Pivot Point Plaza
The outdoor exhibit area opened in 2010 where Madison Avenue meets the river, the exact site where the first railroad train entered Arizona in 1877. It's hard to miss, since a very real steam locomotive sits on the original track alignment. But as kids clamber over the 1907 Baldwin locomotive, a 21st-century audio system recreates the sounds of a passing steamboat, the swing-span rail bridge cranking open and the arrival of a train at the old Southern Pacific Hotel. The plaza preserves one of the few remaining artifacts of the original rail line, the concrete pivot on which the rail bridge turned to allow boats to pass. Colorful panels that explain the importance of the Yuma Crossing National Historic Landmark.
A stroll around the plaza is a walk through local history, sprinkled with lots of fascinating photographs and interesting stories about the Yuma Territorial Prison, Fort Yuma, the Ocean-to-Ocean Highway Bridge, the rope ferry, the Quechan Tribe, the Southern Pacific Hotel and more. The multi-use pathway system along the riverfront connects to Pivot Point, plus there's a pedestrian link to Gateway Park. Bring a picnic and enjoy the view.
Did you know the first European explorers "discovered" Yuma 80 years before the Pilgrims set foot on Plymouth Rock? In the years before dams were built, this was the safest place to cross the mighty Colorado River for hundreds of miles, putting Yuma at the crossroads of history.Read More