About 20 miles form Sedona; the famous mining town of Jerome is an interesting place to visit. The history of Jerome includes the Verde Valley area being occupied by the Sinaguas, Hohokams, Anasazis and Apaches. They were mining the rich mineral resources in these Black Hills in the 16th century.
When the Spaniard, Antonio de Espejo, came looking for gold and silver, the Indians showed them their mines where they were mining for copper but there were also big deposits of gold and silver. The Spaniards thought there was only silver so they moved on.
In 1876, a Calvary scout recognized that there was potential for gold in the mines so he staked a claim and when word got out, more people followed. Then in 1883, investors bought the claim and Montana Senator William Clark leased the mining rights and bought control of the claim six years later to form the Untied Verde Copper Company becoming one of the richest men in Arizona within 20 years. One billion dollars in copper, gold, silver, zinc and lead were extracted from the mines.
Below the Mingus and Woodchute Mountains were the mining was done, is a hill called Cleopatra and this is where the town of Jerome was built sitting on the side of the hill (and sometimes, sliding down the side of the hill.)
In 1912, James S. Douglas purchased the Little Daisy Mine and in 1916 Mr. Douglas built his residence to provide a hotel for mining officials, investors and his own family. Some of the amenities of this ‘home’ are a wine cellar, marble shower, billiard room, steam heat and the home was constructed of adobe bricks made on site. The home is now known as the Douglas Mansion. The mansion is a museum now with photographs, artifacts, and minerals on display. An interesting 3D model of the town shows its underground mines. There are various displays showing the mining history and a picnic area.
Just south of the mansion is the abandoned Little Daisy Hotel which was used for a dormitory for the miners. It is only a shell of a building now.
The Little Daisy Mine was the second bonanza mine in Jerome along with the United Verde mine. Back in 1929, Jerome had a population of 15,000.
The Great Depression of the 1930s and low-grade ore deposits brought an end to the Little Daisy Mine in 1938. In 1953, Jerome became a ghost town and the population dwindled to about 50 townsfolk.
There are shops, galleries and restaurants in town to enhance your visit. Jerome is approximately 27 miles on State Route 89A from Sedona. Ask us, we can give you exact directions.