Thursday, October 23, 2014

Jerome State Historic Park

Jerome State Historic Park is located in the once copper rich hills of Jerome, Arizona. Jerome is at an elevation of 5,246 feet.
Growing up in the midwest a person is use to seeing Dandelions taking advantage of every crack and crevice to take root.  In the southwest it's cacti!
The following pictures are taken from the hilltop where the mining baron James S. Douglas built his mansion and what is now the park's visitor center and museum. This view looks down to the old Clarkdale Smelter closed in 1953. The community of Clarkdale is to the right. It was a company town founded in 1912 by William A. Clark for the Clarkdale Smelter workers and is said to be one of the first planned communities in Arizona. William Clark had one of the largest producing copper mines in the Arizona Territory! It was called The United Verde Copper Company. 
This is Jerome as you come up the hill into town. From the early 1900s through the 1920s there was a building boom. The town's population reached it peaked in 1929 at approximately 15,000!!! After the United Verde Mine closed, the population of Jerome dropped to 100! The population today is reported to be 444. There are many historic buildings still present and the old downtown is filled with gift shops. The hill with the J on it is called Cleopatra Hill. 
This is further into town as you wind up the hill to the Douglas Mansion and state park. The cuts you see in the hillside to the back of the picture is the United Verde Mine, which ran from 1882-1953.
This is the original James S. Douglas mansion. It was built in 1916 on the hill above his Little Daisy Mine. The Little Daisy Mine was purchased in 1912 and operated until 1938.
Check out the rocks inlaid into the cement curb. I don't know if that is a modern feature or original, but it is very attractive!
This large chunk of ore sits by the front doorway. The blue is Azurite, which is one of the two basic copper (II) carbonate minerals. The other is Malachite which is a bright green. Both were used as paint pigments. The blue of the Azurite is so intense that it seems like it can't be natural!
This is a peek into the mansion! This room is the park's visitor center and the other rooms of the house are set up with museum displays.
Mining equipment is set up around the outside of the Douglas Mansion. Pneumatic drills came into use in the 1870s. While more efficient than earlier systems, these drills became known as widowmakers, because of the silica dust they created! Breathing in the razor-like debris was responsible for a condition known as miner's consumption. Hundreds of miners died from this occupational hazard until water flushed drills were introduced in the 1890s.  
This is a stamp mill and is used for crushing rock.
This is called a jaw crusher. It was the primary crusher and was generally followed by other crushers chosen for how fast they could feed the rock through and how fine the crush was.
Mining transport!
This is the miner's transport into the mine where they would work 8-12 hour shifts!
The large square building in the background was once the Little Daisy Hotel and was built to house the miners who worked the Little Daisy mine. It is now owned as a private residence! The large building on the street curve is the Mine Engineering Building. The two headframe structures are over two separate Little Daisy Mine shafts. The rock cut to the back of the picture is the United Verde Mine. Jerome is a fascinating look into mining history!