An Architectural Marvel with Spirited Service
by J. Adam Burch and Stacey Lane
Royal Lescher of Phoenix sent a letter to Leslie J. Mahoney of Los Angeles in 1926; asking for help. Lescher had been commissioned throughout his career to design long-standing legacies like an original Arizona State Hospital building; known in it’s time as the “Territorial Insane Asylum of Phoenix,” Mahoney, had not been formally trained as an architect. The architect and businessman partnered to create a new hospital, in Jerome, Arizona.
The United Verde Hospital would need to withstand the consistent dynamite blasts that had leveled other buildings over short time. It would also have to handle the mining accidents and incidents that come with a 1920’s population of around 15,000. On average one person died per day and around 9000 deaths total until the hospital closed in 1950, when the town almost died along with the mining industry that built it.
Royal Lescher lived until 1957, he was 74, Leslie Mahoney died in 1985 at the age of 93 and for 44 years the hospital remained essentially abandoned, quiet. The long period of disuse was a blessing for the upcoming restoration effort, as the building was then spared from episodes on renovation and modernization to then be purchased by the Altherr family from the Phelps Dodge Mining Corporation in 1994. Neither Lescher nor Mahoney would ever know that they had built The Jerome Grand Hotel, the most imposing and haunted structure in Jerome.
Today the your ghost adventure began as you climbed through the twists and turns of Hwy 89A. Remnants of businesses failed or a small shack marking a time long past, now preserved as artwork for remembrance. Old Jerome was wrought with money and corruption, current residents; population under 500, put up a plaque and provide tours of the aftermath.
For you and Ghost-hunter Two, the Jerome Grand Hotel can accentuate your stay with a detailed tour of the nooks and crannies of haunted elevators, a boiler room and suicide balconies. A stay at the Jerome Grand Hotel today offers breathtaking views as well as the opportunity to be part of on-going investigations into paranormal phenomena in a building that often appears on lists of the 10 most haunted places in America. Hear the stories of men and women driven to madness; and for your comfort, request a stay in the modernly furnished psychiatric ward, if you like peaceful.
Over the years, visitors have reported voices, smells, electrical anomalies, poltergeist activity and a wide assortment of apparitions. Spectral detection equipment: digital camera, elector-magnetic field detector, digital voice recorder, and IR thermometer will be your weapons against those forces of darkness and unanswered questions. With them you can determine whether that chill you feel is dread or draft, and if the sounds you think you heard are actually speaking to you, from the grave. Was it a smudge on the lens or is that an old miner staring at you from the corner of the room? And, why is Ghost-hunter Two Sleeping like the dead?
For more information visit; www.Jeromegrandhotel.com
or call (928) 634-8200 or Toll Free at (888) 817-6788
*You’d be crazy to miss the Asylum Restaurant and Lounge, serving great food and spirits located
within the building ~ on the first floor.
For a unique dining experience call (928) 639-3197, www.asylumrestaurant.com
Town of Jerome, A photographers dream ~
Photos by; J. Adam Burch and Stacey Lane/Rapid Fire Photography