Please bear with me as I catch up on our blog by posting a few posts a day. I want to share our journey with you and I want to have a day by day account to give to the boys so they can remember this adventure. We just spent 10 days in Austin with my best friend. I typically write at night or in the morning but since I rarely get to be with her I spent every free moment I could hanging out and creating memories.
Jerome, an old mining town, is nestled high atop Cleopatra Hill in Arizona’s Verde Valley. In 1900s, Jerome was a boom town. Copper had been discovered and thousands flooded to Jerome their hearts filled with ambition. Some even referred to Jerome as the “wickedest town in the west”. If only those crumbling walls could talk. Jerome’s population reached it’s peak of 15,000 during the 1920′s but every good party comes to an end and in 1953 the mines closed. Not long after, Jerome was declared a ghost town with a population of around 50 people. Leave it to the artists to rediscover the beauty of Jerome during the 1960s and 1970s. Today Jerome is a communtiy of about 500 people. Artists, artisans, writers, and families seek out Jerome for another kind of wealth. The streets are no longer filled with miners in search of an improved life but tourists walk up and down the hilly streets reflecting on a different era.
We wandered around the worn streets and down a slope to the front face of an old building that sat precariously on the mountain. The walls had long ago crumbled but the facade arched proudly to the sky. We noticed a sign for glass blowing demonstrations. “Glass blowing demonstrations from 12-ish to 5-ish” We headed in and much to the boy’s delight a man with long grey hair tucked under a red bandana was giving a glass blowing demonstrtation. He spun, shaped, and colored the molten mass until he had a tear drop shaped stem that shimmered in the light that poured through the large windows.
The Jerome Historical Society’s Mine Museum was well worth the $2 admission (children are free). The museum boasts many relics and exhibits that help bring the town’s history to life. Just down the hill is the Jerome State Historic Park. Unfortunately, it was closed. Thing 1 was really ticked because he wanted to see the Douglas Mansion. However, the Audrey Headframe Park was open right next door and the boys got to stand on glass above a 1,900′ shaft.
After Jerome we took a short drive to the Tuzigoot National Monument.
Tuzigoot is the remnant of an ancient pueblo built by the Singua around 1000 AD. The views are amazing and I imagine haven’t changed much since the Singua gazed across the valley. There is also a museum where you can look at artifacts and learn about the site’s excavation.
On our way home we passed a Goodwill. Brent stayed in the car while the boys and I puttered around the store. As I was going through a rack of jackets (I’m on a mission to find a myself a vintage peacoat.) a strange man approached me. After asking if I had found any treasures, he asked if I had dinner plans. Yes, with my husband but thank you. I guess. As I was telling Brent about the brief exchange (that he had watched through the window) Thing 1 piped up, “Why didn’t you say yes? You could have brought us back something.” That’s one way to look at it.
Love and Laughter,