Jerome was founded in 1876, the 100th birthday of the United States of America, making it one of the few “American Centennial Communities.” When the town incorporated in 1899, the booming mining community immediately became the fourth largest town in Arizona, trailing only Tucson, Phoenix, and Prescott, in that order. In 1903, the New York Sun called Jerome “The Wickedest Town in the West.” According to one local count at the time, there were 35 bars, 13 bordellos, and 2 churches in Jerome – and the locals thought that was just about right.
For this month’s Jerome Chamber of Commerce First Saturday Art & Wine Walk September 2nd, we’ll help you plan your celebration by asking you to belly up to one of our current bars while making the rounds. From oldest to youngest, they include Paul & Jerry’s Saloon, the oldest family owned continually operating bar in Arizona – once the largest gambling hall in the southwest. The Spirit Room, the major music venue in Jerome, is right up the street on the ground floor of the Connor Hotel. The recently remodeled Clinkscale completes the trio of major bars within easy walking distance on Main Street. All three buildings date to 1899 after the last major fire destroyed the entire business district. Perched high on the hill, The Asylum in the Jerome Grand Hotel provides a spectacular view of the Verde Valley. Built as a hospital in 1926 and closed in 1950, it was opened as a hotel in 1990, adding The Asylum in 2001. The Wicked City Saloon on Clark Street is the youngest bar of this group, offering a cool vibe and a dog friendly atmosphere.
This Saturday’s Art & Wine Walk will run from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. and a free shuttle will be available for you as you make the rounds of the 30+ participating art galleries, wine tasting rooms, specialty shops, restaurants, and bars and enjoy the music. Musical performers will include The Strip Down, the musical duo of Dayna Soria and Art Gecko, whose name comes from their approach to stripping down a song and re-arranging it in their distinctive style. They will be in the Upper Park above Main Street. The popular singer and entertainer Steve Estes will be holding forth at the Jerome Artist Cooperative on lower Main Street. Shane Zen, the Prescott-based singer/guitarist will be performing his fun covers and original songs in the intimate House of Joy patio just up Hull Avenue from the Co-op. Lionel Estrada, long-time Arizona singer/songwriter, will be performing his wide range of material in the Turquoise Spider Patio on Main Street. It’s all free. Please join us.