The first full day in Prescott we decided to check off one item on our bucket list and visit Jerome. We have heard from a couple people how awesome the ride up to Jerome is from Prescott and it certainly did not disappoint! Even though Prescott Valley and Jerome are essentially at the same elevation (5026 and 5066 respectively), you cross the Mingus Mountain range to get to Jerome. There are switchbacks and lots of ups and downs to make it very interesting and amazingly beautiful! Another E ticket ride in the dually!
We even drove up higher off one of the National Forest Roads to a summer campground that had yet to open.
Jerome was a quirky little town that came to life as a booming copper mine town. Today it is a touristy town with wineries and art galleries and the Haunted Hamburger restaurant. Oh sure there are other places to eat but this place was the bomb!! And it's haunted! The place has a great story and even greater food! Rick had the Ghostly Burger and a salted carmel milkshake that was heavenly! I had a Cajun Sourdough Chicken with salad that was also to die for. They also have a very nice condiment bar for your sandwiches, which I thought was really cool. Sorry no pictures of the food. After waiting 30 minutes at 2:30pm, yes they have a long wait, we were famished and dove right in.
We also visited the Jerome State Historic Park while in town. This is not really a nature park but a park in a mansion, dedicated to the mining history of the town. The Douglas mansion was built in 1916 by mining magnate, James S. Douglas, on a hill, just above his Little Daisy Mine. The home is a museum dedicated to the history of Jerome, its mining operations and the Douglas family, who are quite an interesting bunch. The mansion has rooms restored to their original state and the outside has alot of mining equipment used back then, gems found in the area and amazing views of the San Francisco Peaks, Jerome and the Verde Valley. They also have a really nice 30 minute movie, told by a ghostly former Jerome resident. This place is definitely worth a stop if you are ever in the area.
The town itself is built on the side of a cliff and has narrow, windy roads which made it very interesting as we navigated the big dually truck through the streets. We were lucky to find a parking lot off behind the fire station that could accommodate larger vehicles, otherwise Jerome would have been a drive thru kinda trip. The story of the jail pictured below is kinda cool. As with any town built on a cliff, you are going to have landslides and Jerome is no different. In fact, that jail slid 200 feet down the cliff to land where it sits today and was perfectly intact!
We also thought no visit to Jerome would be complete without a visit to the Gold Mine Ghost Town just outside of town. Be kinda cool to see a deserted town, WRONG! This place was downright creepy and I swear we heard a banjo playing! There were discarded vehicles of all types everywhere, some that looked like they had residents. We took these pictures and left!
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