Jerome By Any Other Name (would still be steep)
I am not really a fan of Jerome . The town itself is charming – filled with bed and breakfasts, restaurants and shops and spectacular views. It’s just that my vertigo and claustrophobia always get the better of me. Called “America’s Most Vertical City”, its elevation is 5,000 feet, and it can only be reached by driving up winding roads with high mountains on one side and steep drop offs on the other. While wandering the streets of Jerome I feel like I am walking in the Funny House at the carnival. You know the one where the floor is tilted?
Jerome became a notorious “wild west” town, a hotbed of prostitution, gambling, and vice. On February 5, 1903, the New York Sun proclaimed Jerome to be “the wickedest town in the West”.
The historic copper mining town of Jerome has also been called the “Largest Ghost Town in America”. It’s population peaked at 15,000 in the 1920’s, but after World War II the demand for copper slowed, and the Phelps Dodge mine closed in 1953. In 1967 Jerome was designated a National Historic District by the federal government. Today Jerome is a thriving tourist and artist community with a population of about 450.