Sat, Jan. 18

49th Jerome Historic Home and Building Tour May 17-18

Jerome resident Sharon Bowerman swings at the John Riordan House. This renovated gem will be seen for the first time during the 49th Annual Historic Home and Building Tour on May 17-18th. JonPelletier

Jerome resident Sharon Bowerman swings at the John Riordan House. This renovated gem will be seen for the first time during the 49th Annual Historic Home and Building Tour on May 17-18th. JonPelletier

The longest running home tour in Arizona boasts never before seen Historic and Significant homes in this Guided Tour through the mile high town's back streets. There will be plenty of walking this year and lots of steps. Wear comfortable shoes and be ready for adventure. The tour is not handicapped accessible and no pets are allowed.

The Jerome Chamber of Commerce is ready for the most talked about event of the year, Jerome Historic Home and Building Tour, now in its 49th year. Prepare for a wild ride on this guided tour as large vans drive visitors to each location.

Docents explain the history and details of the homes. Haven United Methodist Church will once again open its doors for a refreshment and rest stop at the halfway point in the tour. Church members are planning a fry bread sale to raise money for the food bank. This lovely historic church boasts new custom doors created by Jerome's Western Heritage Furniture.

Tickets will be sold online for the first time. Of course, tickets can also be purchased at Spook Hall on the day of the event. Tour director Deni Phinney suggests coming on Sunday if you would like to have a less crowded experience.

Tickets go on sale at 9 a.m. and the first van leaves at that time. Last call for tickets is at 3 p.m. so that visitors can end the tour by 5. Also, instead of selling tickets at the old firehouse on Main Street, guests can have the comfort and the shelter of Spook Hall and enjoy entertainment and seats while waiting for the shuttle to begin this wonderful tour.

There is plenty of parking at the 300 level lot just past the new fire house. Signs will lead the way and a small bus will bring visitors from the parking lot to Spook Hall to purchase tickets.

There are seven homes on the tour plus a stop at the Haven Church. The John Riordan House, high up on Magnolia on Company Hill and 1916 Porter/Farwell home at 631 Clark Street have never been on tour. The Riordan Home has been totally renovated by a Phoenix contractor who has brought this home to a new level of charm and perfection, right down to the period furniture, kitchen and delightful outdoor spaces.

The home was buried in dirt for decades after a culvert ruptured behind the home and delivered tons of dirt into the back rooms. On School Street, The Rooming House/Phinney Home has new owners who will open the doors for the first time to show the collection of fine antiques and interesting spaces.

Jerome's current mayor will open her home to the public as will her next door neighbors who are famous for their pink flamingos at the top of the driveway, adorned in a costume for each season or holiday. Originally called The Vicker's House, the owners refer to it as a Miners Shack and are proud to share the fact that the best moonshine in Jerome was made at this home during prohibition. They currently have a healthy crop of catnip which is known as the "best weed in Jerome" and is for sale to raise money for their favorite project, The Jerome Humane Society. Enchanting out door spaces set the scene for huge views of the Verde Valley.

A new build in town is on tour this year. Across from The Old Jerome High School, the Doss home on 89A gives a great version of a contemporary home in an historic town. And on charming Rich Street, The Van Mill/Bachrach home will be on view for the first time. Built in the 1990s by Captain Keenan Van Mill and his family, this famous yachting personality spent many happy seasons in Jerome.

For more information, call The Jerome Chamber at 928-634-2900. Online tickets at

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