The Other Things We Did in Jerome

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This view of Jerome, AZ shows buildings nestled into the hillside, including the mile-high Jerome Grand Hotel.

After my friend and I explored the Douglas Mansion in the Jerome State Historic Park and spent some time trying to see the bottom of the mineshaft at the Audrey Headframe Park, we headed to downtown Jerome.

Jerome is a very small town. According to https://www.google.com/search?q=population+jerome+az&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8, as of 2013, the population was only 448. On the sunny Saturday afternoon in February when we visited, there must have been at least 200 visitors in town. There’s not much parking downtown (if a four block stretch of businesses even deserves that designation), but we were smiled upon by the parking gods, and my friend found a place to leave the vehicle. By the time headed home in the late afternoon, there were many cars circling to find a place to park, a lot of motorcycles thundering through town, and tourists all over the place.

While I don’t think my friend or I bought anything at any of the shops or galleries we visited, we sure had a nice time looking.

This photo shows a building in the Jerome shopping area. I believe that's the Jerome Artists Cooperative Gallery at street level. The windows on all the upper levels appear to be boarded up.

This photo shows a building in the Jerome shopping area. I believe that’s the Jerome Artists Cooperative Gallery at street level. The windows on all the upper levels appear to be boarded up.

One of the coolest stores we went into was Nellie Bly Kaleidoscopes at 136 Main Street. Here’s my review of the store from Trip Advisor:

Fantastic!

This store is filled with kaleidoscopes and teleidoscopes too. There are a few inexpensive, toy kaleidoscopes, but most of the items in this store are works of art. Some pieces cost hundreds of dollars. Some cost thousands of dollars. There are other artsy knick-knacks here too.

Stop in here, at least for a little while, and be dazzled. (But beware, you will probably want to buy something.)

Be sure to step out onto the back balcony and take in the view of Jerome from that vantage point.

We also stopped in at the Jerome Artists Cooperative Gallery at 502 North Main Street. This gallery is a great place for art lovers. Items available included visual art, wearable art (jewelry, t-shirts), mail-able art, paintings, ceramics, photographs, glass work, and probably many more things I don’t remember. This art is done by more than a dozen different artists. There were a lot of fabulous creations here, and it was fun to look.

We skipped the Jerome Historical Society Mine Museum at 200 Main Street. Although the price was right at only $2 for admission, my friend and I were all historied out. However, if I ever go back to Jerome, this museum will be on my agenda.

Before we headed out of town for the day, we did a drive-by at the Jerome Grand Hotel. My friend actually stayed

This photo shows the Jerome Grand Hotel.

This photo shows the Jerome Grand Hotel.

there once with her family, but I’ve never seen the interior. By the time we were in the car again, it was late afternoon, and I was exhausted. I did want to see the outside of the building up close, so my friend agreed to drive us up to it. The tiny parking lot was packed, so it’s a good thing I didn’t have my heart set on going inside.

According to the hotel’s webpage (http://www.jeromegrandhotel.com/Jerome_Hotel_history.htm),
This Spanish Mission style building, constructed in 1926, started out as the United Verde Hospital, opening January, 1927. In 1930, it was written up as the most modern and well equipped hospital in Arizona and possible the Western States.
The building is one of the highest public structures in the Verde Valley, (5240 Ft.). As the last major building constructed in Jerome, the building was not only to boost the pride of the town in its classic design, but was built fire proof and able to withstand the blasts of up to 260,000 pounds of dynamite set off by the mine…How this 30,000 sq. ft., five level building of poured in place, reinforced concrete, was constructed on a 50 degree slope is an engineering marvel even by today’s standards!
This photo shows one of the old buildings in Jerome that really piqued my interest.

This photo shows one of the old buildings in Jerome that really piqued my interest.

I suppose my friend and I aren’t the kind of tourists the Jerome Chamber of Commerce is trying to attract. Other than the $7 we paid for admission to the state park and Douglas Museum, I don’t think either of us spent a dime. We were much more interested in looking at abandoned buildings than we were in buying art or rocks or t-shirts or lunch.

Oh, wait! I did spend a dime, or 51 cents to be exact. I made one of those squished pennies with a machine in the New State Building. I have a friend who collects those tourist pennies, so I make one for her whenever I see one of those machines. But other than that and museum admission, I kept my wallet closed.

 I want to visit Jerome again. In addition to missing the Mine Museum, we also managed to miss the Jerome cemetery (situated on a hill on the east side of Jerome, according to http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMDNMV_Jerome_Cemetery_Jerome_Arizona), the sliding jail (Hull Avenue, near the intersection with Diaz Street, according to Trip Advisor), the Holy Family Church (the oldest Catholic structure
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This building had pretty clear “No Trespassing” signs–from Freeport-McMoRan, no less–so we used our zoom lenses and didn’t get too close.

in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix and located at 101 E Hwy 89a, according to the church’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/holyfamilyjerome/), the Liberty Theater (110 Jerome Avenue, Trip Advisor says), and the Cuban Queen Bordello (1 Queen Street, according to Trip Advisor). I might even want to splurge and pay to go on a walking history tour of the town. Besides, there will probably still be cool old abandoned buildings to look at.

 

About Blaize Sun

I live in my van, which makes me a rubber tramp. I like to see places I've never seen before, and I like to visit the places I love again and again. I like to play with color. I make collages and hemp jewelry and cheerful winter hats. I take photographs and (sometimes, not in a long time) write poetry. All of those things make me an artist. Although I like to spread joy and to make people laugh, my wit can be sharp. I try to stay positives in all situations, to find the goodness in all people. But I often feel compelled to point out bullshit when I smell it. I like to have fun, to dance, to eat yummy food, to sit by a fire and share stories. I want to know what people hold dear and important, not just make surface small talk. This blog is a way for me to share stories. This blog is made up of my stories, rants, and observations, as well as my photographs.

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