Jerome...one of my favorite places. In it's heyday was called the 'wickedest town in the west', although I doubt that, since the handle has been applied to almost every mining and cow town from the 1800's that I've read about. It was apparently pretty bad, although I think at lot of that has to do with the papers of the time focusing on the sensational elements....surely it was no worse than Detroit.
There are of course, numerous ghost stories, and the town was basically a ghost from around the 1920s until the 1970s when some hippies decided to move in, buy up cheap property and eventually turned it into an artsy destination. I stayed in the Conner Hotel on Halloween night, which is dead center in the middle of town and known for it's ghostly activity. I didn't sleep well though because the room was too stuffy...the only disturbance other than that was the biker revelry in the bar downstairs. The 'asylum' which is the renovated hospital ( the yellow building at top right ) would have been a preferred stay but it was booked solid as well as the numerous historic B&Bs and the adjacent Surgeons House which is also a privately run B&B with a really nice genteel ambience.
The town is full of shops and small restaurants and pubs, although the 'real' artists are found in the old high school when you first come into town.
The morning following halloween night was exceptionally foggy with cloud cover bringing a spooky atmosphere while misting over the town from the mountains. The fact that I had been told that 2 weeks prior there had been 2 mountain lions prowling the streets gave me far more pause to reflect at that point than ghost stories though.
The mountain is completely riddled with mining tunnels that have undermined building foundations and caused parts of it to slowly slide downhill...notably the jail which is about a block so from it's original site. There is still active mining going on north of town, where there is also a fabulous junkyard of old vehicles and period mining buildings filled with authentic paraphernalia which is run as a tourist attraction by a fellow who has a white beard to his waist, along with his wife and favorite mule.
This pic represents the southern half of the town which is approached from the east on AZ 89A from Sedona by a zigzag roadbed after leaving Clarksdale which continues through town to it's western border with Mingus Mountain and Prescott National Forest.
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