|The King Goldmine in Jerome|
|Tuesday, 05 April 2005 16:00|
Yesterday we were confused; for some reason we thought we were leaving here today, and when we looked at our calendar, we realized that we had one more day after all. While we were in Jerome the other day, we wanted to follow the signs directing us further up the hill to the King Goldmine and Ghost Town but we ran out of time. Because we "found" an extra day, we decided to go back to Jerome today and check it out. The weather was hot and sunny again so it was ideal for poking around at a higher elevation where the light wind and cooler temperature would be refreshing.
The dirt road leading up to the mine is well maintained because the owner of this obscure tourist destination keeps the dust down with a 60's-something water tanker truck. As we approached the mine, we came across a huge collection of antique machinery, automobiles and buildings lined up in rows everywhere. We parked the car and walked into the gift shop and "Ghost Town" entrance and for a fee of $4.00 each we entered a mechanic's dream world. Everywhere we looked there were hundreds of engines, antique vehicles, (some rusty, some restored), ancient power tools, (some actually functioning) and for effect, some barnyard animals. There are replicas of a blacksmith shop, a dentist office, a bunkhouse and a bordello. There is a genuine, abandoned, inaccessible mine shaft on site and a fabricated one that we could enter just to get the feel of what it would be like in a real mine.
Don Robertson, the somewhat eccentric owner, has been leasing the abandoned property from the mining company for twenty-five years. He has acquired the most amazing collection of machinery from simple chainsaws to a massive, barn-size, antique, working generator and small obsolete hand tools to obscure, rusty large ones. There is a 1914 working sawmill and other equipment my machine-loving husband didn't recognize. Don even has a resident hat-wearing donkey; some goats, some chickens and some rabbits to keep children entertained while their fathers drool over the displays. I had to drag Rick away after a couple of hours though I know he would have loved to stay there for the rest of the afternoon. Despite the abundance of "man toys", it was interesting for me too. Our last day in this area has been a good one.