Going "mining" in Jerome & riding the Verde RR
Trip Start May 26, 2005
12Trip End Jun 07, 2005
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James Douglas purchased two top producing copper mines. With part of his fortune, he built a mansion made of adobe bricks. This house is now an Arizona State Park Museum and a museum devoted to the Jerome area, its mining history and the Douglas family. In 1965, the Douglas Mansion became an Arizona State Park Museum.
Before we entered the "house" we checked out an assortment of mining equipment. Start the tour with the short movie highlighting Jerome's history. Great photrography exibits, along with family and mining mementos
The archeticture is worth a "look-see." Next, its' the the switchback road to the town of Jerome. Knows as both America's Most Vertical City and the Largest Ghost Town in America. It's located on top of Cleopatra Hill. Elevation, 5200 feet, and slope - a 30 degree incline is the key to why many of the buildings have or are in the process of tumbling down the mountainside.
This is hippie haven., but with a materialist twist. Shops, a cafe that "hangs" suspended over the hillside, with a full glass wall view. crafts stores, small souvineer shops and even an intown winery that offers tours (but was closed when we were there - something about their license to operate).
We walked in the small Powder Box church, went up to the Grand Hotel, which uses to be a hospital (I'd stay here the next time, or maybe in one of the B&B's in town). There are also carriage rides thru town. This is a place for a fun weekend, couples or families.
Back down the steep, curvy road and on to the Verde Canyon Rail Road
There are viewing platforms with overhead canopies. A guide explains what you are seeing - Native American cave dwellings, an eagle flying, rock formation, information on the areas you are traveling thru. It's a pleasant way to relax, kick back and see some beautiful scenery.
After the train it's on to Tuzigoot National Monument. This is very much a "ruin" except for one reconstructed room. But it's not hard to visualize what the village of over 150 people would have been like. Lots of cactus growing here. On to the winery... which once we made it down the old dirt road and found it was closed...was a bummer. We decided to eat and walk around the shops at Tlaquepaque.