The Little Daisy, as we have all come to know it, holds many happy memories of living in Jerome, Arizona.
Before it was so elegantly and lovingly restored by Walter and Lisa Acker, it was a playground for children, a great party hotel for weddings and barbecues, the site of the first Jerome Music Festival, and a favorite place to draw, paint and photograph from. My friend the photographer Bob Swanson took some amazing photos of these ruins, reproduced here with permission. You can see many of his photos of Jerome, some of which were reproduced in my book, Home Sweet Jerome (now out of print) taken in the late eighties, by going to https://bobswansonimages.photoshelter.com/index/G00006o16Pm6vmRY
Ths week, the Little Daisy was put up for sale.
Jerome was once one of the nation’s largest copper producers and one of Arizona’s wealthiest cities. Large quantities of zinc, silver, and gold were also mined. Legend has it that the value of the gold and silver was enough to cover the expenses of mining the copper and zinc. These mines made billions of dollars in profits.
Jerome’s two great mines, the United Verde Copper Company (UV) and the Gold, Silver and Copper Mining Company (UVX), operated within a mile of each other, but its ore bodies were quite separate.
The United Verde comprised the open pit and buildings just outside of town and below Sunshine Hill. William Andrews Clark, the robber baron who was reputed to be richer than Rockefeller, owned the UV.
James Stuart Douglas was the owner of the UVX mine. Its shafts were located on the land below the beautiful white mansion that Douglas built for himself and his family. The UVX nicknamed his mine the Little Daisy and pulled out 3.9 million tons of copper, 221 tons of silver, and 6.25 tons of gold.” The mine was fable among geologists throughout the world because of the high concentrations of ore it contained. The UVX averaged 12 to 14 percent copper to the ton, with some concentrations as high as 45 percent, which made it one of the two highest-grade deposits found in the world at that time.
Jimmy Douglas closed the UVX in 1938, because the high-grade copper ore had played out. Afterward, many of the mine buildings were demolished. The tram and the railroad carried away the tools, the large earthmoving equipment, and ore carts to other mines. After the trains made their last trips down the hill, the tracks were taken up. The large elevator shafts below the Douglas Mansion, a few office buildings, and tailings piles remained.
The Little Daisy Hotel, a monument to the largesse of Douglas’ reign, was de-roofed and gutted to its walls and arches but not before vandals had broken in and carted away furniture, bathtubs, and fixtures.
The Ackers graciously took me on a tour of this most amazing restoration, which included a maze of copper tubing under the main floor of the Daisy for radiant heat, a photo of which can be seen in the listing photos (second link in this blog).