About seven years ago I was reading an article about the best small towns in America and Bisbee, AZ was listed there. I was immediately drawn to the description of this arts colony nestled in the mountains and boasting “The best year-round climate on earth”. Of course the article neglected to mention the pot smoking hippies (are they still called hippies?) that call this old mining community home.
The flies decorate several buildings in Bisbee and it’s not just because they’re so cute. In the mid to late 1800’s Bisbee suffered through repeated epidemics of typhoid fever and the house fly is a carrier of that disease. (This is why I tell Oliver he can not make a pet out of a fly; though he keeps trying.) So in 1912 the Commercial Club of Bisbee held a fly-swatting contest in hopes of lowering their population. The winner killed nearly 500,000 and won $10.
As far as I know they no longer have a typhoid problem,so there’s no need to fear, but I think it has more to do with them not throwing their sewage into the streets than with fly-swatting contests.
Bisbee wasn’t exactly what I expected, but it’s certainly an interesting place to visit.