Jerome, AZ

The Alleged Strange History of Jerome, Arizona. Some Say They Used the Ashes of the Dead in Building the Town (Opinion)

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According to legend, there is a small town high in the mountains of Jerome, Arizona that was once a bustling place to be. Founded in 1876, the town of Jerome would become profitable from resources such as the mining of copper, and prostitution. There were gun fights and many mining accidents.

Along with being known for its copper, the town was known as “The Wickedest Town in the West”. So named due to its once wild nightlife, as it boasted many saloons and brothels. 

Because of its copper mining, the town is also popular for its miles of underground tunnels, and many ghosts. Back in its heyday, historians believe thousands called Jerome home, so it was quite baffling why only 200 persons were buried in its local cemetery. 

You see the town of Jerome was well known for the way some say it dealt with the remains of the dead.

The story goes on to say that back in the olden days, there were many deaths during a short period of time from disease and various other mishaps prevalent during that time that the morgue couldn’t keep up with processing the bodies, so what did they do? They placed those bodies in the copper smelter and turned them into ashes. The ashes of human remains were included in the slag, which is a waste product from copper processing.

Jerome was also said to have been destroyed by fire more than once. After the third fire, the town passed a law that all structures would be built from concrete. It is said that the slag containing human remains were used in the concrete processing to build the city sidewalks, buildings, and streets. 

Hence the legend that the town of Jerome was built from the ashes of the dead!

There are other reports on things that go bump in the night in Jerome, like the Grand Hotel which once served as a hospital where many people spent their final days. It is said that many of those souls still haunt the place.

Would you visit or ever live in the town of Jerome, Arizona?

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