Jerome, Arizona – #Mining town

Jerome, Arizona




Jerome, Arizona is an old mining town, population of a meager 450 people, but it wasn’t always so lightly populated. It’s approximately a 2 hour drive northwest of Scottsdale in the Verde Valley. The tourist map recommends it as a must-see place to visit.


Jerome AZ



My husband and brother-in-law are fascinated with anything cowboy, so we decided to take a little road trip up there, one warm, but mostly overcast, cloudy day.


Jerome sits up on a cliff known as Cleopatra Hill. The elevation is 5300 feet. It was a lot colder up there than where we’d come from in Scottsdale. I can tell you that the one lane up and one down the mountain was a pretty narrow ride with barely a guard rail or lights. I remarked how I’d be scared to drive in or out of Jerome at night or in the rain, or worse, the snow.

Jerome Az



A Brief History:

In the 1880s, Jerome was a billion dollar mining town full of ore. For 70 years, the two copper mines made hundreds of millions of dollars for investors. The town was named after a New York Lawyer, Eugene Jerome who formed the United Verde Copper Company.

Jerome hotel



By 1920 the population began to rise to 15,000. It hosted saloons, hotels and the town brothel, and of course a county jail. Through the years, many buildings had burned down from the two fires of 1894 and 1899, but were rebuilt.

Jerome fire




Hotel Jerome


The mines yielded millions of tons of copper, silver and gold. In 1938, an underground blast rocked Jerome’s foundation and much of the business district slid down the hillside 225 feet – most notably, the county jail. This event was the beginning of the downfall of Jerome, resulting in its becoming a ghost town.



haunted hotel



With the depression and the advent of World War II, and fluctuating copper prices, the mines finally closed in 1953. By then, the remainder of the townspeople left, leaving a mere 50 people residing in Jerome.

fire Jerome



Through the later decades, Jerome was rediscovered by artists who moved there for its magnificent views and cheap real estate. Now there are galleries, a few restaurants and gift shops and a few bed and breakfasts which are said to be haunted.


haunted hotel



My Observations:


The town is quite small and doesn’t appear that much has been updated in decades.


private Jerome



There are a few updated bar/restaurants, and now ‘family’ saloons. The town brothel had been turned first into a restaurant, and has since become a store named ‘House of Joy’, carrying nostalgic items from the days of its original ill repute, full of girlie photos, flapper hats, pins and badges from earlier wars, and some old signs.


But what I found most interesting in there was a table with small cardboard boxes, each filled with coins representing various states’ brothels in the mid and southwest.


These coins were what gentlemen would purchase when entering a brothel that gave them access to a lady for the evening. Each coin had engraved the brothel name and state where it was from, and every one of them had engraved on the flipside, “Good for one night.” One could purchase these coins of choice as a souvenir for $3.00. I couldn’t help but wonder how much they paid for the service when purchasing these coins back in the late 1800s and early 1900s.


I wandered into some other gift shops and found items from natural stones to old signs to Tshirts, and found them all rather expensive compared to any other tourist place I’d been to in Arizona. I couldn’t believe that this tiny town with nothing more than a beautiful view and a bit of history charged such high prices for souvenirs. I didn’t see anyone walking around with bags.


I realize it’s now a small tourist town and everyone has to make a living, but it’s not like there’s a waiting list to get there. To me, these sky high prices were like ‘shooting yourself in the foot’ (a fitting phrase), by being a little more competitive, price-wise, I Β think that tourists like myself would have liked to pick up some souvenirs.

House of Joy brothel


All in all it was an experience to go to Jerome and see a bit of this history. It felt strange being in that little store that was once a brothel and looking at some of the old hotels and remnants of burnt out buildings from the fires.


On the way back, I managed to capture some gorgeous sunset photos:


Jerome sunset


arizona sunset


Jerome sunset
Sunset on the highway from Jerome



50 thoughts on “Jerome, Arizona – #Mining town

  1. Don’t you look Kooool! Love the hat and especially the red cowboy boots.
    Fantastic tour of Jerome and magnificent pictures, Debby. Sounds you had a delightful day exploring. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ Thank you for sharing. Loved this post.


  2. One good quake (not really in much of a quake zone thankfully) or some serious subsidence and the whole thing will collapse. It’s honeycomb ed with mine shafts. It’s an interesting place to visit though.


    1. Lol Hugh. First of all thanks for the kudos. And second of all, NEVER going to happen my friend. You couldn’t by me a home in Arizona to stay in a haunted hotel, lol. I’m a scaredy cat! πŸ™‚


  3. Ah… now you’ve made me jealous… Lol. I’ve been to Jerome a few times and absolutely love it. It is one of the most memorable places I’ve ever been. Great coverage btw… good scenes. πŸ™‚


  4. Grr, it swallowed my comment and now I forgot what I said. Something like I’d love to have visited that brothel. I have to research modern day versions for a story (try explaining to your wife you need to go to a strip club for ‘research’ purposes.) anyway, I can’t believe how much of the town slid down the hill. shocking, but what a lot of history. Clearly the town is a survivor.


    1. Lol you funny girl. And arg, I don’t know why some people here tell me their comments disappear as they’re writing. I’ve checked everything I can in the dashboard and can’t seem to find out why. I’m guessing, just another wordpress glitch 😦 So thanks for trying again. πŸ™‚


  5. I love the history behind ‘ghost towns’ like these Debby. What an awful disaster when the whole town literally slid downhill. There’s a similar story in the town where my eldest son and his girflriend live, when a snow avalanche buried an entire street. They rebuilt, and the pub (we always go there when we visit, the food is fab!) is called The Snowdrop. I thought it was named after the pretty little winter flowers, until my son told me about the history behind the name! The brothel is so interesting, what atmosphere there I bet, for more than one reason, lol πŸ˜€ And your photos of the sunset are beautiful. Shame about the souvenirs but what a fascinating place, I’m so glad you got to visit and then share with us! πŸ™‚ xo


    1. Thanks again Sherri for sharing. There’s so much history in everything, isn’t there? It really makes one think about what is really in a name? πŸ™‚ xo


  6. I looked for my post on Jerome, AZ, and there was none! But I found my pictures, so I’ll link your post to mine and get busy writing one. πŸ™‚ This is a great post, very informative. AND I agree with your other readers about the red boots. Impressive that you walked around very much in those heels! You’re amazing! πŸ™‚ Did you go through the museum? Thanks for sharing that you had this post. πŸ™‚


    1. Aw, thanks again Marsha. And thanks for wanting to link your post to mine, much appreciated! Those boots were made for walking girl! I lived in them through the month of January. πŸ™‚ I didn’t go through the museum. I went through the stores, lol. πŸ™‚


      1. I was with my husband and friends. We are all museum junkies. I have so much more on Jerome than I can put in one post. I’m shocked that I hadn’t written a post already. πŸ™‚


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