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Fort Yuma, Winterhaven, California.
Near Yuma, Arizona.

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Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews.

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George & Eve DeLange.

Google Map To Fort Yuma California. Near Yuma, Arizona.

Mexico Can Be Easily Visited, If You Are In Yuma.
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Fort Yuma California. Drawing In 1875. Near Yuma, Arizona. The Fort Is In The Background, On The Hill.
Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Present Day Fort Yuma Winterhaven, California. Near Yuma, Arizona. The Fort Is In The Left Background, On The Hill.
Train Depot On Center Bottom. Two Water Towers, Near Mission. Saint Thomas Yuma Indian Mission On The Background Right.
Fort Yuma Is Now The Fort Yuma Public Health Service Indian Hospital. Owned By The Fort Yuma Indian Reservation.
On A Part Of The Traditional Lands Of The Quechan People. Established In 1884 From The Former Fort Yuma.

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We could not find very much remaining of the "Old Fort Yuma." But a part of the remaining structure of the "Old Fort Yuma" makes up the present day Administrative Building of the Fort Yuma Indian Hospital in Winterhaven, California. However, this structure is not part of the "original" structure of Fort Yuma. What is left was added on several years after the original Fort Yuma was built.

A new state of the art building is on the horizon with construction to start in 2016. It of course will be built for the present day Fort Yuma-Quechan Reservation.

It is commonly thought that Fort Yuma was in Arizona, but that is not true. It was actually located in present day Winterhaven, California; which is across the Colorado River from Arizona. That is a very short distance from Arizona, so it is easy to understand the confusion.

It's location is the home of the Quechan (pronounced Kwuh-tsan) Indians. The Fort Yuma-Quechan Reservation is located along both sides of the Colorado River near Yuma, Arizona. The reservation borders the states of Arizona, California, Baja California and Mexico.

Encompassing 45,000 acres, the reservation is bisected on the south by Interstate 8 (I-8). Consequently, several million cars a year drive through the Fort Yuma-Quechan Reservation on their way to and from Phoenix and San Diego.

Early History Present Day - Saint Thomas Yuma Indian Mission - (Purísima Concepción Mission):

Construction began on the Purísima Concepción Mission in the fall of 1780 by Fathers Juan Antonio Barreneche and Francis Tomás Hermenogildo Garcés. Poorly defended, the mission was destroyed the following year, during a raid and massacre over the period of July 17–19, 1781 by Quechan (Yuma) Indians, frustrated by their treatment at the hands of the Spanish colonists. The raid left fathers Garcés and Barreneche dead, beaten to death with clubs, over 100 Spanish settlers killed, and 74 more were held as prisoners until Governor Pedro Fages paid a ransom for their release in 1782.

The site is California Registered Historic Landmark #350, and a plaque on the site and statue of father Garcés commemorates the site of the ill-fated mission (near the entrance).

The mission was one of two in the area; the other being the Mission San Pedro y San Pablo de Bicuner, eight miles away, along the river.

The site of the Purísima Concepción Mission was later on part of the original Fort Yuma.

Today it is known as the Saint Thomas Yuma Indian Mission.

According to Robert B. Roberts, from his book, the Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States Jan 1988.

Fort Yuma was originally located on November 27, 1850, in the bottoms, near the Colorado River, less than a mile below the mouth of the Gila River. NOTE. this location would be about 3.8 miles east of the current Colorado River crossing bridge of I - 8. It would also be about .5 miles north of the East Levee Road on the Arizona side.

Then in March of 1851 the post was moved to a small elevation on the Colorado's west bank, opposite the present city of Yuma, Arizona. It was on the site of the former Mission Puerto de la Purisima Concepcion.

This new location had been previously known as Camp Calhoun, named for John C. Calhoun.

Camp Calhoun had been first established on October 2, 1849, by 1st lieutenant Cave J. Couts, of the 1st Dragoons.

Camp Calhoun had been established for the boundary survey party led by 2nd Lieutenant Amiel W. Whipple, Corps of Topographical Engineers.

A ferry service, was also maintained by the soldiers for the survey party's convenience, it also accommodated emigrants moving through the area.

Fort Yuma was first established to protect this southern emigrant travel route to California and to attempt the control of the warlike Yuma Indians living in the surrounding 100 mile area.

As a natural place where travelers can safely pass over the Colorado River, the Yuma Crossing has been a historical focal point in the region for ages.

According to the Yuma Crossing Heritage Area, the history of this important transit hub began in prehistoric times with the ancient use of the two large granite outcroppings on each side of the Colorado River.

They say that thousands of years ago, ancient tribes searching for a way across the once mighty river first came upon the natural crossing.

Later In the 1500s, Spanish explorers searching for gold in the area became the first Europeans to discover the crossing.

American explorers initially came to the area in the 1820s. During the California Gold Rush (1848 to 1855) more than 50,000 forty-niners traversed the river here using a rope ferry. Some would return to the area in later years to mine gold in the mountains surrounding Yuma.

