Lavender Pit 4.jpg
Lavender Pit 2.jpg
Lavender Pit 5.jpg
  • Location originally thought to have poor copper density and not worth mining.

  • Harrison Lavender created an economic way to turn the low-grade rocks into high grade ore, making the location economical for an open pit.

  • The open pit location was initially known as the Bisbee East ore body.

  • The open pit was started in 1951.

  • The initial layers of removal, overburden, were sent to the No. 7 Dump site by train.

  • Overburden was also used to fill the old Sacramento Pit next to it.

  • Harrison Lavender passed away in 1952 and the Bisbee East ore body was named after him.

  • Finally, in 1954, copper producing ore was processed at the Lavender Pit.

  • There are three open pits side-by-side between Bisbee and Lowell. They are the Lavender Pit, the Sacramento Pit, and the Holbrook Extension.

  • Three communities were moved to make way for the Lavender Pit. They were Johnson Addition, Jiggerville, and Lowell. The relocated homes started new communities in Bisbee called Saginaw, Galena, and Bakerville.

  • Newer, larger Dump Trucks started transporting material from the Lavender Pit to the No. 7 Dump site in 1963.

  • The Holbrook Extension Pit started in 1965.

  • The Lavender Pit and Holbrook Extension Pit ceased operations on December 14, 1974.

  • Part of Highway 80 collapsed slightly on the edge of the Lavender Pit near Lowell. It collapsed from the weak, Turquoise producing rock, the only Turquoise producing location in Bisbee.

StellarD, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

National Archives at College Park, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

National Archives at College Park, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Bisbee Blue Turquoise - Cantonal Museum of Geology in Lausanne, CC BY 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons