Jerome is an interesting place, and certainly worth a visit.
In 1876, one of the largest copper deposits in Arizona was found on the side of this mountain overlooking the Verde River valley. The mine grew and grew, and by 1929 there were 15,000 people living on the side of the mountain in the new mining town of Jerome, Arizona.
But all mining operations closed down in 1953, and by 1955 less than 50 people remained.
Now, there are about 400 year round residents and it's become a touristy artsy community that's really busy on weekends.
The whole town is built on the side of the mountain.
There is a large, free, level parking area just north of town at GPS 34.753143, -112.119773. But it's day use only, and the signs specifically say "No overnight parking or camping". Too bad, because it would have been perfect.
But, it was a perfect place to park to walk around town, so that's what we did.
Walking towards Jerome from the free parking area.
On the left is an expensive looking hotel, and on the right is a mansion built with mining money that is now a state historic park.
Lots of interesting bars, cafes, and art galleries along the main drag.
And lots of leftovers from a more prosperous time.
Some really interesting places!
Notice the rebuilt places right beside the ruins.
The Jerome police dept?
The Spirit Room...a popular bar.
Sure enough, there's live music being played. Not too busy mid afternoon though.
We had spotted one possible overnight location on the road down towards the state historic park. But we decided to check out the overnight possibilities less than a mile up the road at the Gold King Mine and Ghost Town. Sounds interesting!
Only .7 miles (1 km) from the big upper parking lot, along that same road. By the time we got there it was close to 4:00pm, and they close at 5:00pm. I asked the girl in their office if we could park overnight and explore the mine and ghost town in the morning. She said she would have to ask the owner and she got on the phone and called him. He came down to talk to me. One of the most interesting characters we've ever met, and we can't wait to tell you all about him in the next post!
Yes, he let us park overnight, but we're also going to pay the $5 each to visit the mine and ghost town. And it's worth it!
Sherman, parked up for the night at the Gold King Mine and Ghost Town.
GPS 34.757017, -112.13065
Probably room for 50 RV's to park up here if you are brave enough to drive the road!