Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park, was used by the US Army to store and distribute supplies for all the military posts in Arizona, and in some areas 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. Supplies were sent from California by ocean boats 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, Arizona. 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 the end of the Quartermaster Depot. Trains could ship supplies much faster and cheaper than by water and freight wagons, and the depot was no longer was needed inYuma. The depot’s functions were moved to Fort Lowell 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.
The park is open daily until May 31, 2013. You may tour the park grounds from 9 am to 4:30 pm.
Contact the Park:
Yuma Quartermaster Depot SHP
201 N. 4th Avenue
Yuma, AZ 85364