I was excited to discover that there was a ghost town near Sedona, Arizona. Visions of the Brady Bunch episode where the Bradys travel to a deserted old west ghost town filled my mind. (If you haven’t seen it, try to. It’s goofy.) I joked to a friend of mine that I’d be sure to wear a belt and socks since that was integral to the Bradys being able to escape from an old time jail they’d been locked into by a prospector who wanted to steal their car. I was seriously set to re-enact that.
But Jerome, Arizona is nothing like that television ghost town. It is a cliffside town full of expensive specialty shops, art galleries, wine shops and restaurants. There is a an old mine/ghost town area you can pay to tour, but the timings didn’t fit our schedule, so we stuck to the quaint little downtown area and browsed through shops. The one that stood out most was a kaleidoscope shop with a variety of kaleidoscopes ranging from $20-$20,000! We stepped carefully through there for fear of breaking something we couldn’t afford. That was as close as we came to being locked into a jail. We didn’t need belts to make our escape; just careful steps and the ability to keep our hands to ourselves.
I was disappointed that I didn’t get the Brady Bunch ghost town experience. Perhaps if I’d been there in the 1930’s and 40’s when the gold and copper mines that put Jerome on the map closed down I would have gotten the feel of an abandoned town falling to decay. But today, Jerome is very much alive and well. A few places play into the ghost town heritage and tout their places as being haunted. I didn’t see any spectres while I was there. I did, however, get a great burger at the Haunted Hamburger — a funky little restaurant on the top of the hill. Something the Bradys never got.
That episode wasn’t my favorite Brady Bunch episode anyone. I always loved the Halloween episode that included ghostly sounds and a white-sheeted ghost that floats down the stairs. Someone should re-enact THAT in Jerome! Sounds like a winner to me.
Do you have a favorite Brady Bunch episode?
I don’t think The Brady Bunch ever aired this side of the Pond. Love ghost towns though, and dereliction where there was once pulsing life. Preferably left to fade with dignity rather than recreated as an attraction.
I do, too, Roy. The real ghost town that I drove through was in Alabama on my way to Monroeville where Harper Lee and Truman Capote grew up. Every store window was empty. Gas stations closed. You could tell that there’d once been a small town, and that it had died. I was surprised the buildings weren’t vandalized yet, but I imagine there are MANY ghost towns like this in Alabama now.
There is the fact that the old jail house slid down the hill. I think it came to a rest right next to the home of one of the town’s favorite hookers. 🙂 –Curt
Haha. That makes me think all the prisoners inside leaned against that wall as hard as they could. 🙂
Laughing… like trying to turn over an outhouse. Not that I would ever have participated in such pranks. 🙂 I think it was a huge explosion, if I remember correctly. –Curt
Oh wow. A ghost town where you can buy a $20k kaleidoscope. That’s almost random. I was never wedded to The Brady Bunch so I can’t empathise on that front … but I did enjoy the episodes caught spuriously.
Yes, $20k kaleidoscopes and ghost towns just don’t go together. Kinda like Greg Brady and Florence Henderson, if you know anything about the gossip off-camera. 😉
Jerome always struck me as a really cool place. I drove through a couple of times when I lived in Arizona, but I never got a chance to stop and check it out. Always meant to, cause it looks cool. Almost reminds me of a beach town without the beach.
That’s interesting for two reasons: I didn’t realize it was a town people drove through. I thought it was more of an out-of-the-way destination. And interesting that you compared it to a beach town without a beach. I think I’d automatically pictured an Old West town since it was described as a ghost town. Too bad I hadn’t gone with no preconceived notions…
Actually, I wish I’d known about the ghost town aspect. I don’t think I knew, or I might have asked people about it. I drove through a couple times between Sedona and somewhere south of there. Always wanted to stay for a bit, but never had the time.