Oatman Hotel Hoax

Ladies and Gentlemen, in case you do not already know: Carole Lombard and Clark Gable DID NOT spend their wedding night at the Oatman Hotel. Let me repeat that:

Gable & Lombard DID NOT spend their wedding night at the Oatman Hotel.

They didn’t spend their wedding night in Arizona, let alone the Oatman Hotel, as they drove straight home to California that night. Clark Gable himself said, “We were married at three-thirty that afternoon and left at five-thirty, getting home the next morning at three. Carole’s mother was there, all excited, which kept us up till five. Finally we got to sleep, only to be awakened at nine to discover forty cameraman, three newsreel men and twenty reporters waiting out in the front yard to interview us.” (Photoplay, Vivien Leigh, Rhett Butler and I, Feb. 1940)

TIME Magazine reported: “Immediately after the ceremony, Mr. & Mrs. Gable started back to Hollywood. They told reporters they would not take a honeymoon until Gable was through making Gone With the Wind, and Lombard her next picture, Memory of Love, for RKO.” (TIME, Boy Meets Girl, April 10, 1939)

“Gable got a day off. He and Carole drove to Kingman, Ariz., got married and drove back that night.” (St.Petersburg Times, Hollywood Can’t Find Time For Honeymoons, May 28, 1939)

And they didn’t stop to “freshin up” or “change clothes” there either. “After the ceremony the married couple went to the parish house to change clothes and spend time visiting.”(Kingman Daily Miner, March 29,1939)

In fact, not a single article even mentions the Gables staying at the Oatman Hotel until around 1975. By that time Clark Gable had been dead for 15 years.

I just called the hotel and spoke to the owner in order to enlighten her and help put an end to this falsity. Very politely I introduced myself and said, “I’m calling with regard to a claim you’re hotel has been making, saying that Carole Lombard and Clark Gable spent their wedding night at the Oatman Hotel. This is not true. I don’t know if you know this but Clark Gable himself said—”

She quickly cuts me off saying,“I don’t have time for this” and hangs up.

Excuse me? YOU don’t have time for this? Well we don’t have time for anymore of your false advertising and neither does the law.

False advertising is: “Any advertising or promotion that misrepresents the nature, characteristics, qualities or geographic origin of goods, services or commercial activities” (Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C.A. § 1125(a)).

To be fair, this isn’t entirely their fault. The little lie that soon became a full blown myth has been circulating for some time, probably before the current owner’s time, and there are now many parties keeping it alive. It IS their responsibility to set the record straight and dedicating a room with so-called memorabilia of the couple is not cutting it for me.

Folks, please join us in this organized effort to spread the truth and stop this hoax! We urge all of you to help us in reporting the TRUTH to the following organizations:

The Arizona Office of Tourism
Phone: 602-364-3700
1110 W. Washington Street, Suite 155
Phoenix, Arizona 85007

The Arizona Republic
Phone: 602-444-NEWS
Email: correction@arizonarepublic.com

Legends of America
Email: Kathy@legendsofamerica.com
*Regarding- Arizona Legends: The Haunted Oatman Hotel

Email: dusa_feedback@DesertUSA.com
*Regarding-http://www.desertusa.com/oatman/du_oatman.html AND http://www.desertusa.com/mag04/apr/roadtrip.html

The Seattle Times
Phone: (206) 464-3337- Kathy Best: Managing Editor, Digital News
*Regarding: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/travel/2008363554_webnevada07.html

Feel free to refer them to this post and you can also tell them to contact info@carolelombard.org if they have any questions or request further proof.

And if any of you all are suffering from writers block and need a sample email you may email me as well.



  1. Rose says:

    I can’t believe you called them! Good for you! I guess she couldn’t handle the truth. LOL.

  2. WebMistress says:

    Thanks Rose.

    Yeah she’s a sissy. . . I am really interested in the “authentic” memorabilia that supposedly fills the hotel. A couple of people have been emailing me about it and voicing their concerns but until I have some pictures or see it in person there is little that can be done about that.


    xoxo Carla

  3. Rose says:


    Do a Youtube search for Dead Famous Carole Lombard (or Clark Gable). I’m not sure if it’s in Part 2 or 3, but they go to the Oatman Hotel and show the room where they supposedly stayed and Carole’s “wedding dress” and a pink nightie! The whole program was lame so it was fitting they went to Oatman and some saloon I’ve never heard of.

