April 25, 2016
We intended on heading to Slide Rock, a local natural water slide nearby, but the weather was not cooperating with us. Plan B was to head to Jerome, a.k.a. The Ghost Town. It is about a 20 minute drive from Cottonwood, and has a nice vista point on the way up showing the mountains and mine that made the town boom long ago. At the height of the mining era the population was at 15,000 people in the early 1900’s. Currently there are about 500 residents, although they claim to receive over one million visitors every year.
Main street snakes through the downtown area, and is filled with shops, galleries, and restaurants. It is a haunted town, and many people stay at the Jerome Grand Hotel to catch a glimpse of a ghost. Although we went into the lobby of the hotel, and its restaurant, Asylum, we didn’t find much to do here. Lunch was at Haunted Hamburger, a local favorite with a great view of the valley below.
Jerome State Park is about a mile away, and we drove over to check it out. The main attraction is the Douglas Mansion, and is $7/person to enter for adults. You get to tour the mansion and view a couple videos. We decided against it, and on the way out went to see the Audrey Shaft Headframe. There is parking right out in front of the gate, and it is free to enter. They have a glass floor over the shaft that would take a worker 1,900 feet down into the earth to mine for copper. I wasn’t able to walk on it, but Kevin gingerly took the steps to the center.
The last stop was the King Mine and ghost town, also in Jerome. We drove to it, but did not pay the $5 to go in based on reviews. There is always next time!