Jerome is a small town located in the Black Hills of Yavapai County not too far from Sedona. We actually saw it in the distance when we were visiting Tuzigoot and decided to go check it out, and I’m so glad we did. It’s a really neat town and it REALLY reminded me of a western version of my hometown of Galena, IL. It had a historic main street, just like Galena and is mainly on a hill, just like Galena, although Jerome is much smaller than Galena is. It was mainly a mining town back in the 1920’s and was home to more than 1000 people back then, but has less than 500 people living there now.
We decided to go check out the ghost town, and it was a lot of fun! I recently read an article about it and it said that if you’re traveling with a photographer, expect them to disappear until their camera runs out of memory, and that is very much true. I could have spent HOURS in this place taking photos of all of the neat things Don Robertson (the owner) had laying around.
The ghost town is actually a suburb of Jerome, called Haynes, and it was originated by Haynes Copper Company in 1890, when they were searching for copper that is known to be in the area. They missed the copper but they did find gold.
This school house was moved from Flagstaff to here, but Don built many of the buildings on the property himself. He says he only collects rare things, but since I’m not well versed in old cars, I have no clue if these are true or not. I really want my dad to go see all of this stuff because he would know about these old cars.
Mark was in pig heaven when we encountered this trailer full of alligator juniper wood. It was even better that it was fairly cheap. We already had 6 people and all of our junk in the car, but we managed to fit a few pieces of this stuff in between everyone and everything else and Mark was a happy camper. And I was happy because he now knows how I feel when I go into a fabric shop. He could have stayed in this little shack for a good hour inspecting all the wood, and that’s exactly how I feel when I get into fabric shops. I’m glad he has a hobby that he likes.
Here’s the old entrance to the mine and they even have a place where you can pan for gold (for $10 I think, maybe $5). They had a bunch of goats you can feed also, and chickens, and their donkey also.
There was just neat stuff all over this place and we spent a few hours wandering around it and looking at everything, although I feel like we didn’t really get to see everything because there’s just so much to look at! (Dad, most of these pictures are for you!)
I didn’t even get a chance to go into these buildings, but I’m sure there was lots of cool stuff to look at!
I can’t remember what the thing on the left is below, but the thing on the right is a 1914 sawmill that they still use every day to cut lumber orders of the juniper. It was running a little when we got there but by the time we got up to this section of the property they weren’t running it. Luckily, we ran into Don while we were there and he started it up for us and showed us how this one worked, and the one below that he built from a submarine engine. Both were pretty darn neat to see, even if they were loud. Ben wasn’t a huge fan of the noise.
We had fun petting the donkey and he was even braying for us a little bit, which is hilarious to hear. I kinda want a donkey. They’re adorable. Almost as cute as my kid.
I decided not to carry my camera with me around Jerome when we visited the town, but it was really need to see. Such old buildings and you can almost feel the history surround you. If you want to read more about the history of Jerome, you can go HERE. In short, it was named after a New York lawyer who financed the United Verde Copper Company, that mined hundreds of millions of dollars in the early 19th century. Today it’s a really artsy town with lots of chic little restaurants and art galleries. Again, reminds me a lot of Galena. I’m excited to go back again.
If you’re every in the Phoenix, Sedona, Prescott area in Arizona, I would HIGHLY encourage you to check out Jerome and the Gold King Mine ghost town. It is one of my favorite places we’ve visited so far in AZ!!