Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Jerome, Arizona - Ghost Town

The town of Jerome, Arizona is considered by many to be the largest ghost towns in the United States. Just like most other ghost towns, Jerome was once a thriving mining center. It was establish in 1883, primarily to house workers at the United Verde Mine, which produced over a billion dollars worth of silver and gold over the next 7 decades.  In the early 1900's, Jerome was known as "the wickedest town" in the west.  There are still some folks living in Jerome, but their livelihoods now come from either tourism or art. We only spent a short time there on our last trip to the Sedona area, so my photo taking was quick and dirty. Next time, I'll have a lot more time...

All of us here in the U.S. (and maybe in other places also), are familiar with these signs. This is the best one I've ever seen. I know that Psycadelic Mariachi is a band, but to me, it's just one more of the million of oddities that can be found in the desert.

"Open 24 Hours"
Really? I don't think this gas station has been open for 50 years. I don't remember seeing any other gas stations on the road to Jerome.

Jerome is also known as the most vertical town in the U.S. It runs right up the side of a mountain. EVERY masonry building is cracked and weathered (or destroyed). As you can see in the reflections, this one is in much better condition that the ones in the reflections.

I sure wouldn't be parking my vintage T-Bird in that particular spot.

Hotel Connor 2012

Hotel Connor 1899 (wikipedia)

Only the basement is left of this large building.

This is what most of the standing buildings look like. Still standing, but they are empty and have seen better days.

Lot's of old and crusty vehicles and equipment sitting around.

Just sitting around waiting for something to refuel. I'm not thinking it's going to happen anytime soon.

You just KNOW, I love this one. 

I have absolutely no idea what this thing is!

This mine, or part of it was operational on a limited basis until not very long ago. I'm pretty sure this HUGE earth mover, isn't EVER going to be used again. If you look to the right rear of the photo, you can see how deep this pit mine is. Where this truck is sitting, was once part of the mountain.

For reflections by other photographers go to Weekend Reflections sponsored by James.



  1. These pictures are wild. And makes me wonder why anyone would want to sight-see outside this country when there's so much to see here.

  2. Nothing quick or dirty about these photos Pat... they are fascinating!

  3. wow, cool pics. I used to love finding old abandoned places out in the woods when I was a kid. And yeah, I wouldn't have parked my t-bird there either!

  4. I have been to Jerome, but it was a LONG time ago!! Great shots for the day! And, no, I wouldn't have parked any car there either! Hope your week is going well, Pat!

  5. there is something magical about ghost town i guess it's the theory you can create your own story of what happened

  6. ah, yes. i remember this town from another blogger posting last year. so cool!

  7. Wow! What a place. Loved all of the old abandoned vehicle shots. I wonder what makes all of the masonry buildings crack? Earthquakes?

  8. You find the neatest places to explore. I love the old ruins! Great photos!

  9. Hi Pat, Looks like Jerome was at one time a busy little town.... Kinda sad to see it in this state, isn't it????? Wonder if all of the people just died--or left?????

    Love that sign.... ha ha ... AND ---you are right.. Why park your vintage T-Bird in front of that 'piece' of building???

    Thanks for sharing. You all visit some great places.

  10. Such great photos Pat! I had no idea ghosts lived in so many places!

  11. Well you KNOW I enlarged each one to scope out the detail. I wish my screen was larger, however, that third photo of the three arched windows, looks like a child is looking out the lower portion of the left window. I sure wish I had a BIGGER screen!

  12. Although I heard of it, I've never been there. It is amazing how many of these ghost towns claim to be the "wickedest towns" of the West. Roger McGrath's study of violence in mining towns suggest they were not nearly as violent as we have been led to think--with most of the violence being contained within a small part of the society (gamblers and prostitutes).

  13. Jerome was one of my favorite stops. I enjoyed the drive up to it way back when with Susan Jensen. Recently about 2009 I went again with my other friend and the only thing that has changed is the round abouts going up to it. Lots of artsy fartsy stuff there. Its gotta be pretty hot there now... last time there it was Feb and with Susan it was in the fall... You are a brave soul Pat or a heat impaired!

  14. That gas station reminds me of an old adage: Never trust a motel that has "vacancy" painted on the wall.

    Great pictures Pat.

