Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Slow Decay Of Jerome!!

I love old west ghost towns!!!  Jerome used to be one, but has since become a huge tourist attraction in this area.  Once a copper mining community, it now hosts many galleries and nifty shops that are fun to spend time in.  This image shows part of the old mining operation, along with the first big hotel that was built here, barely visible on the side of the hill in the upper left.  The problem with years of copper mining is the tunnels that remain underneath the town, which along with erosion, are killing Jerome as it slides down the hill.  This hotel was abandoned and rebuilt at another location.
The old jail, once full of prisoners, slid down the hill late one night.  They were finally able to push it far enough to this "hole" where it remains today.  Not in use of course, but an oddity to say the least.  Bet those guys were surprised to find their view changing by the hour!!
The Mile High Grill is the place for lunch.  Although there are many good restaurants here, THIS one has the best service I have ever received.  What a great group of kids work here!!
Even though it is no longer on the menu, they prepared this grilled cheese with tomato and grilled onions, especially for Barbara and I.  They also prepared freeze dried spinach at Barbara's request, also not on the menu any more.  Talk about going out of your way for a customer!!  The mac n cheese with green chilies was excellent also.  Guess I got my cheese fix for awhile!!  
Then came the bread pudding ... what an amazing treat THIS was.  It belongs in a five-star hotel!!  We posted everything to Facebook, which impressed our waiter.  He said he was so excited to see us so technically savvy ... what he meant was he liked that we "old folks" knew how to use our phones so well!!
No matter, as you can see, we cleaned our plates!!  Oh ... and the onion rings!!!  BEST EVER dipped in a beer batter that you could actually TASTE!!!  Just amazing food for a little ghost town sliding down the hill!!
You may not be able to read the first (and highest sign) ... this tan building is the Town Hall, the Police Department and the Fire Department.  Upstairs was the yarn and bead shop I was looking for, but sadly it is closed.  Even the telephone poles are leaning downhill!!
Probably one of the best preserved buildings is the House Of Joy.  I'm sure I don't have to explain this one.  You can just imagine the girls hanging off the balcony!!
Another bordello ... there were LOTS of them here ... very adept at removing money from the miners pockets every payday!!  If I had more money, I would buy this building and restore it.  It too is sliding down the mountain, as evidenced by the large crack on the left.  What a shame that these amazing old buildings are decaying at such a fast rate.  It appears the owners not only don't have the funds, but they lack the initiative to even clean up the yards and vacant lots.  Maybe it's because they are all rentals ... but it's sad to see!!
This is all that remains of a once beautiful building, poured from not-so-great concrete.  As you look at the walls, you can see it wasn't even mixed thoroughly and had WAY too much sand.  With an unstable foundation from underground mining, it was a recipe for disaster.  To the left is what remains of the back, having been made into a glass blowing business.  Many of the buildings have been stabilized and seem to be holding their own ... but many are disappearing!!
And guess what???  There are geocaches here!!  Apparently they are EVERYWHERE!!!!!  It took us about 30 minutes, but we found one before we headed back down the hill.  Note to self:  Get some tongs and a caching bag.  Nothing like sticking your hand into a rock wall.  Who knows what might come out attached to your finger!!  What a great day exploring this amazing little town again.  No doubt in my mind ... I could live here!!!


  1. you should read about the woman that died in new york last year her father was the man

  2. As always, awesome pictures. The food pictures were so great that I started getting hungry until I got down to the picture of the empty bowl with the three spoons. Also, if you decide to move to Jerome, Arizona let me know because I think I can build you a house just like your last picture and I will definitly use better concrete. LoL Joe Green

  3. Jerome, Arizona is not on the top of the list of places you normally read or hear about, but I read your blog about Jerome yesterday and then today there was an article about a young man attending the Prom in Jerome. You are now asking why there would be an article about a young man attending the Prom. He stole a $600 tux and was arrested at the Prom in Jerome, Az.

    1. I just may take you up on the building Joe!!!!! Funny about the Prom Kid!! That was a pretty pricey tux!!