We then returned to the USA with no difficulty and toured the historical Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historical Park. The Yuma Quartermaster Depot was used by the U.S. Army to store and distribute supplies for all the military posts in Arizona, and some in Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and Texas. The supplies were unloaded near the stone reservoir just west of the commanding officer's quarters and hauled up on a track running from the river dock through the center of the storehouse. They were shipped north on river steamers and overland by mule drawn freight wagons. The Signal Corps established a telegraph and weather station here in 1875. The supply depot was terminated by the Army in 1883, and the pumps, steam engines and equipment were sent to Fort Lowell near Tucson, but the Signal Corps remained until 1891. Five structures from the depot's active period are still standing. We enjoyed reading and seeing some of the buildings at this historical site.
Very interesting park. See more pictures of the Quartermaster Depot.
Next we headed to Yuma Territorial Prison. On July 1, 1876, the first seven inmates entered the Territorial Prison at Yuma and were locked into the new cells they had built themselves. The main the building houses photographs and colorful exhibits of those who once “involuntarily” stayed there and the prison life they had to endure. A total of 3,069 prisoners, including 29 women, lived within these walls during the prison's thirty-three years of operation. Their crimes ranged from murder to polygamy, with grand larceny being the most common. Of the many prisoners who attempted escape, twenty-six were successful, but only two were from within the prison confines. No executions took place at the prison because capital punishment was administered by the county government. The only punishments were the dark cells for inmates who broke prison regulations, and the ball and chain for those who tried to escape. Come experience this fascinating slice of Arizona history.
It sure makes you appreciate the tough conditions early settlers had to endure. The conditions the prisons of the Yuma Prison endured are unimaginable. Marsha just couldn’t believe someone would want to commit a crime!
We also learned about the Ocean to Ocean Bridge that is right outside the prison. This bridge was the final critical link joining the Atlantic to Pacific Oceans with a highway. A person was now able to drive from the Atlantic Ocean to a Pacific Ocean without taking a ferry.
The bridge was built across the Colorado River between Yuma, Arizona and Fort Yuma, California in 1914 for $76,000 and dedicated during a citywide celebration May 22-23, 1915. At the time of its opening, the bridge provided the first safe, economical crossing of the river at Yuma and it was the only vehicle bridge across the Colorado River for 1,200 miles.
The 336-foot bridge was closed in 1988 due to structural problems. A renovation begun in 2001 and was completed in reopening in 2002. It received Arizona Preservation award in 2003. The bridge is also sometimes known as Colorado River Bridge; Yuma Bridge; Penitentiary Avenue Bridge.
After retuning to the campground, we relaxed and made plans for tomorrow.
Yuma is located near the confluence of the Gila and Colorado Rivers in the southwest corner of Arizona. It borders California and the state of Sonora, Mexico. Since prehistoric times this area has been the best place to cross the Colorado River. Yuma is the site of the first railroad and highway bridges across the Colorado.
Yuma is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the sunniest place on earth with 339 bright sunny days a year and less than 3 inches of rainfall annually. Normal highs range from 70 degrees in January to 107 in July. December is the coldest month, with a normal high of 69 degrees. The record high was 124 degrees in 1995 and the record low was 26 degrees in 2007. Yes folks the coldest temperature in Yuma history was 26 degrees....amazing!
Because of it's year-round perfect flying weather, Yuma has been an important aviation hub since the earliest airplanes. Yuma is one of the Marine Corps' premier aviation training bases, with access to 2.8 million acres of bombing and training ranges. It is the busiest air station in the Marine Corps and the third busiest in the Navy. Because of its superb flying weather, Yuma supports 80 percent of the Corps' air-to-ground aviation training.
Thanks for stopping by. Safe Travels!