ore mining company joseph jerome

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jerome arizona western mining history

Cleopatra Hill is in central Arizona, 20 miles northeast of Prescott, the capital of the new Arizona Territory in 1863. Camp Verde, a U.S. Army post after 1865, was about 15 miles southeast of Cleopatra Hill. The Army built a wagon road connecting Camp Verde with Prescott to the west.

To accommodate settlers in the territory, the U.S. government relocated local Native American tribes to Indian reservations. The Camp Verde Reservation stretched for miles along both sides of the Rio Verde River northwest of Camp Verde. Parts of the Black Hills including Cleopatra Hill were within the reservation.

The Yavapai and Apache tribes were forced by the federal government to leave the 800-square mile reservation in 1875 and trek 180 miles to the San Carlos Reservation near Globe, Arizona. This opened up the Camp Verde Reservation to mining and settlement in 1877.

The steep slopes of Cleopatra Hill seem like an odd place for a town, but that didnt stop the intrepid miners who flocked to the area. The first mining claims were staked in 1876 and it was discovered that Cleopatra was rich in high-grade copper ore. The mining camp of Jerome precariously hugged the northeast slope of the mountain.

The town was named after Eugene Jerome, a wealthy financier and officer of the United Verde Copper Company. Eugene was a cousin of Jennie Jerome, the mother of Winston Churchill. Mr. Jerome never did see his namesake town.

A metal water tank that had been hauled from Prescott by mule train in 1879 became the center of the young camp. The camps very first wooden building was a two-story saloon and bordello built next to the water tank by a madam named Nora Butter Brown.

The United Verde Copper Company began operating on Cleopatra Hill in 1883. United Verde built a smelter fueled by coke at Jerome that proved to be wildly successful, with profits of $1,500 to $2,000 per day.

By the end of December, the works at Jerome had been operating for four months full-time. In this time United Verde processed around 5,000 tons of ore, yielding 200 tons of copper bullion, along with lesser amounts of gold and silver.

A wagon road was built from Flagstaff to Jerome and the tent city grew into a mining town of wooden buildings. Jerome had a post office operating inside a local store by 1885 and four saloons by 1887. United Verde employed over 300 men by 1890 as miners, smelter workers, and teamsters. The company and the town installed electrical lighting in 1890.

Jerome was called the wickedest town in America by the San Francisco Examiner newspaper in 1899. A Phoenix newspaper described the town in September 1899 as having one beggarly looking church and at least sixteen saloons and more going up.

Maybe the townsfolk had been having a run of bad luck and just needed to live it up while they could. Multiple catastrophic fires destroyed Jerome but the richness of the mines assured that it would be rebuilt each time.

The April 1894 fire began in the early morning hours. The townspeople were woken up by the sound of gunshots fired by a bartender in a burning saloon. G. W. Hulls store was one of the twelve buildings burned down. Heavy winds made fighting the flames futile. A second fire that year burned what was left of the downtown in June.

A blaze on Christmas Eve 1897 burned down a block in the notorious tenderloin district including a bordello, four saloons, and a boarding house/ restaurant. A devastating fire hit in September 1898 and, in the words of Phoenix newspaper, its "fiery breath blew Jerome off the face of the earth. At least eight people died in the blaze.

The fire of May 1899 started in the Leland Hotel and spread quickly through downtown and a new hospital. Saloons, restaurants, stores, a bowling alley, a blacksmith shop, and a barber shop were destroyed or damaged along with dozens of small wooden dwellings.

Jerome first received rail service in 1895. The United Verde & Pacific was dubbed the crookedest line in the world from all the twists and turns that were required to navigate the steep terrain.

During World War I, demand for copper raised its prices and Jeromes mines were busy. Miners from all over the world came to Jerome, from countries like Ireland, Italy, Poland, Germany, and Croatia. The patchwork of mining claims in the Jerome Mining District can be seen in a map from 1918.

In July of 1917, armed vigilantes rounded up around 75 members of the Industrial Workers of the World labor union and forced them onto cattle cars. The IWW men were then shipped to Needles, California and told never to return to Jerome. Authorities in California sent dozens of armed guards to intercept the train, stating that "Arizona can't dump her undesirables on California." The train turned around and transported the deportees to Kingman, Arizona.

