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Boot Hill Cemetery

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Docs tombstone

Marty stumbles across Doc's tombstone

"Whoa. I think you woke up the dead with that blast!"
-Marty to Doc while blasting open the entrance to the mine.
" 'What's wrong, Copernicus?' Marty called as he walked toward him. / The dog shifted from paw to paw, and waved his muzzle towards the tombstone to his side. Marty had never seen him behave like this before. Copernicus stood up on all fours again, tail wagging. He barked assertively, like he was trying to get Marty to pay attention. This dog was acting just like those reruns of Lassie Marty used to watch when he was little. / Was Copernicus trying to tell Marty something? / Marty frowned. That was crazy. But then again, any pet of Doc Brown's was bound to be one smart dog. / The dog's helmet light shone on the tombstone. / Marty glanced at the writing. He felt as though his heart was going to stop. / Oh no, he thought. Not that. / Anything but that."
—From Back to the Future Part III by Craig Shaw Gardner (quote, page 24)

The Boot Hill Cemetery was adjacent to the Delgado Mine.

"Boot Hill" was a common name for cemeteries in the Old West where gunfighters who were shot and those who died from violent accidents were laid to rest. The name comes from the saying that they died "with their boots on", as opposed to those who died of natural causes in bed.

Marty McFly inadvertently discovered Doc Brown's tombstone in the cemetery, when Copernicus did not come when called while Doc was removing the DeLorean time machine from the mine. Marty vowed to disregard the instructions in Doc's letter about going directly back to 1985 and destroying the DeLorean, and instead travel to 1885 to save Doc from being "shot in the back by Buford Tannen over a matter of 80 dollars" (to quote the inscription on the tombstone) and bring him home.

Behind the scenes

  • Boot Hill Cemetery is an homage to Western television shows such as Gunsmoke that had a Boot Hill Cemetery.

Appearances

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