We practiced what we preach by going to Jerome on Monday, rather than a crowded weekend day. It was my turn to drive so we picked up Bob & Maggie and went up the hill. The campground is at 3300’, and Jerome is at 5500’.
Jerome is part ghost town, part art colony, and part tourist trap. It was founded in 1876 based on the copper that was discovered. By the 1920’s, the population was about 15,000, making it the fourth largest town in Arizona. The mines continued until 1953, when the price of copper plunged and the mines were closed. The population dropped to 50 hardy souls trying to keep the town intact. By the mid 60’s some artists moved in and the new era of Jerome was born. Today the town has about 450 citizens, and many shops, galleries, and restaurants. It a great place to visit and explore the past and the present.
Jerome is perched on the side of Cleopatra Hill. In fact over the years, some of the buildings including the jail have slipped down a street. There’s a couple of iconic buildings. One building was the hotel used by the miners that’s now a private residence. Lot of room for friends. The other house is the Douglas Mansion, now an Arizona State Park. We’re were sorry that it was closed for renovations. Another good reason to visit the area. We got hungry walking around and got real lucky when we found Grapes restaurant. The sign motivated me. Wine Burgers. Linda had the special, a homemade meatball sandwich, and I had a flight of wine tasting and a roast beef sandwich with a wedge blue cheese salad. Needless to say there was no dinner tonight.