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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

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2/29/2012 1:57:00 PM
Jerome and Victor a meeting of the mines
Gold and copper first towns in Trilogy of Metals
Representatives from Victor, Colo. spent Monday and Tuesday in Jerome visiting with members of the Jerome Historical Society, town government and Chamber of Commerce. On Monday the two groups enjoyed a catered lunch in Spook Hall. VVN/Philip Wright
Representatives from Victor, Colo. spent Monday and Tuesday in Jerome visiting with members of the Jerome Historical Society, town government and Chamber of Commerce. On Monday the two groups enjoyed a catered lunch in Spook Hall. VVN/Philip Wright

Philip Wright
Staff Reporter

JEROME - Gold and copper have found each other. Now, together, they're looking for silver to complete a trilogy.

The goal is to create a Trilogy of Metals Challenge, a historical travel project designed to connect three mining towns to encourage travel among them. So far, copper is Jerome, Ariz. Gold is Victor, Colo. Silver is yet to be determined.

On Monday and Tuesday, seven visitors from Victor came to Jerome to discuss the Trilogy of Metals and to learn how Jerome preserves and promotes itself as a historical mining town. Members of the Jerome Historical Society, town government and Chamber of Commerce held discussions and conducted tours for their guests from Victor.

In some ways, Jerome and Victor are very much alike. Both towns were well on their way to creating vast wealth during the 1890s. Both burned nearly to the ground in 1899.

In 1900 Victor's population was 4,986, and by 2000 it was 445. Victor councilwoman Veldean Petri said according to the 2010 Census, the town now has a population of 397.

Victor, which sits at nearly 10,000 feet on the southwest side of Pikes Peak, is known as the City of Mines. It is the location of two of the major gold mines in the Cripple Creek mining district. Even today, gold is still being extracted from an open-pit mine, the Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mine operated by Ashanti.

Jerome Mayor Jay Kinsella said this idea of a trilogy got started when Jerome Police Chief Allen Muma and his wife, Jackie, were visiting Victor.

"Allen and Jackie love to tour," Kinsella said, "and they love going to the mining communities."

"The idea was to tie three different mining towns together," said Tom Pitts, president of the Jerome Chamber of Commerce.

Muma said the idea has been coming together for some time. He explained that he and Jackie would be traveling in Colorado, or New Mexico or Nevada. "We'd run across people we'd seen in Jerome, or in our Inn," he said.

Allen and Jackie own and operate The Ghost City Inn in Jerome. They also own a home in Victor. Muma said he put up a survey on the Internet to see what actually brings people to Jerome. What he discovered is that about 50 percent of Jerome's visitors come because of the town's history.

About the same time, Beth Earle of Victor saw a review of Jerome. She went online and discovered how much alike the two mountain, mining towns are. Last year, she went to a business meeting in Tucson. She routed her visit through Jerome so she could check it out. But she couldn't find a parking spot and, after circling through the business district four times, she left.

But that didn't end Beth's curiosity about Jerome. Back in Victor, she met Allen Muma.

"Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could be sister cities," she mentioned to Muma. She said they talked about it and decided that the two towns should do something together.

There were other things happening in Victor during the same time.

"We have a revitalization project in Victor that started a year ago," said Petri. She explained that the project is called DREAM, which stands for Downtown Revitalization Economic Acceleration Movement.

Petri explained that DREAM is divided into four committees for promotion, organization, economic restructuring and design.

"Each of these committees is represented here, today, in Jerome," she said.

Earle explained that the trip for the seven Victor representatives was made possible through grants. One was for $2,000 from Ashanti, and the second was for $1,000 from the Jerome Historical Society.

Although the Trilogy of Metals Challenge won't be finalized until a silver mining town is added, Muma said the basic idea of how it will work is being developed. He said some sort of passport system will be used to verify visits by tourists to each of the towns in the trilogy.

Muma said some of the ways that passports would be stamped are by eating in a restaurant, staying overnight, visiting a museum and spending a minimum of $20 in retail businesses.

Trilogy participants with validated passports will become eligible for rewards.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, March 11, 2012
Article comment by: Gene Pisasale

I read your great story on the mining towns and it brought me back to my trip out to Jerome when I was visiting in Sedona nearby. A great place!! Met local artist Cody DeLong who has a studio there... wonderful guy.

I have a special link with your mining past. I got my Master's Degree in geology and worked as a geologist in Denver for several years. I'm also an author and write novels on historical topics. I'd enjoy writing for your paper... See my website at www.GenePisasale.com and click on NOVELS and LECTURES there are also articles shown on the bottom of my Home gae. All the best, Gene

Posted: Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Article comment by: Jerome Historical Society

We did settle on Virginia City, NV as it retains it's historical charm.

Posted: Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Article comment by: Silver City

This may sound really obvious, but what about Silver City NM?

Posted: Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Article comment by: Virginia City NV Silver Queen

Virginia City, NV is very much like Jerome and Victor, and gold AND silver were its millions. I think that would make a great sister for this project.

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