Largest Ghost Town in America – Jerome, Arizona

 Jerome AZ.jpgLargest Ghost Town in America – Jerome, Arizona

It is a town that at one time was the 4th largest community in Arizona and then fell to the bottom of the list when the copper mines closed.  The community sits on the top of Cleopatra Hill at 5,200 feet.  Where it once had a population of 15,00, in the 1920′s, it has just 450 people.  

The community was incorporated in 1899 following four disastrous fires that destroyed large sections of what was once known as "the wickedest town in the west." This copper mining camp was filled with tents and roudy men but grew to a real town as the prosperity of the community grew.  The mining rights belong to Phelps Dodge who closed the mine in 1953.  Since there weren’t mines to work the community that was left, not many by the way, gathered together and promoted the town as a historic ghost town.  1967 saw Jerome designatged a National Historic District by the federal government.  The community has grown to be a thriving tourist and artist community bringing the population from 353 in 2007 to the 450 today.

What will you see if you go to Jerome?  You will be able to see the works of some emerging artists, craft people, musicians, writers and more.  You will find hermits, bed and breakfast owners who will welcome you to their establishments and museum caretakers that have great pride in the museums of the area. 

The views from the community are stunning, a photographers dream.  The opportunity to see buildings that are like the buildings that were built after the fires of 1894 and 1899. Some of the buildings are still in need of restoration, but they are being worked on and those that have been restored offer a world of lessons of the past.  You may want to visit "Cribs District" which is an area across the street from the English Kitchen, in a back alley wehre all the buildings were part of Jerome’s ill-famed "prositution row."  Not uncommon for communities in the mining world or gold rush era to have houses of prositution growing in the area.

Vist Douglas Mansion/State Park while you are in the area.  The mansion is equipped with a wine cellar, billiard room , steam heat and was built from adobe bricks made on site.  The Mansion is a museum which exhibits photgraphs, artifacts, minerals and videos.

You may also want to see th Jerome Historical Society Mine Museum where there are more photographs, equipment and ore samples.

The third weekend in May Jerome hosts the annual Paso de Casas (Home Tour) where you can have a historic tour of buildings in the community.

Locaiton: located in the heart of northern Arizona only 90 miles from Phoenix, 60 miles from Flagstaff, 20 miles from Sedona, 30 miles from Prescott, 20 miles from Camp Verde, 10 miles from Cottonwood and about 6 miles from Clarkdale. Jerome is located in the central mountains of Arizona. Sedona and Prescott are about forty-five minutes travel time, depending on traffic. Highway 89A is the scenic route. As you near Jerome you will encounter hairpin turns and magnificent views on a mountain road. Travel time to or from Phoenix is about two hours via Interstate Highway I-17. Flagstaff is about an hour and a half away, either via I-17 or 89A through Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon.

From: Phoenix, AZ
 
To:
 Jerome, AZ
 
Beginning at Phoenix, AZ
Go North on I-17 for 84.5 miles to State Rte 260
Go Northwest on State Rte 260 for 12.4 miles to State Route 89A
Go West on State Route 89A for 8.9 miles Largest Ghost Town in America – Jerome, Arizona

It is a town that at one time was the 4th largest community in Arizona and then fell to the bottom of the list when the copper mines closed.  The community sits on the top of Cleopatra Hill at 5,200 feet.  Where it once had a population of 15,000, in the 1920′s, it has just 450 people. 

The community was incorporated in 1899 following four disastrous fires that destroyed large sections of what was once known as "the wickedest town in the west." This copper mining camp was filled with tents and rowdy men but grew to a real town as the prosperity of the community grew.  The mining rights belong to Phelps Dodge who closed the mine in 1953.  Since there weren’t mines to work the community that was left, not many by the way, gathered together and promoted the town as a historic ghost town.  1967 saw Jerome designated a National Historic District by the federal government.  The community has grown to be a thriving tourist and artist community bringing the population from 353 in 2007 to the 450 today.

What will you see if you go to Jerome?  You will be able to see the works of some emerging artists, craft people, musicians, writers and more.  You will find hermits, bed and breakfast owners who will welcome you to their establishments and museum caretakers that have great pride in the museums of the area. 

The views from the community are stunning, a photographers dream.  You will have the opportunity to see buildings that are like the buildings that were built after the fires of 1894 and 1899. Some of the buildings are still in need of restoration, but they are being worked on and those that have been restored offer a world of lessons of the past.  You may want to visit "Cribs District" which is an area across the street from the English Kitchen, in a back alley where all the buildings were part of Jerome’s ill-famed "prostitution row."  Not uncommon for communities in the mining world or gold rush era to have houses of prostitution growing in the area.

Visit Douglas Mansion/State Park while you are in the area.  The mansion is equipped with a wine cellar, billiard room , steam heat and was built from adobe bricks made on site.  The Mansion is a museum which exhibits photographs, artifacts, minerals and videos.

You may also want to see the Jerome Historical Society Mine Museum where there are more photographs, equipment and ore samples.

The third weekend in May Jerome hosts the annual Paso de Casas (Home Tour) where you can have a historic tour of buildings in the community.

Location: located in the heart of northern Arizona only 90 miles from Phoenix, 60 miles from Flagstaff, 20 miles from Sedona, 30 miles from Prescott, 20 miles from Camp Verde, 10 miles from Cottonwood and about 6 miles from Clarkdale. Jerome is located in the central mountains of Arizona. Sedona and Prescott are about forty-five minutes travel time, depending on traffic. Highway 89A is the scenic route. As you near Jerome you will encounter hairpin turns and magnificent views on a mountain road. Travel time to or from Phoenix is about two hours via Interstate Highway I-17. Flagstaff is about an hour and a half away, either via I-17 or 89A through Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon.

From: Phoenix, AZ
To: Jerome, AZ
Beginning at Phoenix, AZ
Go North on I-17 for 84.5 miles to State Rte 260
Go Northwest on State Rte 260 for 12.4 miles to State Route 89A
Go West on State Route 89A for 8.9 miles
To Jerome, AZ
 Distance: 105.8 miles 
From: Prescott, AZ
To: Jerome, AZ
 Beginning at Prescott, AZ
Go Northeast on State Rte 89 for 6.9 miles to State Route 89A
Go East on State Route 89A for 27.3 miles
To Jerome, AZ
 Distance: 34.2 miles 
From: Sedona, AZ
To: Jerome, AZ
 Beginning at Sedona, AZ
Go Southwest on State Route 89A for 27.4 miles
To Jerome, AZ
 Distance: 27.4 miles 

 

To Jerome, AZ
 
 
Distance: 105.8 miles 
From: Prescott, AZ
 
To:
 Jerome, AZ
 
Beginning at Prescott, AZ
Go Northeast on State Rte 89 for 6.9 miles to State Route 89A
Go East on State Route 89A for 27.3 miles
To Jerome, AZ
 
 
Distance: 34.2 miles 
From: Sedona, AZ
 
To:
 Jerome, AZ
 
Beginning at Sedona, AZ
Go Southwest on State Route 89A for 27.4 miles
To Jerome, AZ
 
 
Distance: 27.4 miles 

 

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