Jerome was built on Cleopatra Hill above a vast deposit of copper. Its mines were nourished and exploited by financiers who brought billions of dollars of copper, gold and silver, from its depths.
After the mines closed in 1953 and "King Copper" left town, the population went from a peak of 15,000 in the 20s to some 50 persons. A few hardy souls remained: The Jerome Historical Society guarded the buildings against vandalism and the elements, the Douglas Mansion was made a State Park in 1965 and Jerome became a National Historic Landmark in 1976. During the 60's and 70's, the time of the counter culture, Jerome offered a haven for artists. Soon newcomers and Jerome old timers were working together to bring Jerome back to life. Today, Jerome is very much alive with writers, artists, artisans, musicians, historians, and families. They form a peaceful, colorful, thriving community built on a rich foundation of history and lore.