The Epic of Bisbee is a planned 12-book (or so) series on the history of one of the most important cities in the American West in the decades on both sides of 1900. During World War I, it produced some 10% of the world’s copper, a critical component of the Allied war effort, and was front-and-center in world news because of war- and union-related activities that took place here.
Though it was never the largest city in Arizona, at one time it had the largest tax base, was the largest mining center and had the largest bank deposits. And certain more action than anywhere else in the state. Despite digging some 8 billion pounds of copper from underneath the red hills, it’s not the state’s largest copper miner — but it is the No. 1 gold and silver producer in Arizona.
Gary Dillard — a native of Bisbee — has been researching his community’s history since 1980. As a journalist, he lived through and participated in much of what happened in later years, which provides grist for the the final book in the series. With hundreds of thousands of words written on the subject, he is in the process of compiling that history into books that will tell the most complete story of Bisbee yet produced — though admittedly, telling the “complete” story of even one city is an impossibility.
(For the most part, these are working titles:)
- All Women and Children Keep Off Streets Today: The Bisbee Deportation
- The Mexican Revolution at Naco
- A Brief History of Bisbee
- Bisbee History Omnibus: George Warren, Queen Mine, Warren Ballpark, Gold Rush
- Some Early Bisbee Crimes (and a separate book, outside the series, “Scandalous Crimes in Old Cochise”)
- Bisbee Booms: The First Years of the 20th Century
- Bisbee Goes To War: A Community During the Great War
- Bisbee Disasters: Early Fires and Floods
- The Bisbee Daily Review: The Early Years of a Powerful Newspaper
- The Development of Bisbee: The 19th Century
- Bisbee’s Open Pit Mines: Past and Future
- After the Mines Closed: The Emergence of Modern Bisbee
All books will be published in print and then electronically for the Kindle reader and as an iBook. More information on each topic will be added to this website on a regular basis.
For more information about Gary Dillard, visit the About section.