The Other Things We Did in Jerome


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 Google, as of 2016, the population was only 455. 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:


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,
[t]his 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.
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, the sliding jail (Hull Avenue, near the intersection with Diaz Street, according to Trip Advisor), the Holy Family Church (the oldest Catholic structure

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), 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

My name is Blaize Sun. Maybe that's the name my family gave me; maybe it's not. In any case, that's the name I'm using here and now. I've been a rubber tramp for nearly a decade.I like to see places I've never seen before, and I like to visit the places I love again and again. For most of my years on the road, my primary residence was my van. For almost half of the time I was a van dweller, I was going it alone. Now I have a little travel trailer parked in a small RV park in a small desert town. I also have a minivan to travel in. When it gets too hot for me in my desert, I get in my minivan and move up in elevation to find cooler temperatures or I house sit in town in a place with air conditioning I was a work camper in a remote National Forest recreation area on a mountain for four seasons. I was a camp host and parking lot attendant for two seasons and wrote a book about my experiences called Confessions of a Work Camper: Tales from the Woods. During the last two seasons as a work camper on that mountain, I was a clerk in a campground store. I'm also a house and pet sitter, and I pick up odd jobs when I can. I'm primarily a writer, but I also create beautiful little collages; hand make hemp jewelry and warm, colorful winter hats; and use my creative and artistic skills to decorate my life and brighten the lives of others. My goal (for my writing and my life) is to be real. I don't like fake, and I don't want to share fake. I want to share my authentic thoughts and feelings. I want to give others space and permission to share their authentic selves. Sometimes I think the best way to support others is to leave them alone and allow them to be. I am more than just a rubber tramp artist. I'm fat. I'm funny. I'm flawed. I try to be kind. I'm often grouchy. I am awed by the stars in the dark desert night. I hope my writing moves people. If my writing makes someone laugh or cry or feel angry or happy or troubled or comforted, I have done my job. If my writing makes someone think and question and try a little harder, I've done my job. If my writing opens a door for someone, changes a life, I have done my job well. I hope you enjoy my blog posts, my word and pictures, the work I've done to express myself in a way others will understand. I hope you appreciate the time and energy I put into each post. I hope you will click the like button each time you like what you have read. I hope you will share posts with the people in your life. I hope you'll leave a comment and share your authentic self with me and this blog's other readers. Thank you for reading.  A writer without readers is very sad indeed.

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