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copper mining town of Jerome, Arizona

I recently drove up to and spent a beautiful day in Jerome, Arizona. Here is some information from

"Located high on top of Cleopatra Hill (5,200 feet) between Prescott and Flagstaff is the historic copper mining town of Jerome, Arizona. Once known as the wickedest town in the west, Jerome was a copper mining camp, growing from a settlement of tents to a roaring mining community. Four disastrous fires destroyed large sections of the town during its early history, resulting in the incorporation of the City of Jerome in 1899.

Founded in 1876, Jerome was once the fourth largest city in the Arizona Territory. The population peaked at 15,000 in the 1920's. The Depression of the 1930's slowed the mining operation and the claim went to Phelps Dodge, who holds the claim today. World War II brought increased demand for copper, but after the war, demand slowed. Dependant on the copper market, Phelps Dodge Mine closed in 1953. The remaining 50 to 100 hardy souls promoted the town as a historic ghost town. In 1967 Jerome was designated a National Historic District by the federal government. Today Jerome is a thriving tourist and artist community with a population of about 450.

Jerome sits above what was the largest copper mine in Arizona and produced an astonishing 3 million pounds of copper per month. Men and women from all over the world made their way to Arizona to find work and maybe a new way of life. Today the mines are silent, and Jerome has become the largest ghost town in America.

Jerome's personality has changed dramatically in the past 30 years. Once a thriving mining camp between the late-1880s and early 1950s, Jerome is now a bustling tourist magnet and artistic community with a population of about 450. It includes a modicum of artists, craft people, musicians, writers, hermits, bed and breakfast owners, museum caretakers, gift shop proprietors and fallen-down-building landlords. A view of Jerome from the air

What is the Town of Jerome like today? Is it worth your time to visit? The answer is a resounding yes! Jerome is an enchanting town, and a photographer's paradise. From its external appearances it hasn't changed much in nearly 100 years. Many of the buildings used by present-day business folks are those built after the fires of 1894 and1899. A number of the buildings have been restored and more are planned for restoration. Due to the 30-degree incline of the mountainside, gravity has pulled a number of buildings down the slope. To the delight of some, one of those buildings was the town's jail. Those buildings still standing make for interesting visiting and with a little research you can find their historical significance. One notable section is the "Cribs District." You will find this area across the street from the English Kitchen, in a back alley where all the buildings were are part of Jerome's ill-famed "prostitution row."

Here are some photogarfs I took:

Here is the turnoff to enter the Hippy/Bohemian/Haunted/Dilapidated town of Jerome.

The first sight you see is immediately after the turnoff. God Bless the Psycadelic Mariachi and their adoption of this road.

The first thing my photo friend, Kevi, and I did was eat lunch at a late 1800's era Asylum turned Hotel, The Jerome Grand Hotel. It is considered by superstitious and bored people to be one of the most haunted places in America, and I can absolutely see why.

To the right of the main entrance of the hotel, there are six body-sized mounds with unmarked rocks as head stones.

A smaller sized mound.

We ate cheese steaks and veggie sandwiches in a nice restaurant inside aptly named 'The Asylum'. The waiter, host, and all staff were all some of the nicest people i have ever been around. Here is a shot from the hallway leading up to the restaurant.

Here is a random wall in the hotel.

After lunch, Kevi and I went exploring in the back alleys and broken homes of Jerome. This house was my favorite.

On the side of the house is a standard electric meter with its face broken off. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted something foreign inside of it, and upon closer examination, we found that it was the skeleton of a baby bird.

We walked across the edge of the town and stopped for a tasty photo. This is the view that all of the inhabitants of Jerome get to see outside their windows every day.

We moved on to another broken home that looks much like many others.

When we got near it, we saw that some one had written something on the wall in red spray paint or the blood of the innocent. (The full quote said, "It was more fun in hell.")

A photo from the roof of the hell building.

We walked back in to town and down one of the main streets full of bohemian mom and pop eateries and galleries. There was some abandoned Halloween decorations hanging out in a tree, and they looked surprisingly in place given their surrounding atmosphere.

Here we see Kevi and a giant wooden bear.

Some resident's back alley.

We walked back up another main straight and took a photo of probably the scariest looking house there.

The old fire station.

Outside of a shop that sold widgets and discombobulators, there was a large wooden figure of gay Hitler.

Sieg Heeeeeeeeeee-eeeeeeeeeyyyyy!

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