Jerome Arizona History as a terrritory and a state

.Jerome Arizona History
Terrritory and State

Jerome Arizona history state territory

The town was built on Cleopatra Hill above a vast deposit of copper. The mines, the workers and those who sought its wealth, formed the town's history. They were a brave and raucous mix. Miners, smelter workers, freighters, gamblers, bootleggers, saloon keepers, store keepers, prostitutes and preachers, wives and children all made Jerome what it was. Americans, Mexicans, Croatians, Irish, Spaniards, Italians and Chinese made the mining camp a cosmopolitan mix that added to its rich life and filled its streets with excitement. Prehistoric Native Americans were the first miners. The Spanish followed, seeking gold but finding copper. Jerome's modern history began in 1876 when three anglo prospectors staked the first claims on rich copper deposits in the area. They sold out to a group which formed the United Verde Copper Company in 1883. The resultant mining camp of board and canvas shacks was named in honor of Eugene Jerome, the venture's principal backer. Hopes for the enterprise ran high, but the costs of operating, especially for transportation, outstripped profits,and the company folded in less than two years.

It took the vision and vast financial resources of a new owner, William A. Clark, to bring in a narrow gauge railroad and reduce freighting costs. By the early 20th century, the United Verde was the largest producing copper mine in the Arizona Territory.
She grew rapidly fr
om tent city to prosperous company town with frame and brick buildings, and could boast of two churches, an opera house, a school, and several civic buildings. The town followed the swing of the mines fortunes. In 1912, James S. Douglas purchased and began development of the Little Daisy Mine. By 1916, the town had two bonanza mines. The Ghost City was the talk of the Territory...boom town of its time...darling of promoters and investors. The mines were nourished and exploited by financiers who brought billions of dollars of copper from its depths. Changing times in the Territory saw pack burros, mule drawn freight wagons, and horses replaced by steam engines, autos and trucks. Fires ravaged the clapboard town again and again. The town was always rebuilt. In 1918, underground mining phased out after uncontrollable fires erupted in the 88 miles of tunnels under the town. Open pit mining brought dynamiting. The hills rattled and buildings cracked. The surface began to shift and sections of the business district slid downward. The sliding jail moved 225 ft. and rests across the road from its original site. The Little Daisy shut down in 1938. Phelps-Dodge took over the United Verde in 1935, but loss of profits dependent on the ups and downs of copper prices, labor unrest, depressions and war brought the operation and mining days to an end in 1953.

Closed forever? One never knows. During its life-time, United Verde produced about $500 million worth of copper ore. Today's the town has always been a survivor. After the mines closed and "King Copper" left town, the population went from a peak of 15,000 about 1929 to some 50 souls in the late 50's. A few hardy souls remained, reluctant to leave a lifetime of memories. The 60's and 70's were the time of the counter culture and she offered a haven for artists who renovated homes and opened abandoned shops to sell their wares. Soon newcomers and Jerome old timers were working together to bring her back to life. The Historical Society guarded the buildings against vandalism and the elements. The Douglas Mansion was made a State Park Museum in 1965 and the town became a National Historic Landmark in 1976.

Today, she is very much alive with writers, artists, artisans, musicians, historians, and families. They form a peaceful, colorful, thriving community built on a rich foundation of history and lore. The population today is about 400.

Narrative CD by Clay Miller

Jerome Arizona Mining / ghost town Historical Pictures and Photos 1 | 2



History Territory and State

Tapes of original songs and lyrical narrative by Clay Miller

View From the Eagles Nest

Scenic & Educational Expeditions

Jerome tours
Iron Horse | Indian Country | Sky Country | Little Grand Canyon | Adventure Hiking

verde canyon railroad

When is Clay on the Verde Canyon Railroad?

Visitor Information
Below you will find helpful links for activities in the area, lodging and hotels, pictures and photos, and other subjects of interest to tourism.

405 W. Yuma
Cottonwood, Az 86326

928 634-3497