    Oh true story, I was telling someone about your war stories the other day when it suddenly donned on me that you're the guy from those Dos Equis commercials.

  15. This is a pretty cool(pun intended) deserted old town.. but where are all the ghost?

    Great shots of the architectural structures that are left, Pat.

  16. I think that would be a cool place to could spend all day there taking pictures. The one that you loved looks like a vehicle from The Hills Have Eyes. And that hotel looks similar to one in Tombstone. Looks like it was a fun trip, Pat.

  17. I love road trips, ghost towns and interesting signs. Mt Rose had a sign for The Institute of High Level Thinking.

  18. doesn't it make you wonder how those vehicles happen to end up where they do? Great post!

  19. Excellent pictures Pat, I love your work, I too would be at least checking the wind direction before parking my vintage T-Bird or any vehicle for that matter in that spot.

  20. since my response is the same thing each time (omg, i HAVE to go there), you might as well make me a travel brochure of all the places i have to see sometime in my life. ^_^

  21. Hello Pat,

    Hope you are well! Wonderful pictures and another great journey! I always feel a little sad when I see ghost towns, I always wonder what happened to the town and the people. Really intriguing. Thanks so much for sharing with us! xo

  22. When reading your posts about ghost towns, I am always curious to why they're abandoned and not getting restored. Surely, some kinds of businesses could flourish there.

    It is sad to see.

    Thanks Pat for visiting and commenting on my posts.

  23. It was Ms. A that mentioned the image of a child in the left window of your third picture. Nope, couldn't see one. But -- in the lower right hand pane of the center window I think I see a guy in a T-shirt looking out, or the reflection of a guy.

    Is it real? Hurrmmph. Did I want to see something? Yep. It's a ghost town, ya' know. Somethings gotta' be there!

    Just enjoyed the whole thing. The pictures. The narrative. The ghost.

  24. Whatever happened to this town, Pat? So very interesting and thank you for posting.

    But did people simply get up and leave?

    What a strange thing.

    In Wisc, no abandoned buildings are allowed to stand.

    This is so odd to see, just remnants, with no no one/or ordinance against?

    Argh. Now my interest is piqued and I have to google/research.


  25. More wonderful shots Patrick! I especially like the one with the T-bird!

  26. I find it amusing that the "building" at which the T-bird is parked claims to be "open."

    These are a lot of fun, Pat.

  27. I adore this place! In the 1990s, my dad and I visited Sedona, and while the trails and monuments are wonderful, we didn't much care for the touristy city. And then, somehow, we stumbled upon Jerome. Thanks for the photos and the memories.

  28. I really enjoyed this tour of the ghost town. You've given a true representation of the historical flavor. too bad the buildings aren't better preserved. but where would the money come from? at any rate, it's a bit like touring an outdoor museum. happy week to you Pat.

  29. What a strange and wonderful place - if I did not know better I would have said it was a film set.

    Cheers and thanks for the multiple comments

    Stewart M

  30. Oh my, Pat!! I love this post - I know I say that about all your posts, but I just love these ghost towns you visit. I love your "old and crusty" description!! Perfect.
    I wouldn't be parking my vintage T-bird next to that lone wall either!!
    If only the old buildings and walls could talk... imagine the stories.

  31. Man, I really gotta travel more. These photos are so foreign to me -- and so beautiful.


  32. Surely a strange place, but with a beauty all its own that you have managed to capture.

  33. That is a perfect place to chase reflection indeed ! Well done, and thanks for the discovery of those oddities, so estonishing for me : in France we don't have such places...

  34. I really LOVE that area, Paul. I have been to Jerome a couple of times....but a very long time ago and way before I became interested in photography. I can see there's so much to see and photograph,

  35. OOPS! I just called you Paul but I really DO know you are Pat. :)

  36. I absolutely LOVE Jerome! You captured lots of great images for being there a short time.

    Did you eat at the Haunted Hamburger?

    My favorite thing to remember from our trip to Jerome was a sign we saw in a T-shirt shop. It said, "Jerome: A biker community with an artist problem."

    I would love to ride up there on a motorcycle (but not in the summer!)

