The charming town of Clarkdale was named after William Andrews Clark who was an industrialist who played a significant role in the founding and shaping of Clarkdale, Jerome and the Verde Valley. Clarkdale, which is located between Cottonwood and Jerome, was originally formed as a company town to support the local copper mine. Clarkdale was centrally planned and is often considered one of the first modern company towns. Over the years the mine closed, but the town has remained.
Clarkdale has successfully been able to transition through the hardships of the last century largely due to the determination of its people. The copper mine closing was a large blow to the town, but not a fatal one. Clarkdale has since attracted new industry and currently has a thriving local business and arts community.
While the town has changed a lot since when it was founded, much of the town’s physical appearance has remained unchanged since the 1920’s. This town still has many historic cites still standing which were built by the mining company over a century ago, and the downtown still has its historic charm.
One building which pays homage to Clarkdale’s history is the Copper Art Museum. This museum is appropriately placed as Clarkdale has widely been regarded as a copper town. The museum exhibits works of art based on American and European history largely form the 16th-21st century. An exhibit based on the history of copper also exists which fits seamlessly with Clarkdale’s past.
Another attraction that one must be sure to visit while visiting Clarkdale is the Verde Canyon Railroad. The Verde Canyon Railroad which runs over a four hour route covers large parts of the scenic Verde Canyon. This route was laid down early in the twentieth century and continues to serve today. Other local businesses not to be missed are the Verde River Adventures, 10-12 Lounge, Main Street Cafe & Pizzeria, Four-Eight Wineworks, Su Casa Mexican Cantina and more!
This weekend, a new local business and community event takes place.
Clarktoberfest is a Verde Valley take on the German tradition, Oktoberfest. From 12pm-9pm on Saturday, October 4, visitors can celebrate with a pint and live music and local art in historic downtown Clarkdale.
Clarkdale is a small town with a robust and interesting past. While founded as a mining town Clarkdale has survived because it has been able to reinvent itself and transition to other industries. While small Clarkdale is thriving. The people of Clarkdale still celebrate their unique history in many ways which are evident when visiting. Clarkdale is a town worth visiting for those with an appreciation of history. The town has changed significantly over the years, however much of its remarkable past still remains.