Jerome, Arizona - Arizona Ghost Town

Jerome, Arizona was built on Cleopatra Hill above a vast deposit of copper. The mines, the workers, and those who sought its wealth formed Jerome's history. They were a brave and raucous mix. Miners, smelter workers, freighters, gamblers, bootleggers, saloon keepers, storekeepers, prostitutes and preachers, wives and children all made Jerome what it was.

Americans, Mexicans, Croatians, Irish, Spaniards, Italians and Chinese made the mining camp a cosmopolitan mix that added to its rich life and filled its streeets with excitement. Prehistoric Native Americans were the first miners. The Spanish followed, seeking gold but finding copper. Anglos staked the first claims in the area in 1876, and United Verde mining operations began in l883, followed by the Little Daisy claim.

Jerome grew rapidly from tent city to prosperous company town as it followed the swing of the mines' fortunes. Jerome was the talk of the territory...boom town of its time...darling of promoters and investors. The mines were nourished and exploited by financiers who brought billions of dollars of copper from its depths.

Changing times in the Territory saw pack burros, mule drawn freight wagons, and horses replaced by steam engines, autos and trucks. Fires ravaged the clapboard town again and again. Jerome was always rebuilt. In 1918 underground mining phased out after uncontrollable fires erupted in the 88 miles of tunnels under the town. Open pit mining brought dynamiting. The hills rattled and buildings cracked... the surface began to shift and sections of the business district slid downward. The sliding jail moved 225 ft. and rests across the road from its original site.

Dependent on the ups and downs of copper prices, labor unrest, depressions and wars, Jerome's mines finally close in 1953.  Forever? Jerome never knows. Jerome has always been a survivor. After the mines closed and "King Copper" left town, the population went from a peak of 15,000 in the 20s to some 50 persons in the late 50s. A few hardy souls remained, reluctant to leave a lifetime of memories.

The 60s and 70s were the time of the counter culture and Jerome offered a haven for artists who renovated homes and opened abandoned shops to sell their wares. Soon newcomers and Jerome old timers were working together to bring Jerome back to life. The Jerome Historical Society guarded the buildings against vandalism and the elements. The Douglas Mansion became a State Park in 1965 and Jerome became a National Historic Landmark in l976.

Today Jerome is very much alive with writers, artists, artisans, musicians, historians, and families. They form a peaceful, colorful, thriving community built on a rich foundation of history and lore.

Jerome Links:

Related article: Verde Valley Arizona

 

TOURS & ACTIVITIES IN JEROME

Discover the Legends of Quirky and Strange Jerome Scavenger Hunt

Discover the Legends of Quirky and Strange Jerome Scavenger Hunt

Adventure seekers,get ready for a non traditional IMMERSIVE scavenger/detective hunt! This is fun and challenging journey through Jerome! You will be off on a 2 hour creative adventure through the quirky streets of Jerome, being challenged as you go. You will be getting photo and video clu
Adventure seekers,get ready for a non traditional IMMERSIVE scavenger/detective hunt! This is fun and challenging journey through Jerome! You will be off on a 2 hour creative adventure through the quirky streets of Jerome, being challenged as you go. You will be getting photo and video clues, talking to locals to solve mysteries and learning about the unusual history of Jerome as you go. The sky is the limit as far as the creativity you bring to this adventure.

Half-Day Wine and Dine Adventure from Sedona

Half-Day Wine and Dine Adventure from Sedona

Pleasure your palate with some of northern Arizona’s most popular wines on this 4.5-hour wine-and-dine adventure in Old Town Cottonwood and Jerome, including transport from Sedona. Make your way to three or four wineries, and enjoy four to five tastings at each stop. Take a break for lunch
Pleasure your palate with some of northern Arizona’s most popular wines on this 4.5-hour wine-and-dine adventure in Old Town Cottonwood and Jerome, including transport from Sedona. Make your way to three or four wineries, and enjoy four to five tastings at each stop. Take a break for lunch at a nearby restaurant, and bring home a souvenir wine glass from Page Spring Cellars. Plus, numbers are limited to 14 people on this small-group tour, ensuring you'll spend an intimate day with a small group of like-minded wine lovers.

