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The City Of Yuma Strikes Deal To Continue Operating Territorial Prison And Quartermaster Depot

Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records. History and Archives Division.
Photograph of the guard tower at the Yuma Territorial Prison in Yuma

The City of Yuma will continue to operate two historic parks for the next 15 years after a deal was struck with Arizona State Parks Thursday. There are already long term plans for one of the parks.

For the most part, it’ll be business as usual, at least at the Yuma Territorial Prison, which operates without city or state funds. The Yuma Quartermaster Depot, however, is a different story.

"We’ve determined we want to change the name and in the agreement, it allows us to change the name to the Colorado River State Historic Park, so we can tell the story of the past, present and future of the Colorado River," said Charles Flynn, the Executive Director of the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area.

Yuma has managed both sites since 2010 when the state parks planned to close them due to the recession.

Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls also thinks the agreement is important to Yuma’s history. "People are very familiar with the movie “3:10 to Yuma” and the territorial presence Yuma had. So this helps us tie back to that history. That’s important for us and that’s part of our identity and what makes us unique," Nicholls said.

Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.