Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Gold King Mine ghost town, Jerome AZ

We visited Jerome, Arizona today. It bills itself as a ghost town but in fact it's not. Most of the buildings there are occupied by tourist businesses and people trying to make a living in the remaining structures from this copper mining town built on a hill around the 1890s.

They do talk up the ghostliness of the place though. Just about all the buildings are said to be haunted, including the Haunted Hamburger restaurant where we had a nice lunch. We read about this history and it was a ghost town in the in the 1960s but has since has a revitalization.

The funny thing is that the buildings looked very much like those in Victoria's Old Town, probably built around the same time. So it wasn't all that thrilling to visit.

 But on the north end of the road at the top of the town was a hand made sign saying OLD MINE AND GHOST TOWN. Sure enough there was a paved road winding further up the hill, that then turned to gravel and then to dirt.

On the way we passed dozens of ancient vehicles, trucks and buses mainly, and finally came to a parking spot with a couple of dilapidated buildings.  One had this figure in front and a sign on the door.

Once through the door we found ourselves in a jumble of old buildings, climbing up the hill we saw log houses, delaying wood frame shacks and every kind of machinery imaginable. Some of it was labeled but most of it was just piled around the site.

This was part of an old sawmill with the engine puffing away and the caretaker and character who owns it ready to talk.

We didn't get his name but he was full of information about his lifetime work here. He's been collecting stuff and bringing it here for decades now, so it's really more of a personal collection.

But there was an actual mine here, discovered when the Haynes Copper Company sunk a shaft in an outlying area of Jerome looking for copper--but found gold. It was mined for a while but then petered out and all the residents left. Now this spot is an amazing collection of buildings and stuff.

This is the interior of a shack with a sign advertising painless dentistry.

And this is the interior of a one-room school house that was brought from Flagstaff.

Of course I went a little crazy with my camera. Here is a tiny portion of the collection.

This is the interior of the assay office. It makes we want to get in there and tidy it up!

 And this reputedly the outside of the jail.

A lot of what is there is more recent. The old fellow seems to collect just about everything, even up to the 1960s.

As usual, I was entranced by the colours and shapes of the old vehicles.  Here's a sampling of what caught my eye.


  1. hahahahaha... for you the Victorian homes are nothing new. But for us that when the West was really built up from the adobe and wood lento.

    cheers, parsnip

  2. Quite an eclectic collection!

    Painless dentistry? No such thing!


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