  37. Hey Pat :} Been having difficulties with the new format, and trying to sort through stuff that is still not unpacked from the move in NOV! Somewhere I'm SURE I will locate my photos EEK.
    I have been lurking around reading everyone elses truly interesting posts unlike anything that may come out of my heat logged brain lately :}

  38. Very interesting! I didn't know this about the ghost towns in your country!

  39. I've always about adopted highways, do you need to fund them too?

    Good to see the hotel has been maintained! Lots of interesting 'stuff' in this town, I'd have a field day!

  40. Nice photographs, you really captured the spirit of the town.

    Jerome really is an amazing place. I work there, at the Jerome Grand Hotel, and love the town so much I just created a photography ebook about it. Jerome has so many great and unique things to photograph I never run out of subjects for my camera.

    Have Fun,

  41. I know someone called Jerome, in France it's a masculine name :o)
    What a very interesting place!so strange at the same time..

  42. Yeah, I don't think that gas station is going to be open any time soon. All that abandoned equipment makes me think of the wasted $$$...maybe somebody just takes a tax deduction or something ... I don't remember visiting Jerome -- guess we missed it somehow, we've definitely been in and around that area.

  43. Another great trip courtesy of the Tillet Travel Service.

    I'm amazed that building front is still standing. I do not see anything supporting it from the rear. The Hotel Conner doesn't appear to have changed much either.

  44. this was a fascinating read with wonderful photos

  45. The drive in the Mtns along the road w/o a guard rail is the most frightening ever.

  46. I sure wouldn't be parking my vintage T-Bird in that particular spot., agreed 100, I won't want to be under it.

  47. What an obscure and interesting spot. No way the T-Bird would be parked anywhere near that "building."

    Darryl and Ruth :)

  48. Oh boy, am adding this to my list of places to get to before the bucket gets kicked... the old pick up truck is the clincher ! But no doubt all sorts of rust, decay, abandon, disintegration... right up my alley...

  49. Alex - It sure is. Two people commented that they saw somebody looking out the window.

    Al - I know what you mean. The southwest alone, would keep a person busy for years.

    Nat - Thanks Nat. Hopefully, we'll get back there sometime this year. I'd still like another shot at the place.

    mshatch - Hey there! I feel the same way. I guess that is because my grandparents like to spend so much away from it all.

    Sylvia - Thanks Sylvia. There were a lot of places I wouldn't have parked!

    becca - Yep! I'm pretty sure there are "ghost sighting" stories connected with most of them.

    Sally - I think it's a combination of earthquakes, gravity, and the extreme weather.

    Carly - Thanks Carly! It does seem like we avoid the usual spots.

    Betsy - Apparently it was very busy with a fair amount of people living there. When whatever they were mining dried up, many folks pack up and leave.

  50. Brian - Thanks Brian! Oh yeah, they are everywhere!

    Ms. A - Now you are spooking me out! The place is supposed to be very haunted.

    sage - Oh yeah, I'm sure there's a great deal of overstatement involved in almost all of them. Wicked or not, I think they are all pretty interesting and they leave me full of questions.

    Michelle - Hi! Yeah, it seems to be mostly an artistic place these days. I'm really going to do some exploring next time I go. I haven't thought of Susan in quite a while. RIP...

    Tim - That's probably really good advice. I wonder how long this place has been closed. Thanks Tim! Oh yeah, the local television stations call me to check my calendar before setting up their broadcast schedule. I don't always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer brew 102...

    Chuck - It was cool! Very interesting also. What wasn't so interesting is when they had to dump the tailings from the mines, they just dumped them down the side of the mountain.

    Gene Pool Diva - Me too! "The institute of high level thinking." That doesn't sound like any club that would have me as a member!

    missing moments - It sure does! When I see this stuff I wonder who owns it? Or who used to own and how did it get there.

    Jimmy - Thanks Jimmy! I didn't even like walking in front of that place.

  51. Ven - I think you like the same kind of places I do.

    Talei - Hi Talei! I ask myself the same questions. Lot's of history around these places.

    Icy BC - There are a couple of "restored" ghost towns around, but I've avoided them so far. Jerome, is restored just enough to use and most of it isn't really restored at all.

    Jerry - You think they were ghosts?
    One of the still open hotels there is supposed to be VERY haunted. Who knows...

    The Empress - The mines dried up and most of the people went elsewhere. I'm not sure how long old wooden structures would last, but in the VERY dry climate here, everything lasts a long time. HA! Get busy...