Underground fires burned in some of the miles of mine tunnels under and near the town for years. In 1905, as water from recent flooding seeped into parts of the United Verde mine that were burning, an explosion occurred. A dozen miners waiting to be raised 300 feet to the surface during a shift change were killed or severely injured by the hot steam and gases.

Jerome's population reached 15,000 in the 1920s. United Verde built a new hospital in town in 1926, a five-story poured concrete structure. It was the last major building built in the town. 2008 View of the Jerome Grand Hotel, built in 1926 as United Verde Hospital Jerome's precarious position on the steep mountain slope would cause many problems throughout its history. Landslides and cracked building foundations were common occurrences. The jail building was jostled off its foundations by a powerful blast in 1938 and slid downhill. The jail still stands where it ended up, across the road and 225 feet from where it was built. The End of Copper Mining in Jerome The end of the copper mining era in Jerome came in 1953 when Phelps Dodge closed the mines. About 800 million dollars in copper had been removed from the local mines by then. Jerome nearly became a ghost town as most folks got out of Dodge, leaving only 50 residents. The Phelps Dodge and United Verde Exploration companies owned most of the land under the town, many lots and buildings in town, and the schools and hospital. They began bulldozing buildings in the town, beginning with the four-story T.F. Miller building that had stood since 1899. Local kids were paid a penny per brick to whack the mortar off the bricks for re-use. An enterprising group of locals that stuck around formed the Jerome Historical Society and halted demolition of the towns buildings in 1956. They successfully marketed the town for tourists as the Worlds Largest Ghost City. The society opened the Mine Museum and Gift Shop on Main Street in the 1950s, and it is still open. The museum has displays of mining equipment, a pistol used by a Marshall to gun down some vigilantes, and saloon paraphernalia. Typical state of buildings in Jerome today A new generation of free spirits and artistic folks began re-populating the town in the 1960s. Another generation or two stuck around, leading to a town that is part hippie shops and part post-apocalyptic building ruins. In 1965 the Douglas Mansion built in 1916 by James S. Douglas on a hill above his Little Daisy Mine - became a state park. Jerome was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1967 Jerome continues to be a popular tourist destination to this day. The town is situated in the most unlikely spot for a major mining city and is a sight to behold.

Jerome's precarious position on the steep mountain slope would cause many problems throughout its history. Landslides and cracked building foundations were common occurrences. The jail building was jostled off its foundations by a powerful blast in 1938 and slid downhill. The jail still stands where it ended up, across the road and 225 feet from where it was built.

Jerome nearly became a ghost town as most folks got out of Dodge, leaving only 50 residents. The Phelps Dodge and United Verde Exploration companies owned most of the land under the town, many lots and buildings in town, and the schools and hospital. They began bulldozing buildings in the town, beginning with the four-story T.F. Miller building that had stood since 1899. Local kids were paid a penny per brick to whack the mortar off the bricks for re-use.

An enterprising group of locals that stuck around formed the Jerome Historical Society and halted demolition of the towns buildings in 1956. They successfully marketed the town for tourists as the Worlds Largest Ghost City. The society opened the Mine Museum and Gift Shop on Main Street in the 1950s, and it is still open. The museum has displays of mining equipment, a pistol used by a Marshall to gun down some vigilantes, and saloon paraphernalia.

A new generation of free spirits and artistic folks began re-populating the town in the 1960s. Another generation or two stuck around, leading to a town that is part hippie shops and part post-apocalyptic building ruins. In 1965 the Douglas Mansion built in 1916 by James S. Douglas on a hill above his Little Daisy Mine - became a state park. Jerome was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1967

copper chief mine near jerome, arizona | the diggings

The Copper Chief Mine is near Jerome, Arizona. Historically the site has been associated with the Jerome-Verde Mining District which is now part of the Coconino National Forest. The Copper Chief Mine is a surface and underground mining operation. Initial production took place in 1901 and overall output was considered to be small size. Mine operations consist of underground workings extending 1.21 hectares (2.99 acres). There is one known shaft. Subsurface depth reaches a maximum of 107 meters (350 feet) and extends 1,067 meters (3,500 feet) in length. The ore mined is composed of chalcocite, sphalerite and chalcopyrite with waste material consisting primarily of sericite, quartz and chlorite. The ore body has a lenticular or lens shaped form 243 meters (800 feet) long, 88 meters (289 feet) wide, and 9 meters (29 feet) thick. Associated rock in this area is tuff from the Proterozoic eon 2.50 to 0.54 billion years ago. The Mexican Highland of the Intermontane Plateaus characterize the geomorphology of the surrounding area.

