Jerome is an old copper mining town in Northern Arizona, once a ghost town in the 1950s, now a tourist attraction and artist colony, with a reputation for many buildings being haunted.
Jerome is an old copper mining town set on the steep slopes of Cleopatra Hill between Prescott and Sedona. Once the fourth largest city in Arizona, it became one of the West's largest ghost towns in the 1950s. Now designated a National Historic District, the town has gained new life as an artist colony and tourist attraction.
- 1 Jerome Chamber of Commerce, 310 Hull Ave, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Th-M 11AM-3PM (Th is seasonal). Offers a free map for walking tours, as well as listings for restaurants and lodgings.
Once known as the "Wickedest Town in the West", Jerome owes its existence to two ore bodies that pushed close to the surface near Jerome and drew early settlers and miners. Two mines opened up - the first in the late 19th century, the second in 1917. While known mostly for copper, other metals including gold, silver, lead and zinc were mined. A narrow gauge railway connected Jerome to Jerome Junction, a railway transfer point 27 mi (43 km) to the west. Over the years mining expanded, the mine becoming the leading copper producer in the state and the population of Jerome growing ten-fold from 1890 (250 persons) to 1900 (2,500 persons). Four fires between 1894 and 1898 destroyed much of the business district and half the homes, and in 1899 Jerome incorporated as a town making it possible to collect taxes to build a formal fire-fighting system and establish building codes to prohibit tents and other fire hazards within the town limits.
Mine production had always fluctuated, with boom and bust cycles from World War I to the Great Depression. Today the mines are silent: they closed for good in 1953 when the ore deposits ran out. The population dwindled to fewer than 100 persons in the mid-1950s, becoming a ghost down (down from 4,900 in 1920 at its peak, to 1,200 in 1950). Residents turned to tourism and retail sales, putting Jerome back on the map as a National Historic Landmark in 1967.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Situated at 5,000 ft (1,500 m) elevation within the Prescott National Forest, Jerome has climate typical of this elevation and environment – hot summers (temperatures in the 90s °F / 32 °C) with strong thunderstorms, and cool winters (lows average just above freezing, 33 °F / 1 °C) with some dusting of snow.
Most precipitation arrives as rain from July to September, although snow and fog sometimes occurs. Jerome is often windy, especially in the spring and fall.
To reach Jerome from Phoenix, take I-17 north to Camp Verde, then head northwest on Arizona State Route 260 (AZ 260) to Cottonwood, then continue northwest on AZ 89A through Clarkdale and to Jerome. And from Flagstaff, you can take the scenic route of AZ 89A south all the way from Flagstaff through Sedona. Or more directly, you can take I-17 south to Camp Verde, and take AZ 260 northwest, continuing on same route as from Phoenix.
AZ 89A has scenic and historic designations: between Prescott and Jerome, it is known as the Mingus Mountain Scenic Road. Between Jerome and Cottonwood, it is known as Historic US 89A, officially named the Jerome-Clarkdale-Cottonwood Historic Road. And from Sedona to Flagstaff, the route is known as the Sedona-Oak Creek Canyon Scenic Road.
A small town, Jerome is best seen on foot. Parking can be an issue, especially on weekends. The city runs a free shuttle during Art Walk weekends.
The main tourist section is on Main Street, a large loop with lots to see. The Mine Museum, galleries, restaurants, bars and shops are all on this loop. There are 5 levels to the town – stroll them all. The view from Jerome across the Verde Valley to Sedona is awesome.
- 1 Audrey Shaft Headframe Park, Douglas Rd (near Jerome State Historic Park). Daily 8AM-5PM. Visitors can stand on glass above a 1,900-ft mining shaft, with the largest wooden headframe still standing in Arizona. Free.
- 2 Gold King Mine Ghost Town, 1000 Perkinsville Rd, ☏ , email@example.com. W-M 9AM-5PM. Visitors can step back in time and explore the grounds of the Gold King Mine. Call ahead if you want to pan for gold (due to weather conditions). $10 (adults, 13-79), $7 (youth, 6-12), free (children, 5 & under), free (80 & up).
- 3 Jerome's Sliding Jail, Hull Ave. See the jail that attempted its own getaway, sliding over 200 ft (61 m) down the hillside.
