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.
Saturday, October 26, 2013
"A TRIP TO JEROME." Scenic Ride Over the U. V. & P. Railroad to the Copper City.
"A 'Journal-Miner' representative made a flying business trip to Jerome Friday. At Jerome Junction we found business quite active. The copper company have cleared the ground east of the coal bunkers and will burn 2,000,000 brick this fall. A bunk house is being built for the accommodation of thirty-five men, who are now employed on the works. Making brick begins today, and by the use of two machines, 40,000 brick can be turned out daily."
"The Jerome Junction hotel has changed hands, Peter Greenland now having charge. Mr. Greenland is refitting the hotel, and by the employment of first class help, is now prepared to give the traveling public excellent service. Mr. Greenland is a courteous gentleman, and in spite of his name, is capable of giving a warm and hearty welcome to his guests. Several houses are in course of construction, and everything indicates growth of the town. There is talk of a general merchandise establishment being put in there at once."
"A trip over the United Verde & Pacific railroad from Jerome Junction to Jerome, the greatest copper mining camp in the west, is a pleasure, made so by the gorgeous splendor of the scenic panorama that greets you at every curve of the narrow guage as it winds its way around the steep mountain sides, many times causing the little train to groan with pain caused by curvature of the spine. Leaving the Junction, you are borne rapidly along through a wide valley fourteen miles; then you enter the foot hills that soon give evidence of the prospectors' invasion in the holes that peep out at every turn, and in more ways than one telling of the blasted hopes of the seekers after suddenly acquired wealth."
"We were speeding along at a fairly good gait, anticipating an early arrival in Jerome, when all of a sudden we came to a standstill, and knew we were confronted with our first experience in a railroad wreck. There were twenty passengers aboard, several of whom were women. As a result, feminine screams and feminine tears with vigorous clutchings at masculine coat tails added to the excitement of the moment. Finding we were all safe, there was a hasty landing of passengers to find that the engine and tender had left the track within twenty feet of a forty-five foot trestle, and rolled down the bank, landing upside down. Amidst the roar of escaping steam, neither engineer nor fireman were visible, and we believed them both killed. Soon the engineer crawled out of the wreck, practically uninjured, and the fireman was found fifty yards away, sitting on a rock, with blood streaming from his face. Outside of bruises about the face and body, his injuries were slight."
"A messenger was sent to Jerome Junction, a distance of thirteen miles, and a telegram sent to Jerome for a wrecking crew. The crew arrived about 3 o'clock, the track was fixed, and we were taken on in to Jerome, arriving there about 8 o'clock in the evening."
"The descent into Jerome from the mountain top after night, is a sight long to be remembered. As you look down into the fiery furnaces with livid lava pouring into the waste pots, and then down for a thousand feet at the roasts that terrace the mountain side and send up their lurid blue flame, you feel that Dante should have visited the scene before attempting to write his 'Inferno.'"
"Friday was pay day, and Friday and Saturday gave evidence of this fact in the general activity in the town of Jerome, the city, that practically hangs on to the mountain by its toe nails."
"Saturday we met the genial and courteous H. J. Allen, the financial manager. Mr. Allen is a practical, level headed business man, amply qualified to conduct successfully the largest mining enterprise in this part of the country. We had a pleasant hour's chat with him, and although averse to any newspaper notoriety, either for himself or his company, talked freely on topics of general interest in the mining world."
"Jerome is prosperous. It is building up rapidly, many new houses being under construction. Many new mines are being developed in all directions, and the town, with a present population of 2,500, expects to double in size within the next year."
"The fertile Verde valley, that nestles between the lofty mountains, teems with farms that furnish the town with considerable produce, for which the growers receive a good round price."
"Jerome is pretentious, as well it might be, for it enjoys a prosperous present, and has a still brighter outlook for the future."
(Arizona Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; October 20, 1897; page 2.)
See: The Verde Independent; "1897: TRAIN GOES OVER THE TRESTLE;" October 23, 2012.