Clarkdale AZ (August 23, 2019) – First Friday – In Their Own Words living history presentation, sponsored by the Clarkdale Historical Society, will feature Nancy Smith, a Jerome Historian, speaking about “The Jerome and Clarkdale Connection” on Friday, September 6, at 10:00am in the Historic Clark Memorial Clubhouse Mens’ Lounge located at 19 N. Ninth Street in historic downtown Clarkdale.
Traveling along State Route 89A it is about four miles down the hill from Jerome to Clarkdale, but it was eleven miles away by way of the Verde Tunnel and Smelter Railroad that connected the rich ore-body of the United Verde Copper Company in Jerome to the United Verde Smelter in Clarkdale, all under the ownership of William Andrews Clark who moved the smelter from Jerome out into the country and built a town around it named Clarkdale.
Smith stated, “Back in The Day, both towns were hustling and bustling communities, full of hope and life while providing the world with high grade copper. Copper was more valuable than gold at the turn of the nineteenth century. New inventions, the telephone and the electric light, to name a couple, made copper in high demand. Its wires united the world in more than one way.”
The beginnings and development of the two towns, separate yet different, found them related by necessities that are no longer apparent. The mines have closed, the rail line between Jerome and Clarkdale is disbanded and the stack-less smelter is quiet. Today the elementary school and high school, as well as local historical society’s, are the more notable visible connections.
Both towns and the valley are rich in the past. Local historical society museums, Arizona State Parks and Federal Monuments exist to show newcomers and remind locals just what the area is all about and why. The Clarkdale Historical Society invites its guests to learn the importance of the historical connections between the two towns.
These programs, held in partnership with the Town of Clarkdale, are open to everyone. There is no admission to attend. Contributions are gratefully accepted. A suggested contribution of $5 per person helps the Clarkdale Historical Society and Museum to preserve, interpret and share the history and cultural heritage of the Clarkdale area. The Clarkdale Historical Society and Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Contributions are deductible to the extent the laws allow.
Next month First Friday’s – In their own words living history presentation on October 4th, 2019 will recognize Billie Crose Helm and Debbie Pearson sharing their stories and memories as “Sisters Growing Up In Clarkdale” at the Historic Clark Memorial Clubhouse Men’s Lounge at 10:00am.