11/11/15. Wednesday. Camp Verde is about 20 miles from Cottonwood, so we headed in that direction to Wal-Mart and to gas up. Just about 6 miles West of town up the side of the mountain is the little town of Jerome. Since we were so close, we decided to drive up. We had been there before but from the other side of the mountains, which was a beautiful scenic drive. Jerome is just below the white “J” painted on the side of the mountain.
Jerome is in the Black Hills of Yavapai County. Founded in the late 19th century on Cleopatra Hill overlooking the Verde Valley, it is more than 5,000 fee and was supported in its heyday by rich copper mines. It was home to more than 10,000 people in the 1920s, but now is is down to only 400+. Jerome made news in 1917, when strikes involving the Industrial Workers of the World led to expulsion at gunpoint of about 60 members, who were loaded on a cattle car and shipped west. Production at the mines boomed during World War I, fell thereafter, rose again, then fell again during and after the Great Depression. As the ore deposits became exhausted, the mines closed, and the population dwindled. Efforts to save the town from oblivion succeeded when residents turned to tourism and retail sales. Jerome became a National Historic Landmark in 1967. Jerome has art galleries, coffee houses, restaurants, wineries, and a state park and local museum devoted to mining history. Jerome has become such an attraction that parking is often at a premium, traffic is bumper to bumper, and the streets crowded. Funny to see with only two main streets right on the side of the mountain!
We had thought of going to the Haunted Hamburger that has the reputation of being truly haunted. It is one of the main attractions. We ate there several years ago after at least an hour’s wait in line. They are noted for their delicious hamburgers, and they really were good. But we had just had a late breakfast, so we just drove around and headed back down. “The story of the Haunted Hamburger: It all started years ago when Michelle and Eric Jurisin acquired the restaurant. The building, old and abandoned, was in need of great repair before it could be opened for dining. This is when the funny business began. As with all old buildings, when inhabitants take initial occupation, from its walls come the spirits to observe, and sometimes greet the newcomers. The Haunted Hamburger spirits were no different. Not only were these spirits curious but possibly frustrated tradesmen from long ago as it was tools that these spirits liked to take. More specifically, hammers! One hammer, then two, then three hammers had disappeared. Was this a case of memory loss? At first it was thought so until a prior owner asked the Jurisins if they had met the ghosts yet and to beware, they liked hammers. Shortly after this confirmation the hammers began to reappear, showing up in the most conspicuous places. What followed next was literally too 'in your face' to ignore, says Eric Jurisin. While in the middle of the repairs, Eric remembered he needed to go upstairs to finish a project. Just as he reached the top floor, a door that he was standing next to slammed, nearly smashing him in the face. One could argue a cross breeze is strong enough to slam a door, and that would be true. Except, Eric had just sealed up all of the building's windows with thick plastic and tape to keep the cold winter air out. He knew there was no air current in the house. What other odd occurrences frightened staff, owners and guests alike in the Haunted Hamburger? Cans flying off shelves, the hot water being turned on in the middle of the night. Distinct smells in the stair well and even photographs guests have taken capturing the vague image of a woman. Is the Haunted Hamburger truly haunted? Visit for yourself.” The views of the distant valley and landscape from Jerome are spectacular and well worth the visit just for that. In the first picture, on the far left you can just barely see the top of snow capped Humphrey’s Peak against the blue sky, a 2 hour drive away.
P.S. All these pictures except the 2nd one at the top were taken with my Smart Phone. It was Doug’s last minute idea to go to Jerome and I hadn’t brought my camera with me. Learned my lesson again!