Clarkdale, Arizona, came to be known as a smelter town when “Copper King” William Andrews Clark and the United Verde Copper Company built the 196-acre site to smelt copper ore from the Jerome mines. Clarkdale was determined an ideal location, based on the proximity to the Jerome mines and the Verde River.
The smelter began operations in 1915, and by 1920 produced more than 150,000 pounds of copper per day. Clarkdale reached its highest recorded population during the smelter town era, and the majority of residents worked for the UVCC.
For over 50 years, Clarkdale’s backdrop featured two smokestacks at the smelter site, one steel stack that stood at 400 feet, and one brick stack that stood at 430 feet. Both of the stacks were demolished in the 1960s, about ten years after operation stopped, but fortunately the historic images and stories remain.
The building Smelter Town Brewery resides in today was built in 1915 and served a variety of purposes including an undertaker’s office, a laundromat, and even a local car dealership showroom. Similar to the smelter’s ideal location, Smelter Town Brewery sits right in the hub of Clarkdale’s downtown, with windows facing Town Park as well as Main Street.