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Enjoy your history ala mode at park pie shop
YUMA, ARIZONA - The grassy grounds of Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park are a great place to get a glimpse into this river town's rich history - and now you can delve deeper through two new programs that showcase different facets of that story.
Every Wednesday and Saturday from now through March, the park will offer an 11 a.m.guided walking tour and a 2 p.m. slide show conducted by park historian Tammy Snook.
The 11 a.m. walking tour features the five remaining buildings of the historic Army depot that supplied all the forts in the Southwest from from the 1860s through the 1880s using steamboats and giant freight wagons pulled by 20-mule teams.
The 2 p.m. slide show will focus on the next phase in the site's history with a program titled "Past, Present, and Future: Depending Upon the Colorado River" that tells how the brand-new Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) changed the face of the West from the same site.
From its headquarters in two of the old depot buildings, BOR directed the Yuma Project, which included construction of Laguna Dam and the creation of the Colorado River Siphon and the Yuma Main Canal. BOR's first major undertaking, the Yuma Project brought irrigation water to the Yuma Valley on a massive scale and allowed the desert to bloom.
Telling the story of the Colorado River is part of a new master plan for the park, and also is reflected in a new Storehouse building exhibit entitled "Dams of the Colorado River." Just unveiled, the exhibit uses large-scale banners to detail efforts to tame and manage the river, preventing flooding, ensuring water supplies, and generating hydropower. Each dam on the Colorado is detailed, from the 1909 Laguna Dam (see above) to the Glen Canyon Dam, completed in 1968 amid rising environmental concerns.
Those who want to take in both programs on the same day can refuel with light lunch and dessert offerings at the park's charming Back in Time Pie Shoppe, open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.daily through the winter months. Now under the management of Eva Gaxiola, who operated a tea shop in Claremont, Calif., for many years with her late husband, John Roblas, the pie shop is again offering specials and activities every weekday, including Mommy and Me Mondays, tea-themed bingo-style "Teago" games on Wednesdays and classic lawn games like croquet on Thursdays. A special card allows pie shop customers free park admission for their return visits. For shop info and reservations, call 323-2034.
The walking tour and the slide show are included in the park's standard entrance fee of $2 for those 14 and older, $1 for youth 7 to 13, and free for kids age 6 and younger. Admission to the park is free every Sunday, when it hosts Sunrise Farmers Market.
Since Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area took over management of the Quartermaster Depot from Arizona State Parks in 2009, it has completed a variety of major improvement projects, including restoration of historic adobe buildings, replacement of roofs, and the creation of new exhibits on the Yuma Siphon and the East Wetlands environmental restoration. In addition, the Yuma Visitors Bureau's Visitors Information Center was integrated into the park, a synergistic move that increased visitation for both. For more info or to schedule group tour or program, contact Tammy Snook at (928) 783-0071.
Yuma Visitors Bureau markets the Yuma area within the travel and tourism industry and to the general public. Yuma's population nearly doubles in the winter months, thanks to more than 23,000 spots in RV parks and resorts. The community also offers nearly 4,300 hotel rooms, conference and meeting facilities, and three casinos. Recognized by Guinness World Records as world's sunniest spot, Yuma offered free meals to hotel guests "every day the sun doesn't shine" from Aug. 1, 2011 until July 31, 2012 as part of Arizona's Centennial celebration. Yuma's final score? Sunshine 365, Gloom 0.
The Yuma Visitors Bureau is always happy to assist members of print, digital and broadcast media, either on assignment or pitching an idea with a Yuma angle.
Media Relations Specialist Ann Walker can suggest itineraries and facilitate visits, or provide you with the inspired details to help nail down an assignment. We pride ourselves on always going "above and beyond."
You can download background and "anytime" materials below; dated press releases appear "most recent first" at left. Call or email us for photos and B-roll video.
YVB periodically hosts group and individual press trips, and is glad to partner with other Arizona or California DMOs to coordinate a visit to several regions.
For more information, contact Ann Walker at 928-376-0100 (office), 928-210-9044 (cell) or email email@example.com. Thanks for your interest in the Yuma area.