1953: JEROME; Mine Museum, May-June.


"Creation of a comprehensive mine museum in Jerome was well under way by today as the Jerome Historical Society moved to arrange status as a non-profit corporation."

"Working at night, members of the society and volunteers among the residents of Jerome already have partitioned the old Fashion Saloon building, erected booths and begun displays showing the progress of mining in the region from prehistoric to recent times."

"The rear of the building has been partitioned off with rough pipe, painted a light green, to make office, library and research space. A sign shop is being created in the basement."

"TABLES AND BENCHES: Rough tables and benches have been installed in the front of the building. Jim Brewer said that here visitors could sit down and write postcards which will be sold in the museum."

"The first in a series of what promises to be striking historical displays already has been finished. It features an oil painting by Clyde Pyne, showing an Indian squatting at the Camp Verde salt mine while two other Indians hew salt from a tunnel in the rear. In front of the painting, a stone axe and an Indian's skull, both actually found in the mine, are displayed."

"MORE PAINTINGS: Pyne is at work on paintings for the next two exhibits. One will show the Spanish explorer, Espejo, arriving at the Black Hills, led by Hopi Indian guides. The other, together with equipment, will show a prospector looking out over the Verde Valley."

"Ray Manley has completed a painting for the fourth exhibit portraying the sinking of a mine shaft and removal of ore by hand windlass about 1870."

"R. E. Lawrence, who donated use of his power tools for work on the museum, was named head of a committee to collect old mining equipment in another development."

"ASKS FOR EQUIPMENT: Lawrence issued an appeal for mining or prospectng gear such as carbide lamps, miners' hats, hard toe shoes and picks. Their condition, he said, makes no difference."

"Collection points for such donations are Connor and Ettinger, Clarkdale, Cottonwood Lumber Co., City Hall in Jerome, and Lee Barker's service station in Camp Verde."

"The Jerome city council, meanwhile, moved to carry out the spirit of the old days by deciding Tuesday to write a code covering kinds of outdoor advertising, including neon signs, that would be permitted in the town."

"The society made special note of a $100 membership taken out by Pete Blazina."

(The Verde Independent; Cottonwood; Thursday, May 14, 1953; page 1, column 5.)


"Jerome, once Arizona's fourth largest city and mother of three thriving towns in the Verde Valley, will unofficially throw in the sponge Saturday night with the formal opening of the 'ghost city' museum designed to preserve for posterity the story of its fabulous past which overnight made poor men rich and rich men richer."

"None of the men who fell heir to the billion dollars which Jerome freely yielded in its heyday is expected to be on hand for its unofficial last rites, except for a sprinkling of wage earners who worked for the mining companies which extracted the immense wealth from Jerome's hills."

"Opening of the museum will formally mark the end of Jerome's era as a bonanza city and the beginning of a new era that officials hope will make it the Mecca of tourists."

"The museum will be open all day Saturday but the formal dedication will take place at 8 p.m. Miss Bertha May White of the Haven Methodist Church will deliver the invocation, and brief speeches will be made by Jerome's Mayor John McMillan. Johnie O. Moore, president of the Jerome Historical Society, sponsor of the museum, and Jim Brewer, superintendent of Tuzigoot National Monument, who was a prime mover in the organization of the non-profit society and establishment of the museum."

"The museum will support itself by selling membership cards in the society for 25 cents a person, which will entitle holders to free admission to the museum for limited periods. But on the opening day and evening, all will be welcome to inspect the museum regardless of whether they are members. Police Chief Buck Snoddy, and Jerome's night officer, Lee Jones, will both be on hand to handle the influx of traffic Saturday night. Chief Snoddy promises there will be ample parking facilities available."

"The museum is located in the center of town in the building formerly known as the Fashion Saloon. Newly painted in dusty rose, the museum --- officially known as the 'Mine Museum' --- is arranged to handle smoothly a fairly large number of visitors."

(The Verde Independent; Cottonwood; Thursday, June 18, 1953; page 1, column 5.)


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