More than a century later, Jerome's rough-and-tumble spirit has been tempered but not completely tamed, which helped the town narrowly escape a fate that befell many others that fell to ruin after their linchpin mines closed. Today, Jerome is known for being a hillside destination for visitors eager to discover more about the Verde Valley’s mines, wines, fine arts and spectral spirits. This town serves up its history with a side of humor: There’s still a Bordello on Main Street, for example, but the modern incarnation is meant to sate guests’ appetites for burgers only. Read on to discover more about what to enjoy on your visit to Jerome.
Downtown Jerome’s streets and stairways wend past several tasting rooms and bottle shops that showcase the viticulture of the Verde Valley. At least a half-dozen offer curated lists of wines or ciders, available by the glass, flight or bottle. Jerome’s restaurants tend to include at least one local brand on their menus, too.
It’s not exaggerating to say that artists and craftspeople saved Jerome. The town’s former high school, for example, houses the Jerome Art Center, where more than 30 artists rent studio space. Throughout town, galleries are tucked in former houses and storefronts, showcasing furniture, photography, fine art, jewelry and more.
A haunting good time
The catastrophic fires and violent deaths from the town’s early days have led to Jerome’s “ghost town” status. Over the years, there have been several accounts of ghosts and apparitions that roam the town’s historic buildings and neighborhoods. Evening ghost tours and spirit walks introduce visitors to the local hotels, houses, hospital and high school that former residents are said to haunt.
Dig deep into the history of Jerome
The copper mines may have closed, but they’re by no means forgotten. Just above the former Little Daisy mine, what once served as the Douglas family mansion has been converted into the museum and visitors center for Jerome State Historic Park, which contains displays, demonstrations and tours related to the town’s mining boom. And throughout Jerome, placards share the history of both ruins and remaining buildings, inspiring renewed appreciation for the renaissance the town’s residents have been able to craft themselves. Turns out, all that rough tumbling revealed the gem that had been lying underneath all this time, ready to shine once again.
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