Located just a mile out of Jerome, AZ is a unique "ghost town" that was once home to over 300 people working the mine. The location today is owned by Don Robertson who has been collecting motor vehicles and "stuff" for years.
Open 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM every day of the year except Thanksgiving and Christmas you can easily spend an entire day wandering the grounds and inspecting Don's "treasures."
The day I visited I had the pleasure of talking to Don quite a bit and as one of the others in our group owned a classic car, Don fired up his hand built 1928 Studebaker race car.
Spending half a day in Jerome is essential if you are going to be in the Sedona area. The old mining town is only a 45 minute drive from the red rocks and a fun way to visit some local artisan galleries and shops.
The copper mining town was much abandoned since the turn of the 20th century, but in the 60s some hippies started squating in the old houses sliding down the moutain. These artists and free thinkers took up residence and now the town has an artsy fun vibe. It's a popular haunt for the bikers too.
Halloween is a real event here so if you plan on partying book a room months out. The Asylum, a once mental institution is now a hotel, and thier restaurant hosts a huge bash every year. This past party had more than 300 costumed party goers. The Asylum is also a great place to eat for their butternut squash soup. MMM.
Another fun restaurant is the Haunted Hamburger, they bake their own bread. The best pizza can be found at The Piece in Town, which used to be a bordello. This is the best pizza in all of Sedona, Cottonwood and the Villiage of Oak Creek.
My favorite shop is the House of Joy, which also used to be a Bordello. The strip through town has a lot of cute shops though. The only head shop in the area can be found here too.
Just 30 miles south of Sedona & located high on top of Cleopatra Hill (5,200 feet) is the historic copper mining town of Jerome, Arizona. 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 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.
It TRULY is worth the trip, from wherever you are heading to, or leaving from. It's almost as if you are stepping back in time.
This inn is supposed to be haunted. Check out the website. If it is haunted, I'm not all about it, as it does not sound like a happy ghost.
I did not stay here, so for that reason, and because of the meanie ghosts, I can't suggest it as a place to say.
I can suggest it as a place to eat though. Jerome, being so small and cute, has limited options. The Mexican food as well as the burger-and-a-coke type options are as yummy as the "sun shining through the curtain-lace", as Simon and Garfunkel would say.
Just make sure yours is not a Dangling Conversation.
This is just a one of those cool old industrial things I couldn't help admiring. Then again, I am aware that what does it for me isn't always in the general population's crosshairs. This was apparent from the moans and groans that came from the rental car as I snapped digital and 35mm pics of this headframe and surrounding vicinity.
If it's your thing, it's in Jerome, just keep driving to the top of the hill.
What follows is a direct quote from the sign at the bottom of the headframe pictured at left:
"Historic Audrey Shaft Headframe
Little Daisy Mine
Largest wooden headframe still standing in Arizona, it was completed in 1918 to haul ore up from mine. Shaft is 1500 feet deep, concrete lined with cross tunnels every 100 feet to Edith shaft. Edith shaft headframe was completed in 1915 to haul men and supplies. A wooden structure, it was torn down in 1981 and replaced with the steel version you see today, 260’ to NW.
Ore was brought to the surface , then transported by tram and burro grain to the railhead in the valley. Later, ore was taken out underground through the Josephine tunnel, which was 1300 feet down and 2½ miles long.
Between 1915 and 1938 almost 4 million tons of ore was extracted from the mine, producing 397,000 tons of copper, 221 tons of silver, and 5½ tons of gold."
What a welcome change! This tiny little town high in the mountains was originally a temporary mining town.
The people there had no idea how many years they were about to spend in stilt houses dangling off of cliffs.
Because I've been trying to move out of my parents' house after college for 10 months, I can relate to this. (Mind you, I finally have an 8/1/03 date. Congratulate me!)
Eventually, the town was abandoned. And now, well, it's got a great art scene, some little frozen fudge banana and lunch joints, a few bars...and history to spare.
I have to say I preferred it to Sedona. So much more low key, so much less commercial. The downtown is only a block or two, so you'd want to spend time elsewhere even if you stayed there (as I would if I went again).
I just felt so at home in Jerome, the town everyone wanted to get out of...huh.
The former mining town of Jerome is a fun pit-stop on the back road to Sedona. On route alt 89 about 20 miles southwest of Sedona. Lots of galleries and craft stores. Good place to park the car and take a stroll before heading on to the beauties of Sedona.