1 World-class significance is determined by total endowment of the contained commodity. This includes all past production and remaining reserves. Each commodity is considered separately and commodities cannot be combined to arrive at a significant size. The tonnage thresholds are from the mine model grade-tonnage studies. As of June 2008, many entries were classified as significant under less strict rules.

Information hosted on The Diggings is based on publicly available data through the Bureau of Land Management. The Diggings accepts no liability for the content of this data, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.

The Diggings makes no warranty, expressed or implied, including the warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, nor assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, reliability, completeness or utility of these geospatial data, or for the improper or incorrect use of these geospatial data. These geospatial data and related maps or graphics are not legal documents and are not intended to be used as such. The data and maps may not be used to determine title, ownership, legal descriptions or boundaries, legal jurisdiction, or restrictions that may be in place on either public or private land. Natural hazards may or may not be depicted on the data and maps, and land users should exercise due caution. The data are dynamic and may change over time. The user is responsible to verify the limitations of the geospatial data and to use the data accordingly.

oceans of ore: how an undersea caldera eruption created jerome, arizona - scientific american blog network

"The town and its fluctuating fortunes are a humble reminder that much of human history has been influenced by the vagaries of the geologic processes that shape the land we inhabit, form the minerals from which we construct our civilizations, and produce the riches we covet."

While tourists gazed rapt into the billions of years exposed in the layer-rock-cake walls of the Grand Canyon, my mother and I would hop down to Jerome. At Grand Canyon, you have to climb down thousands of feet to touch 2 billion year-old rocks. At Jerome, all you have to do is walk up the street.

Not that we knew it then. We just knew it was a delightful little destination, filled with beautiful old Victorian houses the artists were gradually restoring. We'd wander amongst shops and storefronts that collided Old West with tourist kitsch, much like subduction zones crush disparate rocks together any-old-how. There were bamboo groves there, a delicious rarity in dry country, and agave sending up their once-in-a-lifetime blooms on rocky hillsides. You could stand on the edge of town and see all the way to the San Francisco Peaks on the Colorado Plateau.

But our mecca was Gold King Mine. Mining equipment, rocks, old town buildings filled with the artifacts of a civilization past, more rocks, a working saw mill, and a shop with lots of rocks in it made for a perfect afternoon's adventure.

Things would have been rather more adventurous here 1,750 million years ago (that's 1.75 billion, to Americans). The bit that would become Jerome erupted busily near the southern coast of the nascent North American continent. Subduction zones gave rise to at least two volcanic island arcs: Jerome and Prescott. Rhyolitic and basaltic eruptions underwater constructed a submarine dome. The area would have been reminiscent of Indonesia. Fans of Krakatoa know what that means: explosions. And if you were planning to build a time machine and visit the area someday, you'll want to time your visit very, very carefully, because Krakatoa was a firecracker compared to what was about to happen here.

After an ominous pause in volcanic activity, gas-rich magma filled a chamber. Pressure built, and then boom. I don't know if you can imagine an undersea caldera eruption. There's the sea floor, suddenly torn apart, with boiling clouds of ash billowing through the water. Had there been fish back then, they would have been tremendously inconvenienced; also, cooked. Fortunately for them, this was before the Age of Fishes. When the magma chamber emptied, the whole shebang came crashing down. A huge series of fractures propagated in a huge, irregular ring miles in diameter. Sea floor, seamounts, volcanic domes, newly-emplaced Cleopatra tuff and all fell into the chamber magma had so recently vacated.

So there's this enormous depression filled with cracks, fractures and faults, with a sea over it. Seawater percolated through all those crevices, got right down into them and hooked up with the water coming off another magma chamber nearby that hadn't spilled its guts. These waters were superheated: we are talking temperatures in excess of 600 degrees F (316 degrees C). They were hot enough to dissolve rocks. They chemically altered what they didn't dissolve. They traveled through the caldera's ring fracture, carrying dissolved minerals and metals, and emerged from various spots as hydrothermal vents. Yes, just like the modern variety.

