This week we took the opportunity to take the train from Clarkdale, AZ up to Perkinsville, AZ. It was a 2 hour trip up and a 2 hour trip back where we were able to see the beautiful rock walls of the Verde Canyon and learn about early mining history.
Much of the canyon is only accessible by train or by foot, there are no roads up to Perkinsville.
The railway first began making trips in 1912. It was built to support area mines like the copper mines of Jerome. The Sante Fe Railway operated the Verde Canyon line from 1912 to 1989. The line was purchased by the Durbano Family in 1989 who began to offer scenic excursions in 1990. Today, it has become an Arizona treasure that hosts as many as sixty thousand people annually. (more on the history by following this link)
Here’s a short video showing the engines that pulled the train. This was shot while we were standing still at Perkinsville waiting for the engines to switch from one end of the train to the other to pull us back to Clarkdale.
Find out more about the town and business of Clarkdale by reading my other post here.
On our way up to Clarkdale, AZ to ride the Verde Canyon Railroad, we stopped to visit the Arizona Copper Museum. This museum is all designed, assembled, and maintained by volunteers and it represents a fabulous collection of all things copper and how important copper has been and continues to be in our lives.
The museum association bought the old Clarkdale High School, removed the banks of lockers along the first floor hallway to convert the space to display cases and use each of the classrooms to display specific ways copper has been used over the centuries.
The slide show below gives you a glimpse of what’s inside the museum. We could’ve spent hours looking at all the displays.
Located at the base of Cleopatra Hill, Clarkdale, Arizona is a former company town located in the Verde Valley. Founded by William A. Clark, the owner of one of Jerome, Arizona’s largest copper mines, Clarkdale was one of the country’s best “company” towns. The Town of Clarkdale is situated in the Verde Valley, located in the North Central part of Arizona. The Town was founded in 1912 and was the first planned community in the State of Arizona. Clarkdale was a “company town” owned by the United Verde Copper Company and provided housing and services for its employees who worked in the nearby smelter. Mining operations were discontinued in 1953 and Clarkdale was incorporated in 1957.
To find out more about Clarkdale, AZ and the interesting history of William Clark and how he built the company, the town, and the local economy, follow this link.