The Story so Far
After buying an $18 kaleidoscope at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in 1969, we’ve been fascinated with the interesting optics and artistry of the kaleidoscope. Every scope is a unique treat for the senses, offering gajillions of beautiful optical patterns that change with the flick of your wrist or turn of your fingers. We can't keep our hands off them...and neither can our customers! Nellie Bly opened it’s doors in 1988 on Main Street in Jerome, AZ, and since then we have expanded to include our sister store: Around the World With Nellie Bly. It is located right next to the Kaleidoscope gallery, so you can amble to and from a Steampunk dream to a Kaleidoscope wonderland.
Jerome was built on Cleopatra Hill above a vast deposit of copper here in the Verde Valley, about half way between Phoenix and Flagstaff. Anglos staked the first claims in the area in 1876, and United Verde mining operations began in 1883, followed by the Little Daisy claim. Jerome grew rapidly from tent city to prosperous company town as it followed the swing of the mine's fortunes.
Jerome was the talk of the Territory, a boom town of its time, the darling of promoters and investors. The mines were nourished and exploited by financiers who brought billions of dollars in copper, gold, and silver from its depths. Changing times in the Territory saw pack burros, mule drawn freight wagons, and horses replaced by steam engines, autos, and trucks. Fires ravaged the clapboard town and landslides destroyed whole sections. Jerome was always rebuilt. At the mercy of the ups and downs of copper prices, labor unrest, depressions and wars, Jerome's mines finally closed in 1953.