- 4 Jerome State Historic Park, 100 Douglas Rd, ☏ . Daily 10AM-4PM (park), 10AM-4PM (museum). Home to the interesting Douglas Mansion, built in 1916 and now a museum devoted to the history of the area and of the Douglas family. $7 (adults, 14+), $4 (youth, 7-13), free (children).
- 5 Mine Museum, 200 Main St, ☏ . Daily 9:30AM-5PM. Has displays illustrating the history of mining in Jerome. A gift shop is also onsite. $2 (adults), $1 (seniors), free (children).
The city hosts an Art Walk[dead link] on the first Saturday of each month from 5PM to 8PM, with more than twenty galleries taking part. Free parking is available at the middle and lower parking areas and by the Old Jerome High School, and a free shuttle runs regularly up and down Main Street.
Don't forget to leave some time to check out the excellent art galleries and antique stores. Stop in at one of the local pottery stores like Made in Jerome and they will prepare pieces designed especially for you.
- 1 Made In Jerome Pottery, 103 Main St, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 2 Old Jerome High School. There are 15 working studios in the Old Jerome High School. Plein Air artist Mark Hemleben [formerly dead link] is well-known for his Jerome masterpieces and has his galley/studio in this complex.
- 3 Gallery 527, 527 Main St, ☏ . Daily 11AM-5PM. Has a lovely sculpture garden and features local artists.
- 4 Nellie Bly Kaleidoscopes, 136 Main St, ☏ , email@example.com. Su-Th 9:30AM-5:30PM, F-Sa 9:30AM-6PM, 1st Sa 9:30AM-8PM. The largest brick & mortar kaleidoscope store in the world, featuring hundreds of artists.
- 5 Pura Vida Gallery, 501 School St, ☏ . Has a stunning collection of art and great American crafts.
- 6 Jerome Artists Co-op, 502 Main St, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 10AM-6PM. A large space(for Jerome) with many members, representing almost any medium you can imagine.
- 7 Altai Leather Designs, 415 Main St, toll-free: . Daily 10AM-6PM. For hand-made leather goods, filled with amazing bags, belts, hats, and lots of surprises as well.
- 8 Magpie (Christy Fisher Studio), 510 Main St, ☏ , email@example.com. Clothing designer extra-ordinaire Christy Fisher has a retail space filled with her creative designs – featuring peace, love and really cool clothes.
- 9 Raspberry, 112 Main St, ☏ . Daily 10AM-5PM. Fun fashion jewelry.
- 1 Asylum Restaurant, 200 Hill St (Jerome Grand Hotel), ☏ . Daily 11AM-9PM. Has a sophisticated menu and fine view.
- 2 The Flatiron, 416 Main St, ☏ . W-M 8AM-4PM. Casual menu and great espresso.
- 3 Gisele's Cafe & Bakery, 115 Jerome Ave, ☏ . Cream puffs, breakfast and lunch.
- 4 Grapes Restaurant & Bar, 111 Main St, ☏ . Daily 11AM-9PM. Shares ownership with Haunted Hamburger. Good food.
- 5 Haunted Hamburger, 410 Clark St, ☏ . Daily 11AM-9PM. Shares ownership with Grapes Restaurant & Bar.
- 6 Mile High Grill & Inn, 309 Main St, ☏ . M 8AM-4PM, T-W 11AM-4PM, Th 8AM-4PM, F-Sa 8AM-10PM, Su 8AM-6PM. Great burgers and salads with a full bar.
- 7 Vaqueros Grill & Cantina, 363 Main St, ☏ . M-Th 10:30AM-8PM, F 10:30AM-9PM, Sa 8AM-9PM, Su 8AM-8PM. Mexican cuisine.
- 1 Paul & Jerry's Saloon, 206 Main St, ☏ . Local color galore. Live music most weekends.
- 2 Spirit Room, 166 Main St, ☏ . Live music, really jumping on the weekends. Great people watching corner.
- 1 Jerome Grand Hotel, 200 Hill St, ☏ , toll-free: , firstname.lastname@example.org. A historic hotel, built in 1926 as a hospital. The building is situated above the rest of Jerome with great views, and is allegedly haunted. $125+/night.
- 2 Hotel Connor, 164 Main St (above the Spirit Room), ☏ , toll-free: . Operating since 1898. $95-$165/night.
|Routes through Jerome|
|END Prescott ←||W E||→ Cottonwood → Sedona → Flagstaff END|