Due to the high amount of traffic, the American military saw a need to survey the area and later established a permanent presence with the erection of Fort Yuma on the north bank of the river in 1858. The U.S. Army set up the Quartermaster Depot on the south bank of the river to supply the fort and other military facilities in the region via steamboat.

The crossing would later become important to railroad companies looking for a safe place to build bridges across the Colorado River. On Sept. 30, 1877, the Southern Pacific 4-4-0 No. 31 became the first locomotive to cross the river, thanks to large wooden structure that was 667 feet long and utilized a 93-foot-long swing to allow steamboat traffic to pass back and forth.

Bowing to the power of nature, the bridge was washed out by a flood in 1884. The flood destroyed four spans and two piers, leaving little more than the abutments on the California side and the swing span. A temporary bridge was finished in one week, and a new permanent Howe Truss wooden bridge was completed by Southern Pacific Railroad (SPRR) in November.

The swing span for the second bridge was built on the same pivot point as the previous bridge. It was heavily damaged by fire on the morning of Oct. 17, 1885. Once again, the only thing that remained was the swing span. Historical documents indicate it was burned intentionally by Fransisco Palacio, who had apparently lit the fire on the California side. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison at San Quentin for the crime.

Another permanent timber replacement bridge was finished in early 1886, and in 1895 the SPRR replaced the swing span with a steel structure. The original square pivot point that was built into a cut in the river bank was replaced with a tall freestanding concrete cylindrical pier just to the north. The rest of the bridge was also rebuilt in steel in 1898. There was a footwalk on this bridge that was used by pedestrians to cross the river.

While the railroad had revolutionized transportation in the 19th Century, the 20th Century would be an era of automobiles, which created the need for a new bridge across the river.

According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, in 1913, after years of prodding by Yuma citizens, Arizona Rep. Carl Hayden piloted a bill through Congress authorizing construction of a steel highway bridge over the Colorado River at Yuma. It would become known as the Ocean-to-Ocean Bridge, and still stands to this day.

The bridge would form a crucial link on the Old Spanish Trail Highway, which spans the country from the old Spanish colonial towns of St. Augustine, Fla., on the Atlantic coast to San Diego on the Pacific.

The bridge was funded in part by the Office of Indian Affairs (OIA) to help facilitate transportation between the Quechan Reservation and Arizona. The state of Arizona contributed $25,000, which was matched by Imperial County.

In June 1914, the OIA contracted with the Omaha Structural Steel Works of Nebraska to fabricate and construct the bridge for $73,800.

On March 3, 1915, the 336-foot span was swung into place during a carefully choreographed maneuver. On May 22, the bridge opened to traffic with great ceremony and celebration in Yuma.

In 1916 the most devastating flood in recorded Yuma history struck, which dangerously weakened the railroad bridge that had been rebuilt in 1898. SPRR began planning for a through pin truss bridge to replace it that would be 400 feet long, but construction of the new bridge, which still stands today next to the Ocean-to-Ocean Bridge, wouldn't begin until April 26,1923.

After concrete was poured, the first steel components were set into place on Oct. 22. Eight days later the structural steel was in place from pier to pier. The last pin was driven into the bridge at 9:30 p.m. on Nov. 11, 1923. It then took three weeks to apply three coats of paint to the 2,144,224-pound superstructure.

The installation of the decking was completed on Feb. 28, 1924, and the bridge was ready for a single track that led to a double track at each end of the bridge.

A new passenger station was built, and the Pacific Fruit Express ice deck for icing refrigerator cars was relocated to a new freight yard. The new line formally opened on April 1, 1926.

The usefulness of the Ocean-to-Ocean Bridge declined with completion of the 4th Avenue Bridge in the mid-20th century and then Interstate 8 in the early 1970s. It was closed to vehicles in 1988, but pedestrians were still allowed to cross.

In 2001, the bridge was closed to all traffic as it underwent $2 million in renovations. It reopened in 2002 to vehicle and pedestrian traffic and was rededicated by the Quechan Tribe and the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area.

Today the Yuma Crossing is as important as ever because the Ocean-to-Ocean Bridge, the SPRR bridge, the 4th Avenue Bridge and the Interstate 8 overpass continue to carry travelers and freight safely across the river.

It is said that when first established by Captain Samuel P. Heintzelman, 2nd Infantry, it was originally named Camp Independence. In March 1851, when the post was moved to its permanent site, its name was changed to Camp Yuma. A year later the post was designated Fort Yuma.

In June 1851 the Army virtually abandoned the post because of the high costs incurred in maintaining it, and it was completely abandoned on December 6, 1851, when its commissary was practically empty of provisions.

The iconic Ocean-to-Ocean Bridge was completed in 1915 and is now a celebrated landmark in Yuma.

“When you think of Yuma, there is the Yuma Territorial Prison guard tower and the Ocean-to-Ocean Bridge,” said Charles Flynn, executive director of the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area. “It is an important part of our identity.”

