Yuma Crossing State Historic Park, now known as Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park, is one of the most historically relevant state parks in the city of Yuma in Arizona. The park is part of the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area, which emphasizes not only the rich military history of the area, but also the city’s relevance as a crossroad for Anglo-American, Hispanic-Latino, and Native American cultures. During the 1870s, the park was a vital quartermaster depot, serving as a storage and distribution center of the U.S. Army for supplies and goods to be delivered to desert frontier posts in Southwestern United States Territories.
The quartermaster depot was established by the U.S. Army in 1864. The depot ensured that military forts in Texas, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, and Arizona would have a six-month supply of important goods such as food, clothing, and ammunition. Goods and supplies from California were shipped to the city of Yuma, and were distributed through river boats and mule freight wagons. The quartermaster depot was closed in 1877, when the Southern Pacific Railroad reached Yuma. Several government agencies then used the depot’s facilities, until it was identified as a state park candidate in the 1960s.
Yuma Crossing State Historic Park Today
Tourists interested in centers of military history in Arizona should definitely visit Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park. It has five remaining buildings from the quartermaster depot days, with some properties added prior to its completion in 1980. The park was renamed in 2007 to emphasize its original purpose and historic focus as a quartermaster depot. Aside from being a state park, it also houses the City of Yuma Visitor Center, where a display showcases the area’s military history in the late 19th century. Both the park and the visitor center are open daily. Picnic areas, hiking areas, and a transportation museum also serve as additional places of interest for park visitors.