If you are interested in finding something authentic off the beaten path in Jerome, then this might be the place for you (especially if you're a photographer or interested in mining equipment and vintage trucks/machines.) This Arizona Excursion was a jewel of a find and I would highly recommend a visit to Don Robertson’s Gold King Mine!
See these photos and more at:
Gold King Mine Photos on Blaze-A-Trail.com
In 1876, Al Sieber, General George Crook’s able scout who knew about copper, staked the first claim in these hills. By 1929 the population of Jerome had soared to fifteen thousand. There were 2,345 working mines. More copper was coming out of Arizona than any other state, and the United Verde produced $29 million worth of ore in one year alone. However, the stock market crash of 1929 foreshadowed the Great Depression. The bottom fell out of everything including copper. The miners of Jerome scattered to WPA jobs, leaving only 4,748 hillside dwellers.
Along came Phelps Dodge and, with faith in the future, set to reopen the mine and smelter in 1935. During the Second World War the great demand for copper needed for shells, ships, power and communications equipment rapidly depleted the known ore deposits. Fortunes were spent in electronic geophysical explorations for more ore-bearing bodies. The known deposits of ore at Jerome were exhausted and in 1950, the smelter fires were again shut off. On January 30, 1953, headlines in a Phoenix newspaper read “END COMES TO FAMED JEROME MINING CAMP—PD Drags last Ore From Holes—Jerome, one of Arizona’s great mining camps, will die as a mining town in about two months…” (Excerpted from a Western National Parks Association pamphlet titled “Jerome – Story of Mines, Men, and Money)