Writers’ Wednesday Wicked Virginia City
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March 8 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Wicked Virginia City
March 8, 2023
5:00 – 5:30 pm – Book signing and wine/cheese Reception
5:30 – 6:30 pm – Lecture
This month’s book is called “Wicked Virginia City” with author Peter Mires who explores the seamy side of this quintessential mining boomtown in his latest book. He will be signing copies of his book Wicked Virginia City at the event.
Summary of Talk
Perched on the side of a mountain in the Nevada desert, Virginia City existed for one reason only: to make money. The mining frenzy of the mid-nineteenth century uncovered veins of precious metals that would be expressed in billions today, attracting the enterprising madam Cad Thompson, the charismatic highwayman Nickanora and a plethora of swindlers. Miners, flush with their wages, supported a healthy economy of gambling, drinking and prostitution and even launched a few political careers. Sam Clemens, who became Mark Twain while reporting for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, called it “the liveliest town that America had ever produced.”
Peter B. Mires, a Vermont native, has been fascinated with the western Great Basin and Sierra Nevada for thirty years. He received his doctorate in historical geography from Louisiana State University in 1988 and subsequently taught at the University of Minnesota–Duluth and the University of Delaware. His publications include several books and more than fifty scholarly articles, book reviews and op-ed pieces. Dr. Mires is retired and lives in Reno, and when not reading or writing he may be found hiking the Tahoe Rim Trail or exploring the Nevada outback. Parenthetically, he has been a member of the Nevada Historical Society for 25 years.
The Writers’ Wednesday Lecture Series, held the second Wednesday of each month, features a different author who takes part in a book signing, a presentation and a question-and-answer session with the audience. A wine and cheese reception precedes the lecture.
The intent of the program is to highlight writers who specifically focus on Nevada, the Great Basin, or the West in general. The authors talk about the content of their books but also share details about the creative process.