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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

Jerome, Arizona - The Wickedest Town in the West

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

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I visited family this year in Prescott Valley, Arizona. One day, we decided to go wine tasting in Jerome. Come take a look at this town with a history!

Located near the top of Cleopatra Hill between Prescott and Flagstaff, Arizona lies Jerome.

Once a thriving mining camp full of miners, bootleggers, gamblers, and prostitutes, Jerome is now a bustling tourist destination full of artists, musicians, wine tasting rooms and gift shop proprietors.

Main Street in Jerome, Arizona today

Main Street in Jerome, Arizona today

As a copper mining camp, Jerome grew from a settlement of tents into a roaring mining community, once known as The Wickedest Town in the West. At one point, Jerome boasted of a population of 15,000 people in the 1920's.

Little shops and stores in Jerome, AZ

Little shops and stores in Jerome





Men and women from all over the world made their way to Jerome to find work in this mining town which was producing 3 million pounds of copper per month.

After WWII, demand for copper decreased dramatically, and the Phelps Dodge Mine was closed in 1953. Since there was no work, the remaining population of under 100 people promoted the town as an historic ghost town. In 1967 Jerome was designated a National Historic District by the federal government.

Today Jerome is a thriving tourist and artist hub with a population of around 450 people.

a closer look at the shack, Jerome, AZ

A run down shack from the Olden Days perched up on this hill

By the early 21st century, Jerome had art galleries, coffee houses, restaurants, a state park, and a local museum devoted to mining history.

Curvy roads and buildings nestled into the side of the hill, Jerome, AZ

Curvy roads and buildings nestled into the side of the hill

You would never guess by looking, but about 525 million years ago, this part of northern Arizona was at the bottom of a shallow sea. The copper ore was created by an underground volcano and seismic shifts of the land which brought it to the surface.

Vino Zona, Jerome, AZ

Quaint shops can be found today

This little shop is Vino Zona, which gives great wine tastings. It is owned by a delightful woman named Ginger who also runs the Hotel upstairs, called The Kelly House.


Vino Zona and The Kelly House

The Kelly House used to provide rooms for the miners during the copper boom. The room below (now Vino Zona) was an ice cream store.

The Ghost Inn used to be the Garcia House, Jerome, AZ

This hotel housed the Mine Management

The Ghost City Inn was built in 1885 and is where the Mine Management lived. In the 1920's The Garcia's bought the property and owned it until the late 1970's.

Ghost City Inn, Bed and Breakfast, Jerome, AZ

Today, it's called Ghost City Inn, Bed and Breakfast

In the 1930's a bootleg still exploded upstairs, causing the whole 2nd floor to burn. Later, in the 1970's, the first floor was made into an art gallery, and the home became a Bed and Breakfast in 1994.

Jerome Grand Hotel, Jerome, AZ

Jerome Grand Hotel

The Jerome Grand Hotel used to be the United Verde Hospital which was constructed in 1926. The old hospital that United Verde replaced was constructed in 1917, but the south wing was damaged during a fault shift caused by mine blasting. The United Verde Hospital was considered the most modern hospital in Arizona and possibly the Western States until it closed in 1950.

The Jerome Grand Hotel was updated in 1994.

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Jerome Grand Hotel, Jerome, AZ

Another view of the Hotel, up a narrow road, no guard rails!

Some consider the Hotel to be haunted, with strange occurrences having been documented over the years. There were a couple of TV shows on the “spirit” nature of the Hotel and a number of psychics have visited the property.

Since the Hotel used to be a hospital, apparently the psychics said the "Head Nurse" was rather cranky, making complaints about the original Dispensary desks being moved. When the Asylum Restaurant opened in  2003, the desks were placed back into near the original position, and the "Head Nurse" has quieted down! - well, at least about the desks!

white picket fence in Jerome, AZ

Quaint white picket fence





Jerome has a quaint, small-village feel to it now. I don't think it comes any where near it's old reputation of The Wickedest Town in the West... But it gives good views, has several decent restaurants in town, and you could always come and stay at one of the inns and do some wine tasting!

Jerome Grand Hotel

Located in: Asylum Restaurant

200 Hill St, Jerome, AZ 86331

Phone: +1 888-817-6788


The Kelly House

View, Vibe, and a wine shop underneath. The best view in Jerome.

Vino Zona – Super fine Arizona wine

Sip amazing AZ wine in down-to-earth Jerome style


Southwest Wine Center

Verde Valley Campus

601 Black Hills Drive

Clarkdale, AZ 86324

(928) 634. 6566

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About the Authors

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their award winning website, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website bookstore or on

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