  4. Carole S. says:

    Hi Carla,

    I talked to the producers of Dead Famous when we were filming (and BEFORE!!) to let them know that the Oatman story was just so much sheep dip. They said something to the effect that, “Well, we know, but that segment has already been filmed, and it’s not HURTING anyone…” et cetera. We had several discussions about trying to get it right for once, and so on, but they weren’t really too concerned about accuracy. (If you saw the program, in the introductory segment, one of the hosts states that Carole’s plane went down in Arizona!)

    And Rose, the saloon story is absolutely genuine. That’s where Clark spent his time while waiting for word from the search parties on Potosi.

    The spook hunting aspect was too funny for words. I did enjoy the trip to California, though… HATE seeing it now, as it was done in the days when I was fat and blonde. I now am neither fat NOR blonde. Ah, well…

    Carole S.
    The Carole Lombard Archive

  5. WebMistress says:

    That’s great Carole! I contacted the Department of Tourism so none of their claims can be published on official pamphlets. Yeah my policy right now is to ignore them and not give them the attention they crave but if I see their lies in print I write to the editor. If a tv show airs something, like you, I write to the producer.

    It’s kind of silly seeing as how the hotel is historical and important as it is. They don’t need to make up silly stories! One of these days they’re going to get karma slapped hard! Whether it’s from an Estate or a disgruntled customer. . .

  6. randa harvin says:

    You know, the people on Rt. 66 are struggling to survive and keep an important piece of history alive. They are heroes. Why don’t you cut them a break? It is just so mean spirited of you, so lacking in perspective to be this vicious. Shame.

  7. I am sorry you people feel that way about oatman but I work there and have a shop there, It seem’s to be a very nice place to me. Why would any one care over something so pety as if gable and lombard stayed there? Who cares? It is possibale that they might have stayed there but not in the hotal that is there, they may have stayed at the one that burned down. Who know’s they were actor’s and just got married are you sure they are going to tell you everything they did! Just wondering? Please don’t bad mouth until you know the whole truth and it is true what goes around comes around but it goes both way’s don’t forget this. He without sin cast the first stone!

  8. Skot says:

    It really isn’t petty at all. It is the truth. Carla is not bad mouthing ANYONE. She states the facts by research. They never stayed there and that’s that. I’m sure that the Oatman Hotel is a fine establishment but conning people out of money is dishonest and not cool. You people on here say that there is no evidence. At the top of this page..there are accounts of what occurred after they were married. I have read many books also that state that they went right back to California..with no mention of the Oatman.

  9. kristen says:

    i currently bartend at the oatman hotel i talk with more people than less that dont even know who carol or clark are. if you have enough time to crush the fun “stories” that we tell then shame on you. why don’t you jump in your time machine and prove that “oatie” is not a real ghost miner. i think you suck. if you werent in the back seat of the car they rode home in than you cannot verify anything. and by hte way it doesnt take 10 hours to get from oatman to hollywood so they must have stopped somewhere. I would have and will hang up on you too.

  10. Julie Carol says:

    Well, I am reading a book about route 66 and planning a trip to the U.S and couldn’t care less whether the story is true. It’s fun, romantic and I think you are a party pooping, bore. Get a life! Learn to smile once in a while, you might even learn to enjoy yourself!

  11. Barrie Berry says:

    I lived in the hotel in 1992\93 in the loft as a cook and night security. My father was the bar manager.
    I remember a coverstion between the owner of the hotel and my father about the gables room. She said that it was made up to bring tourist to oatman in the 80′s. “No one is the wiser” My father said thats not fair. Two weeks later was the end of our stay in oatman. Good for you to tell the truth!

  12. Francine says:

    Wow. How very petty and extremely mean spirited you are!
    Who gives a rats ass who stayed where. There are other more important things in this world that you can dedicate your energy too. Find something more meaningful than being a douche bag to the good people of Oatman

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