Just a few miles south of Sedona on 89A you will find a small ghost town on the side of Mingus mountain at 5,200 feet. Jerome, Arizona established in 1876 was once a booming copper mining town and once the fourth largest city in the Arizona Territory. The population peaked at 15,000 in the 1920’s. In 1967 Jerome was designated a National Historic District by the federal government. Today Jerome is a thriving tourist and artist community with a population of about 450. The Depression of the 1930’s slowed the mining operation and the claim went to Phelps Dodge, who holds the claim today. World War II brought increased demand for copper, but after the war, demand slowed. Dependent on the copper market, Phelps Dodge Mine closed in 1953 and the population dropped drastically. Now what is left is a small art community and ghost town rich with history.
Douglas Mansion/State Park
Make sure visit the former Douglas Mansion, designed by James “Rawhide Jimmy” Douglas is equipped with a wine cellar, billiard room, steam heat and was built from adobe bricks made on-site. Now a museum which exhibits photographs, artifacts, minerals and videos. Also a 3-D model of the underground tunnels under the town.
Gold King Mine and Ghost Town
The location of the historic Gold King Mine was originally the site of Haynes, Arizona, which in 1890, was a small suburb of the larger town of Jerome, one mile north. When the Haynes Copper Company dug a 1200-foot-deep shaft in search of copper, they were disappointed at the absence of copper, but miners hit gold instead. The site is now a museum where visitors can see continuous demonstrations of antique mining equipment and the operation of a turn-of-the-century sawmill daily. Other highlights include walks in an authentic mine shaft, animals to pet and feed, a circa 1901 blacksmith shop, and the world’s largest gas engines.
Shopping and Lunch on Main Street including wine tasting at the Jerome Winery
Allow yourself about two to three hours for eating and shopping. Jerome has several great restaurants, the Haunted Hamburger, Quinces Cafe, The Asylum Restaurant, Grapes, and the Mile High Inn & Grill. Also make sure to visit the Jerome Winery, located in the old apartment complex on Clark Street above the city park. With a large patio and expansive views, the Jerome Winery is the perfect place to pass some time away while enjoying the splendor of a fine wine. The Jerome Winery produces their own special wines as well as carrying wines from other areas of the world.