That black "smoke" is minerals and metals precipitating out as extremely hot water meets cold. This is what the caldera floor would have looked like almost two billion years ago, complete with chimneys formed from mineral deposits. There were "white smokers" where water around 250 degrees F (121 degrees C) did the hot spring thing, too. You can see examples of both in Jerome. They're eerily like their modern cousins, yet they're among the oldest found on Earth.

Dissolved metals combined with sulfur and left massive sulfide deposits around the vent fields. Metals lined the fractures and conduits the hot springs flowed through. They filled the chimneys. This is where Jerome's riches were born: in fire and water, under the sea, before North America had even acquired this profitable bit of real estate. Plate tectonics gradually mashed the Jerome and Prescott volcanic arcs together roughly 50 million years after the big boom, then plastered them both to nascent North America. The Cleopatra tuff didn't hold, it folded. Its metal-rich deposits folded with it. Once again, fluids coursed through fractures and faults, further concentrating precious minerals.

1,200 million years passed. We don't really know what happened. Erosion, definitely: there's no rock record for those years. The area that would become Jerome was probably covered with a thick, cozy sedimentary blanket that was subsequently stripped away: the Grand Canyon preserves some of that record. We do know that 525 million years ago, Jerome was prime beachfront property. Beaches of sand on the shores of an ancient sea, possibly wine-dark, became the Tapeats sandstone. And the continents danced. Jerome dried out, eroded again, went under again 375 million years ago. This time, the limestones of the Martin Formation were laid down in a warm, shallow sea. The Redwall limestone followed 340 million years ago, when Jerome and the Verde Valley area basked near the equator. People joke about oceanfront property in Arizona. There have been plenty of times in its past when that joke has been reality. Take your time machine back to these times, and you could be sipping cocktails on a tropical island right in the middle of what would later become very dry country. And beneath your lounge chair, unimaginable riches awaited. But they weren't quite ready yet.

Beginning 80 million years ago, North America had an altercation with a bit of ocean crust. The collision began a 40+ million year period of compression. This was the Laramide orogeny, when mountains were raised and the continent crumpled. This episode caused the birth of the Verde fault 70 million years ago. And this fault would eventually become the star of the show.

The mountains raised by the Laramide orogeny did what mountains do, and eroded. Compression gave way to stretching 17 million years ago, and the Basin and Range was born. Basalts poured from the thinned crust, leaving behind the 15 million year-old Hickey formation. If you're beginning to think central Arizona's been through interesting times, you're absolutely right. And it wasn't nearly over: the Verde fault, dormant for a time, reactivated 10 million years ago. Its handiwork is why Jerome is perched on fabulous wealth on the side of a mountain range.

The Verde fault raised the Black Hills and lowered the Verde Valley. It sliced through the ancient caldera, neatly bisecting the ancient Jerome anticline with its twinned ore bodies. It exposed a portion of one of the ore bodies on the side of Cleopatra hill. Once more, fluids circulated through faults, putting the finishing touches on those ores. Nearly two billion years of geological antics had prepared a bonanza beyond dreams.

Native Americans found it first, collecting beautiful copper-rich minerals from the exposures. Spaniards in the 16th century knew copper and silver were up there, but they were after gold. The first mining claims weren't staked until 1876. When miners began digging, they found ores averaging over 10% copper. Those ancient hydrothermal deposits, thrice-concentrated, created a boom town. Jerome's population exploded: it became the second-largest city in Arizona Territory. Exploiting some of the richest copper deposits on the planet, miners extracted over 37 million tons of ore.

Between 1876, when mining began, and 1953, when the last mine closed, Jerome produced $3 billion modern dollars in copper alone, and a further cool billion in silver, gold, lead and zinc. Things got so posh the city even ended up with an opera house.

After their wooden buildings burned down a few times, the citizens of Jerome began quarrying the Tapeats, Martin and Redwall formations for building stone and limestone to make concrete. Thanks to all those seas, the town ceased to burn - at least above ground.

Mining in Jerome started out as an underground affair. The largest mine was the United Verde, which exploited the ore body revealed by the Verde fault. 88 miles of mine shafts were sunk into the mountains. Rich ores emerged.

