. One night Milgreen went to the Birdcage Theater to play cards, Margarita saw Milgreen and started to flirt with him. The person who was keeping tabs on Margarita for Gold Dollar ran to the Crystal Palace where she worked to informed her of what was going on. Gold Dollar stormed over to the Birdcage to see for herself. She hid out of site and peaked through a door. She saw Margarita with her hand on him whispering in his ear. Gold Dollar could see the Milgreen was trying to focus on his card game when Margarita plopped herself on his lap and starting kissing him. Gold Dollar busted through the door and screamed, “Get away from my man, you Mexican chippy! I warned you before!”

Gold Dollar pulled Margarita off Milgreen’s lap by the hair the two started fighting. Pulling hair and scratching. All of a sudden Gold Dollar pulled a double edged stiletto knife from her garter and stabbed Margarita in her chest. Margarita fall on top of a table as someone screamed to get the Doctor but Margarita received a fatal wound and she had fallen to the ground bleeding.

 

Margarita
Margarita

 

Once Gold Dollar heard the sheriff was on his way, she ran out the back of the Birdcage Theater and hid the knife. The murder weapon was not found so charges were never made against Gold Dollar. She left town shortly after. Milgreen also left town but there is no proof of them meeting up or even leaving together.

In 1982 an old stiletto was found behind the Birdcage Theater and it’s believed that it is the same knife that Gold Dollar stabbed Margarita with. It is now on display at the Birdcage Theater. Margarita was laid to rest at Boothill.

 

 

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