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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : blogsold : verde heritage September 25, 2016

Verde Heritage
By Glenda Farley, Cottonwood, AZ
Local historian Glenda Farley guides us on a journey back in time to discover fascinating moments that make up our Verde heritage and history.
Thursday, October 10, 2013

1898: JEROME FIRE, September 11; Jerome Rebuilds.

Verde Heritage

"The 11th of September last occurred the big fire, which swept the town of Jerome temporarily off from the face of the earth and hundreds of people not only lost their homes, but every vestige of their household goods and clothing and in less time than it takes to tell it, the present townsite of Jerome was covered with tents and shacks of all kinds and descriptions. In the meantime Jerome had the misfortune to be besmeared by the presence of a bigoted vulture, representing himself as the correspondent of the Kansas City Star and caused to be published in that paper that Jerome was a Hobo town and that the people here lived in dugouts and tents, making no apology for our lack of conveniences, caused by one of the most distressing fires that ever happened to a town of its size."

"Quite the contrary were we treated by our neighboring towns, for as soon as a telegraph office could be put into shape a special corps of messenger boys had to be employed to deliver the telegrams extending credits, offering supplies and assistance and almost every conceivable form of help, and to those people (many of whom are visiting us at present) do we over extend a warm and sincere welcome and of which many of them can see to their astonishment the progress we have made in so short a time."

"Before the fire where stood frame stores and business blocks, now stands stone, brick and concrete buildings that are a credit to any city. Special mention may be made to the Connor's Hotel, a brick building of sixty rooms, elegantly finished and furnished; the Hover & Cordiner fire proof building; the Munds, Bradley and Kuchler brick block, and the fire proof Brisley block to be occupied by E. F. Tarr, the druggist, when completed, and buildings of lesser note by the hundreds. And all this from a mighty ash pile, the 11th of September last."

"The new Masonic Hall building which is 52 x 118 feet, has assumed proportions that any city in this broad land of ours may justly feel proud and is a massive refutation of stone, brick and steel to the itinerant tramp and one lunger that seeks the matchless climate of Arizona that he may still live and peddle his hair brained and slanderous compositions to the gullible eastern newspapers."

"The first story of this magnificent and stately building is divided into six stores and hallway to the stores above. The bank of Arizona will occupy one of these stores."

"Mr. Cook, of Prescott, will fit one of them up for a jewelry store that will be unexcelled in the Territory. The Postoffice will occupy one of them and another will be used for a fruit and confectionary store. Mr. Wm. Parks the barber, will fill up one of these stores for a barbershop and baths that will only be equaled by the building itself."

"The second floor will be occupied by the T. F. Miller Co. and will be an emporium of beauty and elegance, unsurpassed in the Southwest."

"The third floor is being fitted for a theatre that will seat 800 people and a stage and fittings that will properly set the largest theatrical and opera troups."

"The fourth floor is entirely devoted to lodge rooms and is under the exclusive management and control of the Masonic Order. Hence the name of the building, 'Masonic Hall.' These lodge rooms are complete in every detail. The Lodge room proper, being 34 x 54 feet and provided with reading room, library, billiard room, banquet room 12 x 40 feet, kitchen and eight property rooms for the different lodges that will use the hall, viz: Knights of Pythias, Odd Fellows, Woodmen of the World and the Rathbone Sisters."

"It will take some sixty days or more to complete this elegant structure, but the roof is now on and the floors are all laid and the free use of it was given to our welcomed guests, the Knights of Pythias for their reception and ball."

"Another building that is rapidly assuming metropolitan and collosal proportions is the new United Verde Hotel which will contain 200 rooms and will stand upon the picturesque hillside of our beautiful city, everlastingly proclaiming the substantial and permanent interests not only of Jerome, but of the Territory."

"The 250 tons of steel used in the construction of the hotel are now being placed in position and in the near future the 'Old Rockies' will be ornamented with a modern structure, such as they have never known before."

"This building which is 75 x 175 feet and 4 stories high, will be a steel frame with stone and brick walls and colonial in design and will be provided with public and private dining rooms, library and reading room, billiard room, barber shop, bath rooms, ladies' and gentlemen's parlors, electric lights throughout and electric call and return bells in every room and in every way, pertaining to matters of detail will be of a first-class character and of the best and latest designs."

"It is with pride that we call the attention of visitors to the great number of beautiful and artistic cottages that adorn the hillsides of our progressive city, the architecture of which seems to have been inspired only by the grandest scenery and the natural picturesqueness of the country, together with its matchless sunshine and atmosphere."

(Jerome Mining News; Monday, May 15, 1899; page 1.)

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