The Wickedest Town in the West
December 2, 2008 2:37 PM Subscribe
The town of Jerome was incorporated on March 8, 1889 when Arizona was still a territory.
posted by Bageena (23 comments total)
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A mining town of the real 'wild west'
variety, Jerome was incorporated after three devastating fires within an eighteen month period that nearly destroyed the town. Jerome was a wild town with little law enforcement, building codes, or real government. It earned the title "The Wickedest Town in America" by the New York Sun in 1903 for being a hotbed of gambling, prostitution, and vice.Jerome is the town of stories
. The same fires that plagued the town plagued the mine
. Strikes at the United Verde Mine lead to forced deportation of the miners at gunpoint. Capitalizing women opened bordellos
. The population grew to a then-staggering 15,000 residents before the price of copper dropped and the mines went bust. In 1953 they closed, and the population dropped.
Jerome is now known as an art destination, with more than 30 galleries and working studios.
The Old Jerome High School
is home to many artists and their open studios. The few
hotels there are rumored to be haunted.
The town currently boasts a population of 343, including Maynard James Kennan of Tool
, A Perfect Circle
, and Puscifer fame
. He resides in the small town full time... making wine