Mining / Ghost Town Historical Photos
Jerome Arizona, a mining and then a ghost town. Below you will find some historical photos and commentary.
Main Street in 1917. It is still here. Can you imagine the mud on a rainy day?
This is actually the Hopewell haulage tunnel. It was a mile and a half under the ground. They hauled the ore out on these electric trains.
The Montana Hotel was not only the largest hotel in 1900, it was the largest hotel in Arizona: 200 rooms. And it was fire proof. Or so they claimed . . .
Uh oh . . . In 1915 it was gutted by fire. This was about the time they were starting work on the open pit, which was very close by and made the hotel a very undesirable place to stay. Needless to say there was rumor of arson.
In 1895 they completed the narrow gauge railroad into town. The owner of the United Verde Copper mine was soon to be netting a million dollars a month. Before that it was a 60 mile mule train ride to the train. Very difficult to make ends meet.
The town's personality has changed dramatically in the past 30 years. Once a thriving copper mine camp between the late-1880s and early 1950s, It 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.
Before the first Europeans visited the Verde Valley in the 16th century, the Sinaguas, Hohokams, Anasazis and Apaches called this area home. The rich mineral resources of the Black Hills were well known by these native peoples. When Antonio de Espejo and his companions traveled through these parts looking for gold and silver, the Indians readily showed them their mining operations. While the Indians were primarily mining for copper, there were rich deposits of gold and silver in those mines as well. But the Spaniards, noting only that there was silver, but no gold, moved on.
Nearly 300 years later, in 1876, the renowned U.S. Calvary scout Al Sieber saw the potential for gold in these crudely worked mines and staked a claim. When word got out about his mining claims, others followed. Such notables as Angus McKinnon and M. A. Ruffner filed claims on some copper outcroppings, becoming at the same time pioneers of the town .
The United Verde Mine produced in excess of $1 billion in copper, gold, silver, zinc and lead from the northeast side of Mingus and Woodchute Mountains. Just below those two mountains rises a well-known hill by the name of Cleopatra. On the northeast side of this hill, the town of Jerome is precariously anchored. This part of Arizona's Black Hills harbored some of the best capitalists of the territory and, in contrast, a collection of some of the world's poorest as well. Early on, Jerome became a melting pot of settlers from abroad, immigrants from every corner of the globe seeking work and chasing the dream of quick fortune.
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405 W. Yuma
Cottonwood, Az 86326