Quartermaster Depot in Yuma

1-29-13 Tuesday was another beautiful morning. The sun was shining and no breeze at all. It seems the only rut we have been in is our morning routine of breakfast followed by a good walk with Jack and a bike ride. But I think we can live with that rut if there has to be one LOL!!

About 10 we decides to go back to old down town again to attend a farmers market before heading to the Quartermaster Depot State Historical Park.


The market opens at 6am every Tuesday starting in Dec. I think and runs through March. By the time we got there it was already full of people and the taco and brauts booths were going full bore.

We had imagined there would be more vegetable and fresh fruit stands but there really was only a couple. But they had some great prices. Most of the booths consisted of clothing, jewelry and trinkets and other hand crafted items along with a couple things like glass cutters and of course the strongest glue on earth,,,, wait,,, didn’t the guy at the other open air market claim he had the strongest glue on earth??!!?? Hmmmmm,,, I’m confused LOL!!

Diane looked at a few things but neither of us bought anything.

Then it was time for the short drive to the Quartermaster Depot. And when we got there we realized the Alcatraz Traveling Museum was also there!! A nice added treat.

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Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park

, site of the Yuma Quartermaster Depot, was used by the US Army to store and distribute supplies for all the military posts in Arizona, as well as posts in Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and Texas. A six-month supply of clothing, food, ammunition, and other goods was kept at the depot at all times. The supplies were brought from California by ocean vessels traveling around the Baja Peninsula to Port Isabel near the mouth of the Colorado River. There, cargos were transferred to river steamers and brought upstream to Yuma. 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 depot quartered up to 900 mules and a crew of teamsters to handle them


The Southern Pacific Railroad reached Yuma in 1877 and heralded the end of the Quartermaster Depot and Fort Yuma. Trains could ship supplies much faster and cheaper than the Army could by water and freight wagons, and the depot was no longer needed in Yuma. When the railroad reached Tucson, the depot’s functions were moved to Fort Lowell (in Tucson) and the depot officially closed in 1883.

In the early 1870s, the Signal Corps had moved into a portion of the quartermaster’s office and established a telegraph and weather station. After the supply depot was terminated by the Army in 1883, the Signal Corps remained on site until 1891. In that year, the Weather Bureau became a separate agency from the Signal Corps. Civilian employees of the Weather Bureau then lived in the quartermaster’s office until 1949.

In 1902, the commanding officer’s quarters were acquired by the U.S. Customs Service. The Bureau of Reclamation, the Boundary Commission, the Yuma County Water Users Association, and the Assistance League of Yuma have also utilized portions of the old depot during the twentieth century.


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The Alcatraz museum was pretty good as well. It had about 3000 sqft of exhibits. It was interesting to see just how much Hollywood has butchered the truth.

While walking around we kept passing signs with a finger pointing to a over 100 year old building where the Back In Time Pie Shop was serving the GREATEST PIES IN YUMA!!! Well with a statement like that we just HAD to check it out,,, didn’t we???? Of course we did!!


After our pie and coffee we headed back home. It was time to feed Jack AND it was margarita and taco night so we HAD to take advantage of that as well. The tacos were pretty good and the margaritas were good as well except the glasses they were served in were deceiving. There sure wasn’t much in them. I wanted to switch to beer but Diane had enough for the day so we headed home.

Once home I decided to address a squeaking noise our front gas furnace had developed. It had been bothering me for a few weeks now but I have never gotten around to looking at it. And we have not used it much and when we do it’s always very early morning when I didn’t feel like getting the tools out. But once I tore it apart and put a shim hear and a shim there I defeated the problem.

But I wasn’t ready to call it a day yet so I threw on by swim trunks and headed to the hot tub while Diane opted to stay home and watch tv. The kidney shaped hot tub here is huge and very nice. There were only about 4 people there when I arrived but sometime while chatting it up with a bunch of Canadians about 14 others had slid in. I think they were all Canadians,,, the Americans are certainly outnumbered by Canadians in this park anyway.

After about a hour in the hot tub I headed home,, showered and chilled.

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One Response to Quartermaster Depot in Yuma

  1. Bob Palmer says:

    Karen and I are really enjoying following your adventures. It’s nice to get educated on all the places you to are visiting. This is perfect for when I pull the plug. We can just draft behind you to save fuel and have expert guides upon arrival at all these cool destinations. LOL. Looking forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks. Bob & Karen.

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