The Mighty Junebugg – a June of all Trades


Arizona Road Trip Day 5: Homeward Bound
September 2, 2009, 1:35 am
Filed under: Arizona, Arizona Road Trip, camping, Life, Road Trip, Slide Rock, Travel

We packed up camp in the rain and headed for home. Cave Springs campground was so beautiful and we were sad to leave it.

this is the road in the campground... I wanna go back just looking at it!

this is the road in the campground... I wanna go back just looking at it!

Our first stop was in Sedona for breakfast and a few trinkets. Sedona reminds me a lot of Palm Springs. Next we stopped in an old mining town called Jerome. The town was a ghost town for many years before some eclectic hippies turned it into an artists town. They had some cool stores here with unique one of a kind items as well as a winery!

on the way up the hill to Jerome, AZ

on the way up the hill to Jerome, AZ

I had to Wikipedia this place because it has a pretty fascinating history. Check out this excerpt:

Jerome was incorporated as a town on 8 March 1889. The town housed the workers in the nearby United Verde Mine, which was to produce over 1 billion dollars in copper, gold and silver over the next 70 years. Jerome became a notorious “wild west” town, a hotbed of prostitutiongambling, and vice. On 5 February 1903, the New York Sun proclaimed Jerome to be “the wickedest town in the West”. In 1915 the population of Jerome was estimated at 2,500.

Jerome had three major fires between 1897 and 1899, burning out much of the town. The 1899 fire prompted Jerome to reincorporate as a city, and to adopt a building code specifying brick or masonry construction, as well as improving the fire companies. Despite these changes, the large and luxurious Montana Hotel, built of brick, burned in 1915. In 1918 fires spread out of control over 22 miles of underground mines, burning the inflammable massive pyrite. One of the mine fires continued to burn for twenty years. This prompted the phasing out of underground mining in favor of open pit mining at the United Verde. Blasting in the mines frequently shook the town, sometimes damaging or moving buildings; after one blast in the 1930s the city jail slid one block down hill intact. Lawsuits were frequent, but the mining companies usually won. By 1929 Jerome’s population was over 15,000. Arizona had become the nation’s leading copper-producer.

The United Verde and Jerome prospered in the war years, but the end was now in sight. Phelps Dodge closed the Clarkdale smelter in 1950. In 1953 the last of Jerome’s mines closed, and much of the population left town. Jerome’s population reached a low point of about 50 people in the late 1950s.

Today Jerome is a tourist destination, with many abandoned and refurbished buildings from its boom town days. Jerome has a large mining museum, presenting the town history, labor-management disputes, geological structure models, mineral samples, and equipment used in both underground and open-pit mining. The National Historic Landmark designation has assured architectural preservation in this town, a mile high on the side of Mingus Mountain. There are numerous bed and breakfasts in Jerome and two hotels. Restaurants range from hamburgers to fine dining. The community spirit in this town of 400 has created a vibrant group of events from its legendary Halloweeen Dance to the Jerome Home Tour in May. Jerome is known as an art destination, with more than 30 galleries and working studios. First Saturday Art Walk began in 2006, and has become a popular monthly event. In 2007, Jerome became a sponsor of The Sedona Plein Air Festival, and hosted some of the best-known plein air painters in the country. The Old Jerome High School is home to many artists and their open studios. Artists and craftspeople display their work in an open-air art park in nice weather.

a Jerome landmark

a Jerome landmark

Crazies usually live in small towns like this... crazy but fascinating!

Crazies usually live in small towns like this... crazy but fascinating!

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We stopped at the Jerome Winery for some tasting & took home some great bottles! (click the picture to visit their site)

We stopped at the Jerome Winery for some tasting & took home some great bottles! (click the picture to visit their site)

Once we saw the windmills near Palm Springs we knew our trip as almost over

Once we saw the windmills near Palm Springs we knew our trip as almost over

the end.


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