Saturday, April 19, 2014

Before leaving Yuma we had to see  two places that are a must for every visitor interested in history.  They are the Territorial Prison and the Quartermaster Depot.  Because of the importance of the Yuma Crossing of the Colorado River the U. S. Army established a base there to supply its Forts stretched over a large portion of the southwest.
The Base  proved to be of vast importance to the early pioneers who planned to settle and farm in the region.  Also to those moving on west to the California Gold Rush.
The Territorial Prison was established shortly after the railroad reached Yuma.  It was opened in 1876 and the first prisoners were put to work in its construction.
When first opened it was a grim place indeed but over the years as it expanded  a hospital, library and recreational activities were provided for the inmates.  It closed in 1909.
Both the Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park and the Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park are open every day for visitors with tours available.

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