Photo by Andrew Dunn
Jerome, Arizona was founded in the late 19th century. It was named after Eugene Jerome, a wealthy New York attorney who put up the capital for a mining town to be perched on Cleopatra Hill above the Verde Valley between the starkly beautiful Black Hills.
Jerome has the reputation of being the largest ghost town in America. Rich in a colorful history, the town is above an old copper mine that was once the largest in Arizona. Today, Jerome is a fascinating tourist stop-over. It has charming inns, quaint Bed & Breakfast accommodations, unique restaurants and shops, a winery and points of much historic interest.
The town bespeaks of miners dating back to the time when Native Americans excavated colored stones to make the dies that they would use for everything from body paint to blankets. Known as the Yavapai, meaning sun people, Spanish explorers encountered them as they themselves were looking to mine gold or silver. Instead they found a wealthy supply of copper.
Another unique and popular tourist stop is Jerome’s sliding jail which slipped 225 feet downhill due to a slippage caused by the many mining shafts. The Powder Box church, now a private residence was built by Mexicans from stucco and blasting powder boxes.
Art galleries, pottery shops, jewelry shops and more reflect a flavor that keeps the past alive in Jerome. Restaurants, bars, tours and more helps Jerome, Arizona to be known as “the town that would not die.
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