In The News
Yuma’s state parks welcome back visitors this week
Mara Knaub Sun Staff Writer 8 hrs ago
Yuma’s two state parks are welcoming back visitors this week, with the Yuma Territorial Prison reopening today (Monday, June 15) and the Colorado River State Historic Park on Tuesday.
“We would like to take this time to say thank you to everyone for their patience and understanding during these trying times as decisions did not come easy to close the parks in March,” the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area, which oversees the parks, stated in an announcement.
YCNHA said that it continues to monitor Yuma’s COVID-19 numbers, which will allow the organization to determine the safest decision for employees and guests
The Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area is happy to announce the opening of Yuma’s two beloved state parks, the Yuma Territorial Prison on June 15th and the Colorado River State Historic Park on June 16th.
We would like to take this time to say thank you to everyone for their patience and understanding during these trying times as decisions did not come easy to close the parks in March. We are continuing to monitor Yuma’s current COVID-19 numbers, which will allow us to determine the safest decision for our employees and guests.
Reopening of Yuma state parks delayed
By Mara Knaub Sun Staff Writer 4 hrs ago
Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area was gearing up to reopen the Colorado River State Historic Park and Yuma Territorial Prison today, but due to the daily high numbers of COVID-19 positive cases, it has delayed the reopenings.
On Friday, the organization announced that it had “made the difficult decision to postpone the reopenings of the parks for at least another week, or until more data can be reviewed to determine when a more prudent and firm date can be announced.”
“With the numbers rising in Yuma County, we want to continue to keep our employees and guests safe,” spokeswoman Sarah Halligan said.
Watch a program or movie about the Civil War and you’re apt to watch armies lining up and blazing away at each other with cannons and muzzleloading rifles that belch huge clouds of smoke.
You’re not so likely to see what went into setting the stage for those battles – the mapmaking that guided troop movements, the road builders clearing paths for the armies to move forward, the building of pontoon bridges that allowed them to cross wide rivers.
Jeff Blansett wants to introduce you to army engineers, the largely unsung warriors whose labors contributed victory – in the case of North.
In the first month of a fundraising campaign, Yumans have shown that they are invested in their local landmarks.
Last month, Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area kicked off its Giving Tuesday campaign “Be Yuma’s Future by Investing in its Past” with the goal of raising money to restore iconic Yuma landmarks, including the historic Territorial Prison, Colorado River State Historic Park and the East Wetlands.
The goal for the first month was $20,000 with a “long game” target of $100,000. Thanks to donors, the campaign surpassed the first goal and reached the $23,000 mark.
U.S. Sen. Martha McSally of Arizona introduced a bill to the Senate on Thursday that would reauthorize the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area as such for another 15 years.
Otherwise, the YCNHA will sunset on its federal designation at the end of the fiscal year 2021. The YCNHA first received its designation in 2001 and received a five-year extension to its designation in 2014.
“What this does is it gives us funding from the congressional budget that allows us to keep doing what we’re doing,” said Lowell Perry Jr., executive director of the YCNHA. “We hope that it goes through, and it’s supported by both our senators, and it will be critical to what we’re doing. We appreciate the support coming from McSally and Sinema. They clearly recognize the importance.”
On the brink of turning 100 years old, Yuma’s old City Hall is in dire need of repairs. As a reminder of the upcoming milestone, the year “1920” is stamped above the ornate entryway.
Today the building, located at 181 W. 1st St., houses a number of nonprofit groups, including the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area, Visit Yuma, Yuma County Chamber of Commerce, Caballeros de Yuma and United Way.
However, along with celebrating a century of history, the Heritage Area wants to start giving it some tender loving care in the way of repairs.
The legend says that many years ago a little girl in a red dress trying to retrieve her doll from the Colorado River drowned. She now haunts the Yuma Territorial Historic Prison, and if she doesn’t like a visitor or if a person is wearing red, the little girl will pinch the visitor.
Stories like this one have long given the state historic park a reputation as one of the most “haunted” places in the United States. Now it’s official: USA Today readers have voted the historic prison as the “Best Haunted Destination” in the nation.
The Yuma prison faced stiff competition, going up against destinations with sinister-sounding names such as the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston, West Virginia, the Villisca Axe Murder House in Villisca, Iowa, and the Queen Mary, which is docked in Long Beach, California, and has an established reputation as being haunted.