And United Verde would have gone on happily tunneling if the pyrite hadn't caught fire in 1905. The flammable fool's gold burned for a solid twenty years. United Verde, cut off from its rich tunnels by hot rocks, tried blocking off the burning bits. Six miners died in a steam explosion caused by groundwater percolating into the smoldering stones, and by 1917, the fires forced United Verde to excavate a 300 foot deep pit to reach unaffected tunnels. You can still see the pit, and the head frames that lowered miners into the tunnels, which extend down 4,200 feet. The pit also exposes the ancient volcanic rocks.

Incredible, isn't it? Appreciable portions of the pit are gabbro, basalt that cooled underground without erupting, that is over 1,700 million years old. The rocks have really been through it: sheared by movement on faults, cooked by hot water, scrunched and crunched and squeezed, then excavated by man.

United Verde wasn't the only game in town. A fellow named Rawhide Jimmy Douglas had a brainwave brought on by geology: if the Verde fault had sliced through the United Verde ore body, mightn't the rest of it have ended up down the hill? He staked a claim to a spot on the lower east slope in 1912. His miners tunneled through the young Hickey basalts downdropped by the fault. They dug into the older rock beneath, bringing up nothing useful, and it began to look like Rawhide Jimmy was wrong. But after two years and 1,000 feet, they struck copper. Fabulously rich copper. Copper ore that was up to 45% copper. If 10% could be considered outstanding, this was beyond bonanza. And yet, Jimmy had been completely wrong about his geology. The Verde fault hadn't sliced an ore body in half: he'd just found the second ore body from the ring fracture. Not that he knew or cared. He was sitting on the United Verde Extension, his Little Daisy, and he became a very rich man.

Jerome's wealth came at a cost. Remember that the minerals and metals of the old hydrothermal springs had combined with sulfur. Smelting released that ancient sulfur as sulfur dioxide gas. When it rained in Jerome, it rained sulfuric acid: the trees that hadn't been cut for fuel and building material died in the acid rain. As miners removed tons of mountain, slopes destabilized, and landslides, combined with concussions as miners dynamited rocks, caused bits of Jerome to go slip-sliding downslope. The slides, fortunately, stopped when mining ceased in 1953. But mine drainage still affects the area, staining some streams vivid shades of blue and orange. And enormous tailings ponds remain in the floodplain of the Verde River. Full of heavy metals, they'll cause untold environmental damage if containment fails.

Jerome is one of those places where the impact of geology is acutely felt. The Verde fault lifted the mountains that make Jerome's narrow, steep streets laugh at San Francisco's; an ancient caldera eruption and the resulting hydrothermal vent fields laid the foundations of its enormous wealth. The bones of mountains young and old shoulder through the thin plant cover on its slopes. The floors of shallow seas and the sands of ancient beaches form its walls. Few towns can draw on two billion years of geological history. Here, it stands above, below and around the city, reminding you at every step that civilization depends on geology, and inviting you to explore the riches it offers. The old mines may be played out, but there's still a mother lode of geology, just waiting for you to claim it.

(This post was written for the Accretionary Wedge, a monthly geology blog carnival. It's an extravaganza of geologic goodness, centered around a theme that can be profound, thought-provoking, or just outright fun. This month, the Wedge is being hosted by Cat of Knowledge Flocs, with the theme "Geology, Life and Civilization." I figured it was about time to introduce Rosetta Stones readers to the Wedge, and get out of the Pacific Northwest for just a tick. Hence, Jerome, which my intrepid companion Cujo359 and I visited again in 2009. I've made myself thoroughly homesick writing this post. I'll be relieved to return to Mount St. Helens in a few days, but I hope you've enjoyed this side trip to one of the best destinations in Arizona for those who like geology, mines, history, old buildings, and kitsch.)

A confirmed adorer of the good science of rock-breaking, Dana Hunter explores geology with an emphasis on volcanic processes, geology news, and the intersection of science and society. Her home away from SciAm is Dana Hunter's Unconformity

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While the stocks that pay dividends generally do so on a quarterly basis, there is a select group of companies that pay them out monthly. Here are two REITs that income investors might appreciate knowing about, that pay monthly dividends, and that have above-market yields. Realty Income (NYSE: O) is a Dividend Aristocrat that calls itself The Monthly Dividend Company.

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