At the end of the Gila Trail, Main Street has always been the heart of “old Yuma.” In 1849, more than 60,000 California-bound gold-seekers followed this path to the rope ferry across the Colorado River. But being so close to the river, downtown often flooded and its adobe buildings melted back into mud. Because the last “big one” was in 1916, most Main Street buildings now date from the 1920s.
Today, Yuma’s historic downtown offers a wide variety of shopping, dining and entertainment – please patronize our YVB members as you explore and enjoy the whole North End area. (Photo above by Nels Akerlund used by permission).
Want to know more about downtown history? Try a tour – on foot, aboard a trolley or even ghostly versions that take place in the dark. All tours begin at Sanguinetti House Museum, 240 S. Madison Ave., 782.1841, and include admission to the historic home and gardens of E.F. Sanguinetti, one of Yuma’s business pioneers.
The Historic Yuma Theatre, originally built in 1911, was a vaudeville theater before it was converted to a movie house. Now restored, it serves as the centerpiece of the Yuma Art Center (254 S. Main St., 373-5202) and hosts a variety of shows. Don't miss the Art Deco murals in the theater and cast plaster bas-relief in the lobby, which date from a Depression-era renovation.
The Art Center also offers classes for children, youth and adults, and provides space and support for a number of arts organizations. Yuma Fine Arts Association (329-6607), curates the main galleries and operates a gift shop featuring work by local artists. North End Artists Co-op members demonstrate their work 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays at the United Building (on sale through the Art Center other days, hours).
Main Street’s also the perfect venue for old-fashioned street fairs and festivals – for details, check our events calendar or call Heritage Festivals at 373.5028.
A farmers' market held every Tuesday through the winter benefits Crossroads Mission, info at 425-941-5030.