Jerome Ghost Walk

Jerome Ghost Walk

Come along if you dare as we tell the stories of Jerome’s most notably haunted locations and attempt to make contact with spirits of the sordid past using our EMF Readers and Spirit Boxes. Hear stories of those who’s mortal remains lie beneath your feet. We are recognized and supported by
Come along if you dare as we tell the stories of Jerome’s most notably haunted locations and attempt to make contact with spirits of the sordid past using our EMF Readers and Spirit Boxes. Hear stories of those who’s mortal remains lie beneath your feet. We are recognized and supported by the Jerome Historical Society for our excellence and accurate information obtained through the JHS archives and one on one sessions with the archives manger. Our tour guides are Jerome residents and active members with the JHS.

Pandora's Box Ghost Adventure

Pandora's Box Ghost Adventure

The ultimate ghost hunting and history experience. Step through the shadows and discover the chilling and ghastly tales of murder, lust, and revenge as we hunt for restless souls in this 2 hour adventure that is sure to leave you with goosebumps. This tour is equipped with Spirit Boxes and
The ultimate ghost hunting and history experience. Step through the shadows and discover the chilling and ghastly tales of murder, lust, and revenge as we hunt for restless souls in this 2 hour adventure that is sure to leave you with goosebumps. This tour is equipped with Spirit Boxes and EMF Readers. We are recognized and supported by the Jerome Historical Society for excellence and accurate information obtained through the JHS archives and one on one sessions with the archives manager. All tour guides are Jerome residents and are active members with the JHS.

Personalized, Private Wine Tour for 2 Adults from Sedona

Personalized, Private Wine Tour for 2 Adults from Sedona

This tour through Arizona wine country is customized to your preferences—just let us know what kinds of wines you like, and we’ll create the perfect tour for you. Learn about the local terroir, wine history, and local history as you taste award-winning wines and enjoy the dramatic red rock
This tour through Arizona wine country is customized to your preferences—just let us know what kinds of wines you like, and we’ll create the perfect tour for you. Learn about the local terroir, wine history, and local history as you taste award-winning wines and enjoy the dramatic red rock landscape of the northern Verde Valley.

Wild Wild West Tour

Wild Wild West Tour

Our accredited tour guide will take you on a journey into the past as you unveil Jerome’s salacious wild west. Covering topics such as the rise and fall of the worlds largest copper mining town which produced over a billion dollars in precious metals, to famous figures such as Billy the Ki
Our accredited tour guide will take you on a journey into the past as you unveil Jerome’s salacious wild west. Covering topics such as the rise and fall of the worlds largest copper mining town which produced over a billion dollars in precious metals, to famous figures such as Billy the Kid and Wyatt Earp, the infamous murder of Brothel owner Belgian Jennie and the reign of the Cuban Queen. We are recognized and supported by the Jerome Historical Society for our excellence and accurate information obtained from the JHS archives and one on one sessions with the archives manager. All tour guides are Jerome residents and active members of the JHS.

Historic Tour of Jerome

Historic Tour of Jerome

Discover the Old West on a tour of Jerome and the Verde Valley. Enjoy fantastic mining history, charming architecture, and desert scenery on an intimate small group tour. Your guide gives you plenty of time to explore historic Clarkdale and Jerome, as well as to stop for lunch and shop on
Discover the Old West on a tour of Jerome and the Verde Valley. Enjoy fantastic mining history, charming architecture, and desert scenery on an intimate small group tour. Your guide gives you plenty of time to explore historic Clarkdale and Jerome, as well as to stop for lunch and shop on Jerome’s quaint Main Street.

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