    James - Thanks James! I was pretty excited to see that scene.

    Robyn - I know! There was in fact, some type of small business behind it. I don't remember what it was.

    altadenahiker - It's too bad you guys didn't explore the town of Sedona a little more. The "touristy" stuff is pretty much confined to a few blocks. The rest of it is pretty much just a smallish and normal town. I'm glad you saw Jerome. There are actually houses for sale up in Jerome! I don't think there is a market or gas station anywhere on the mountain.

    Ms. Becky - My pleasure! You are right, it's like a living museum. Can't wait to go back and hit the side streets and back roads up there.

  52. Stewart - It sure is! I had the same thought when I was there about the film set. The comments are my pleasure. I have to comment in bunches because I just don't have to time to look at my dashboard everyday.

    Liz - Thanks so much Liz! Oh yeah! I ALWAYS wonder about the history. Or what was happening on any given spot a hundred years ago.

    Pearl - It's always worth the trouble, that's for sure. I think there is a ghost town or two in your area. I'll have to look it up. I'll be over soon, I know I've got some catching up to do there.

    Leovi - Strange, but very interesting.

    'Tsuki - Thanks so much! In France you have much older places than these, that people are still living in. I think because of the wood used here, they don't last as long.

    EG CameraGirl - I believe I was there as a youngster also, but I don't remember any of it. I get called Paul all them time because my wife's name is Paula. Don't even worry about it.

    Lindy - Me too! No, we didn't eat at the Haunted Hamburger, but we did eat at Grapes. It was REALLY good. I say that T-shirt was pretty close to how it is. Artists and bikers.

    Entre Nous - I'm glad to see you're doing okay! I hope you find your missing stuff. Things have changed on blogger, that's for sure. Good luck!

    Reader Wil - There are so many of them here. Each with a different story.

  53. Wayne - I think you adopt it to pay for the litter removal. there are a few of the old hotels still open. Also some REALLY good restaurants.

    Jeff - thanks Jeff! I'm glad to see your comment and thanks. I believe you about never running out of subjects. I can't wait to get back there, because we had such a short amount of time there last time.

    Malyss - Yes, that's what I like about these places. Strange and interesting.

    Sallie - Nah! Better fill up on gas before going up the mountain. You may have missed going to Jerome, but I'm sure you saw it from afar, up on the side of a mountain. Maybe next time...

    Rita - Your traveling pleasure is our only business. LOL! There were some supports behind that wall. I had to find out what was holding it up.

    Dianne - Thanks so much Dianne!

    California girl - Yep, it's a pretty windy and steep road. there are many of them in that area.

    Ann - No way! I didn't even want to walk in front of it.

    Darryl and Ruth - Yes, it's pretty out of the way. But back in it's day, I guess it was really quite a place.

    Stickup Artist - Thank you so much and right back at you! I know we both like the rugged and desolate southwest a lot...

    Owen - Oh yes, I love all that stuff also. The rustier the bettier, or something like that...

  54. Hi there - thanks for the comments. I do put a bit of work into my wordy blog!

    I was, to say the least, surprised when I saw it. I had seen starfish like this in shops - but I assumed that they were dyed.

    Stewart M - Melbourne

  55. I want to be able to take photos here!!!

  56. I want to be able to take photos here!!!

  57. Love this photos and the story they tell. I need to travel West!

  58. Brilliant shots. Nice to have the comparison too. I love these old buildings cars etc. You really should do a book.

  59. I am almost disappointed that Psycadelic Mariachi is the name of a band, because it meant that my joke about it sounding like a great band name doesn't pack the same lulz.

  60. Stewart - My pleasure! Thanks for stopping by.

    Mice - All you have to do is show up with your camera!

    Ree - The West is the Best! (or so somebody said). Thanks!

    Anthony - Thanks Anthony! I should do a book! In fact, I'm working on several, but I'm too ADD to even coming close to accomplishing any of them.

    soft nonsense - You are right! I still like the sign, it lost something when I found out that somebody already uses it. Not that I was going to start a band or anything. Nice to see your post and that you are out and about a bit.

  61. Old mines are so exciting in a weird kind of way. I would like to write a story with a murder in a mine!

  62. mY band!!! pm!!! i'VE FOUND YOU!

    great bUDDY!



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