Once known as the "wickedest town in the west," Jerome still has one wicked nightlife. The drive up to Jerome is hairy and shouldn't be done under the influence, so plan on staying overnight. Get a room at the MILE HIGH INN & GRILL. The place is historic and charming, the rooms are clean and the staff is friendly. Their Grill has wonderful food as well.
Located high on top of Cleopatra Hill 5,200 feet above sea level between Prescott and Flagstaff is the historic copper mining town of Jerome. 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. Dependent 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.
The town of Jerome is not too far from Sedona on Arizona Highway 89A. Jerome is an historic old mining town with a very interesting past that is preserved by a very active historical society. The road to Jerome is full of nice curves and great scenery. There is also the Jerome State Historic Park there. For full information see my Jerome and Jerome State Historic Park Pages.
Jerome is a quirky town...for sure...but such a fun place to come and visit. We walked around town...stopped in a few shops...and ate the asylum, which was really cool.
The fantastic antique rings and scarves I bought here...I'll have forever. And I don't think I'll ever see anyone else with the same items ever.
Plus the ride to get there was a neat thing too...well worth a visit even if you only have a few days.