The Ocean-to-Ocean Bridge, Completed May 22-23, 1915. was the first and only vehicular traffic bridge over the lower Colorado River for 1,200 miles. It became the earliest and longest truss in Arizona and was one of the most important early spans in the Southwest.

DIRECTIONS:
1 Indian Hill Rd
Quechan Ft Yuma Reservation
Winterhaven, California 92283

From Yuma: Turn right onto W 19th St ; then turn left onto Interstate 8 Business/S 4th Ave ; continue to follow Interstate 8 Business into California 3.5 mi ; then turn right onto Railroad Ave. You will arrive at the Fort Yuma Indian Hospital. Their administrative building is part of the old Fort Yuma.


If you want to visit the Yuma Crossing. National Heritage Area. Web Page click on the Yuma Crossing. National Heritage Area. Web Page Link. You will leave our web page.

We will start our photos with "old time" photos of Fort Yuma. They are hard to find and their quality is not the best. But that's all there is.


There are many hotels and motels in the Yuma, Arizona area, and if you need a place to stay; Priceline.com can arrange that for you.

We have personally, booked flights, hotels, and vacations; through Priceline.com and we can highly recommend them. Their website is also easy to use!

We personally use the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Yuma. They have free breakfast. Use our IHG Links to contact Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Yuma. No Obligation.

We have some links to Priceline.com on this page since they can arrange all of your air flights, hotels and car.

We of course, appreciate your use of the advertising on our pages, since it helps us to keep our pages active.

Whenever you make a purchase from a link on our page we get credit for that transaction. Again, Thanks!

Mexico Can Be Easily Visited, If You Are In Yuma.
If You Drive Your Car Into Mexico
You Must Have Mexican Auto Insurance!
American Auto Insurance Is Not Recognized By Mexico Law!
You Can Go To Jail, If You Have A Wreck & No Mexican Insurance!
Click On This Link
To Purchase Auto Insurance In Mexico. No Obligation!

Fort Yuma Headquarters.
Near Yuma, Arizona. May 24, 1906.
Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Fort Yuma California.
Near Yuma, Arizona.
Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Lost Howe Pony Truss Bridge. Over The Colorado River
On Southern Pacific Railroad. Near Yuma, Arizona.
Photo Taken: September 30, 1877.
Bridge Destroyed By Flood. July 1, 1884.
Fort Yuma On Hill In Background. Photo Public Domain.
First Train Ever Crossing.
Lost Howe Pony Truss Bridge. Over The Colorado River
On Southern Pacific Railroad. Near Yuma, Arizona.
Photo Taken: September 30, 1877.
Fort Yuma On Hill In Background. Photo Public Domain.
Southern Pacific Railroad Bridge.
Over The Colorado River
On Southern Pacific Railroad.
Near Yuma, Arizona. Photo Courtesy: NPS.
Fort Yuma Can Be Seen Between Trusses On Right.
Yuma Swing Bridge (4th).
Over The Colorado River
On Southern Pacific Railroad.
Near Yuma, Arizona.
Built in 1894-1899. To Replace The Yuma Swing Bridge (3rd)
Replaced In 1923 On New Alignment.
Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Note: Fort Yuma In Background.
Southern Pacific Railroad Bridge.
Over The Colorado River
On Southern Pacific Railroad.
Near Yuma, Arizona. Photo Courtesy: NPS.
Fort Yuma Can Be Seen In Background On Hill.
Old Officers' Kitchen Cottage.
Not An Original Building.
Fort Yuma Was Always Being Rebuilt.
Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Fort Yuma Officers' Quarters.
January 19, 2016.
Fort Yuma Train Depot.
January 19, 2016.
Fort Yuma Old Barracks.
January 19, 2016.
Fort Yuma Train Depot.
January 19, 2016.
Old Officers' Kitchen Cottage.
Fort Yuma. January 19, 2016.
Old Officers' Kitchen Cottage.
Fort Yuma. January 19, 2016.
Saint Thomas Yuma Indian Mission.
Fort Yuma. January 19, 2016.
Statue Honoring
Francis Tomás Hermenogildo Garcés.
At The St. Thomas Indian Mission.
At Fort Yuma. January 19, 2016.
Fort Yuma United Methodist Church.
At Fort Yuma. January 19, 2016.
Fort Yuma United Methodist Church.
At Fort Yuma. January 19, 2016.
Fort Yuma Monument.
At Fort Yuma. January 19, 2016.
Fort Yuma Monument.
At Fort Yuma. January 19, 2016.
Saint Thomas Yuma Indian Mission.
Fort Yuma. January 19, 2016.
Unknown. January 19, 2016.
Bridges From Fort Yuma. January 19, 2016.Bridges From Fort Yuma. January 19, 2016.

Mexico Can Be Easily Visited, If You Are In Yuma.
If You Drive Your Car Into Mexico
You Must Have Mexican Auto Insurance!
American Auto Insurance Is Not Recognized By Mexico Law!
You Can Go To Jail, If You Have A Wreck & No Mexican Insurance!
Click On This Link
To Purchase Auto Insurance In Mexico. No Obligation!


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