August 18, 2003

Cleopatra Hill has yielded $4 billion (that's dollars!) in gold, silver and copper since 1876 so I took the time to do a little homework yesterday while I was in the area.

I started at the State Historic site, the old Douglas mansion that's been converted into a museum showcasing the history and life & times information you'd expect.   It's well done, well organized and  displays beautiful mineral samples.   Upstairs offers two 3D models of the fabulous United Verde strikes including the Little Daisy (UVX: Little Daisy Extension).  With 88 miles of underground tunnels, it's no wonder the ground is slipping but that really had nothing to do with that particular problem.  The smelters destroyed all the vegetation first...then the local residents were unleashed to dynamite the hill.  So, the "town on the move" is not a joke. 

As I walked along Jerome's sidewalks, window shopping and exploring, the precariously placed buildings with eroding foundations were a stark reminder of the town's past. But the view of the red rocks surrounding Sedona were breathtaking. 

Art colony-boutique haven-studios-historic buildings, yes.  The restoration program is fairly limited but my visit to the state museum really helped me understand what I was seeing.  The exterior of several of the buildings have been repaired but looking behind them and up private streets revealed the major care of the area. Bits and pieces of old buildings were tucked away from the tourists view.

I walked up the road the the gold mine, enjoying the views and stopped in front of the hole that's now the remains of the United Verde.  On the east side, the underwater volcanic neck that produced all the wonderful minerals is enormous and well worth the time to see.  After seeing the models at the museum, you got a sense of the formation of the plutons and basalt flows. If you enjoy geology, this is definitely worthwhile.

Renovated buildings have been reopened and quaint shops, restaurants and bars are enjoyable.  It was worth the two hours it took to browse, see the famous Verde mine, and take a small walk back in time to the boom days so long ago.

Map of Arizona.jpg (55174 bytes)

Map of Arizona


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Map of the reservations and Four Corners 


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