Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park Offers a Look at Frontier Life
Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park shows you what it was like to live in Arizona in the 19th Century. It also offers a quick getaway from hectic modern life, where you can enjoy the desert beauty and history, when it was a simpler time.
The Old Southwest’s Distribution Center
Located on a bluff overlooking the Colorado River, Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park is an important place in Arizona history. In the 1870s, this was a major supply center. Goods were shipped here from the Gulf of California to be distributed to various areas in the Southwest. At the gulf, goods were loaded onto steamboats that then traveled up the river to Yuma. Supplies were unloaded here and then shipped to other points in Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Texas and Nevada, either along the river or overland in wagons pulled by 20-mule teams.
At any given time, the depot was supposed to hold six months’ worth of supplies so that the southwest regiments could weather any problems they faced. Goods stored at the depot included food, clothing, ammunition and basically anything else the soldiers and citizens might need. Today the park is quiet and serene, but in its heyday, the depot at Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park was a bustling scene of much activity.
Learning about Frontier Arizona
Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park consists of winding paths that make their way through nine acres of rebuilt buildings. Of the five original buildings still standing here, four have been turned into museums that house the exhibits on display here. The result is a walk through history that offers a lot to see.
The exhibits in the museums teach you about a variety of aspects of area history. In the storehouse, you’ll find exhibits about the mighty steamboats of the Colorado River and the famous mule wagon trains that were used to ship goods. The depot quartermaster’s house contains a reconstruction of the depot back in its day, along with displays about the weather and telegraph stations that were built here.
But the commanding officers’ quarters give you a real feel for what it was like in its heyday. The interior of the quarters is reconstructed to look just as it would’ve back in the 1870s.
In addition to the corral house, with its biological exhibit of the various fish that are found in the Colorado River, there are also a number of outdoor exhibits including a steam boiler, an encampment of wagons and a reservoir built entirely of stone.
Things to Do at Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park
In addition to the exhibits and recreations, there are many other things to do at Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park. The area is very scenic and presents many photo opportunities. There’s a hike of the area with many views of the Colorado River, as well as a picnic area. Events, entertainment and workshops are sometimes held at its stage and amphitheater. There are all kinds of reasons to visit Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park and experience its glimpse at Arizona history. Click here for unique things to do at Arizona State Parks!