Friday, December 7, 2012

Jerome, AZ

Jerome was a mining town established on the side of Cleopatra Hill in 1883, located between Flagstaff and Prescott, Arizona. From its external appearances it hasn't changed much in nearly 100 years. Many of the buildings used by present-day business folks are those built after the fires of 1894 and1899. A number of the buildings have been restored and more are planned for restoration. Due to the 30-degree incline of the mountainside, gravity has pulled a number of buildings down the slope. To the delight of some, one of those buildings was the town's jail.

Jerome became a notorious "wild west" town, a hotbed of prostitution, gambling, and vice. On 5 February 1903, the New York Sun proclaimed Jerome to be "the wickedest town in the West".

In 1915 the population of Jerome was estimated at 2,500. By 1929 Jerome's population was over 15,000. Arizona had become the nation's leading copper-producer. 

By 1932 the price of copper had sunk to 5 cents per pound, and the United Verde closed until 1935, when Phelps Dodge bought the mine for $21 million. In 1938 the UVX, Jerome's second major mine, was mined out and closed.

The United Verde and Jerome prospered in the war years, but the end was now in sight. Phelps Dodge closed the Clarkdale smelter in 1950. In 1953 the last of Jerome's mines closed, and much of the population left town. Jerome's population reached a low point of about 50 people in the late 1950s. As of the 2010 census, its population was 444.

The stories goes that artists came back to the town and rebuilt it. Jerome is now know for his art galleries (over 30) and has a reputation as an enclave of liberal politics in otherwise conservative Yavapai County. 

Excerpts from this site and this site.

First photo: Jerome's beautiful old Post Office
Last three photos: Flatiron café, where we drank delicious green juices. I am so stocked that my girls get excited at the thought of ordering a juice of spinach, kale and green apple!

Première photo : le vieux bureau de poste de Jerome. Magnifique.
Trois dernières photos : Le Flatiron café où nous avons bu de délicieux jus verts. Je suis tellement contente que mes filles soient super enthousiastes à l'idée de commander un jus d'épinards, de kale et de pommes vertes!

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