Explore Arizona’s Unique History at Jerome State Historic Park
Arizona history is colorful. It’s full of booms and busts, Old West shootouts and ghost towns. Jerome State Historic Park is a museum established in the old Douglas Mansion where you can learn all about this intriguing mining town and its history. Watch the video and then below are three reasons you should check out Jerome State Historic Park the next time you’re touring Arizona.
Jerome State Historic Park Video: Get a Sneak Peak
Jerome State Historic Park: Top 3 Reasons to Visit
1 | Old West History
The town is named after Eugene Jerome, one of the backers of the mining operation that set up in the area. Mining here boomed initially, but decades later it would go bust, leaving the town a virtual ghost town. Long after the high hopes for Jerome were dashed, the old mansion still remained. In the early 20th century, railroads and other resources came into the area, making the boomtown a permanent resident. Although the mining slowed down during the Great Depression and dried up completely by the 1950s, the town stayed alive.
As a result of its history, Jerome was known as a wild and woolly mining town, complete with all of the usual characters and troubles. If you’re a western history buff, Jerome is a cornucopia of interesting facts and stories.
2 | Exhibits and Artifacts
The museum at Jerome State Historic Park features photographs from the time, real artifacts and relics from its heyday, and more. One of its most popular attractions is a 30-minute video presentation that gives a thorough history of the area. The video documents the rise and eventual fall of the town and it’s quite a story.
The other main draw at the museum is a 3D model of the town with all of its underground mines. The model is big and very detailed, showing you exactly how the town operated.
Outside of the museum, you’ll find even more displays, including actual heavy-duty mining machinery that was used by miners to extract precious metals from the ground. The park and its museum offer a great place to learn about Jerome and the history of the American Southwest.
You’ll also find the mansion quite interesting. It was originally intended not just for the Douglas family but also for mining officials and investors. In addition to the many creature comforts you can see, like its billiard room, wine cellar and marble shower, it distinguished itself by its steam heat and central vacuum system. These were remarkable for their time. The mansion is also the largest adobe structure in Arizona.
3 | Spectacular Valley Views
While taking in the history lesson, you can also enjoy stunning views of the valley from Jerome State Historic Park. The picnic area offers a panoramic view of the Verde River and Verde Valley. You also get a fantastic view of the red rocks of Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon. The twisty, winding mountain road leading to the park is also full of outstanding views.
While you visit the park, don’t forget to enjoy all Jerome has to offer. There is plenty of history to explore here, as well as excellent shops, restaurants and events.