Colorado River State Historic Park

The Yuma Quartermaster Depot was in operation from 1864 to 1883. The Colorado River State Historic Park preserves the Commanding Officer's Quarters and the Supply Depot. This site is inside the city of Yuma.

The Yuma Quartermaster Depot is where the US Army stored supplies for distribution to all the military posts in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and West Texas. The depot always had a six-month supply of guns, ammunition, clothing, food and other supplies on hand. Most of these supplies came up the Colorado River via river steamer from Port Isabel, on the Gulf of California, after being shipped from California on freighters that sailed all the way around the Baja Peninsula. The supplies were docked just west of the commanding officer's quarters near the stone reservoir. Then they were hauled up from the river dock to the center of the storehouse on a track.

The Yuma Quartermaster Depot kept up to 900 mules and a crew of teamsters to move some of the supplies overland. Other supplies were shipped up the Colorado River on steamers. In 1877, the Southern Pacific Railroad reached Yuma and the end of the Depot was in sight. When the railroad reached Tucson in 1880, the Quartermaster's functions were moved to Fort Lowell. The Yuma supply depot was decommissioned by the Army in 1883 and the steam engines, pumps and other equipment were then shipped to Fort Lowell. The Signal Corps remained here operating a telegraph and weather station until 1891. After that, the National Weather Service had an office at the depot until 1949.

Looking across a large grass lawn to the structures of the Warehouse at the Yuma Quartermaster Depot
The Warehouse at the Yuma Quartermaster Depot
Yuma area map

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Map courtesy of National Geographic Topo!