Saturday, January 9, 2016

Clarkdale, AZ

We decided to drive over to the historic community of Clarkdale located 4 miles from Cottonwood and 4 miles from Jerome.  Clarkdale sits at an elevation of 3,545' at the convergence of Bitter Creek and the Verde River.  The town was founded in 1912 as a company smelter town by William A. Clark, for his copper mine in nearby Jerome.  Clarkdale was one of the most modern mining towns in the world, including telephone, telegraph, electrical, sewer and spring water services.  It was an early example of a planned community.   
The town center and business district were built in the Spanish Colonial style, and feature the Clark Memorial Clubhouse and Memorial Library, both of which are still in use.  This is the town hall.  It sits on the corner of Main and 9th Street, which is the business district and boundary between Upper and Lower Cottonwood.  
The entire original town site is on the National Register, as the Clarkdale Historic District.  The mine and smelter closed in 1953.  I love the cement work!  It seems to be done this way around town on sidewalk street corners.
As many towns were in the past, Clarkdale was highly segregated.   Upper Clarkdale is the oldest part of the town and was designated for the engineers and executives.  It went from 9th Street/Miller's Hill west to 16th Street.  This is the formal park in Upper Clarkdale.  
It is hard to capture a neighborhood, but this picture was taken in Upper Clarkdale at 13th Street looking towards 16th Street.  If you click on the picture to enlarge it, you can see a glimpse of the community of Jerome on the mountainside!  
This is the same picture taking location on 13th Street, but looking toward 12th Street.  Lower Clarkdale begins at 9th Street.  The 2010 census for Clarkdale was 4,097. 
This community park is at 7th Street.  Many of the homes from Upper and Lower Clarkdale seem to have been built during the original development of Clarkdale.  The architectural style between the Upper and Lower sections of the community are different and seems to reflect a difference in financial standing.  Lower Clarkdale was for the working class.  The boundaries of Lower Clarkdale are east of 9th Street/Miller Hill down to 4th Street.  The Riverfront section was between 4th Street, the railroad, and the river.  It was sometimes included as part of Lower Clarkdale. 
Off in the valley across Bitter Creek between the train depot and Verde River are Fiesta and Siesta Streets in an area referred to as Patio Town.  Patio Town has run down Four-plex government housing buildings and trailers.  There is a small playground for the children.  Patio Town is located to the right side of the picture.  The Verde Canyon Tour Train depot is located in the valley.  Check out its offerings online.