Yuma Local Customs

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Most Recent Local Customs in Yuma

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    Dam that river

    by Paisleypaul Written Dec 21, 2014

    The history of Yuma in the early days was one of trial due to the frewuent flooding of the Colorado river and its effects on human infrastructure and native species

    The damming of the Colorado saved the day and allowed Yuma to develop into the third largest cente of population in Arizona

    For the full story, go the yuma Prison Stae national Park - see my separate tip

    For the condensed version see teh thre snaps below and zoom in to read ! !

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    Halloween

    by Basaic Updated Nov 15, 2014

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    I was visiting Yuma during Halloween and learned that all the businesses on Main Street; including the Yuma Art Center, had advertised that they were giving candy to the kids during business hours. I think it was very cool that they were providing a safe environment for the kids to trick or treat and the many cute little princesses, super heroes, ballerinas, and other costumed kids provided an extra, unexpected treat to my visit to Main Street. Some of the merchants got into the act too. This guy had an interesting costume and I liked the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

    Halloween Halloween
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    Anza and Palma

    by mht_in_la Updated Apr 15, 2004

    Yuma's history is all about crossing the Colorado River. The first recorded river crossing by the Westerners took place in 1775, when Spanish colonizing expedition lead by Juan Bautista de Anza successfully crossed the Colorado River with the help from Chief Olleyquotequiebe, or "Palma" as called by Anza, of the local Quechan tribe who controlled the crossing. After the crossing Anza pressed on to San Francisco and San Jose and established Spain's "new world empire". The route he used is now called the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail. Since then, this area changed hands many times from Spain to Mexico and finally the United States.

    The photo attached was re-produced from an outdoor exhibit in Yuma Crossing state park illustrating the 1775 crossing.

    Crossing the Colorado River
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    What did they use a bell for?

    by matcrazy1 Updated Aug 15, 2003

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    This bell displayed in Yuma Territorial prison, as on my picture, was used for... I don't know.
    Probably it was a church bell used to announce a sunday mass as the prisoners were allowed to join the mass in a prison. Is my theory wrong?

    BELL
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    What did they do in a prison?

    by matcrazy1 Written Aug 15, 2003

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    First of all they were working - they built their cells themselves, they built a tank for water, guard tower and other facilities. You can see tools they used to work displayed in an opened cell as on my picture.

    Prisoners had free time during which they hand-crafted many items to be sold at public bazaars held at the prison on Sundays after church services.

    PRISONER'S  TOOLS
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    Iron bars

    by matcrazy1 Written Aug 15, 2003

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    Iron bars in Yuma Territorial Prison were made of quite thick and wide pieces of iron. Not so easy to cut and damage, I am sure. But they were fixed one to another with rivets, so... :-))).

    IRON  BARS
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    What did they use barrels for?

    by matcrazy1 Updated Aug 15, 2003

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    Did they use barrels to store wine/beer in Yuma Territorial Prison? Hmm... rather not. Prisoners were surely not allowed to drink it. Guards? Who knows, although they would die after drinking more booze in hot, hot, hot summer (over 100F usually).
    So? They used barrels to store water for drinking and washing, I suppose.

    BARREL
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    Who were prisoners?

    by matcrazy1 Written Aug 15, 2003

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    Their crimes ranged from murder to polygamy, with grand larceny being the most common. A majority served only portions of their sentences due to the ease with which paroles and pardons were obtained.

    YUMA  TERRITORIAL  PRISON
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    One more wheel

    by matcrazy1 Written Aug 15, 2003

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    This is a wheel of a carriage used to transport prisoners to/from Yuma Territorial Prison. Doesn't it look a little more modern than the previous one? Painted in yellow? Hmm... it doesn't look so old.

    WHEEL
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    Original iron bunkbeds

    by matcrazy1 Written Aug 15, 2003

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    These bunkbeds in Yuma Territorial Prison as on my picture were made in October 1901.

    "This change from the old wooden became necessary in order to rid the Cell House of bed bugs which had become an intorelable nuisance"
    Herbert Brown, Superintendent 1901.

    Hmm... I preffered my King size bed in Yuma Inn Motel :-).

    IRON  BUNKBED
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    Education for prisoners

    by matcrazy1 Written Aug 15, 2003

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    Schooling was available for convicts, and many learned to read and write in here in prison. The prison housed one of the first "public" libraries in the territory, and the fee charged to visitors for a tour of the institution was used to purchase books.
    No wonder you can see some old books inside cells nowadays.

    SHELF...  FOR  BOOKS  INSIDE  A  CELL
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    If you have looong and thin hands...

    by matcrazy1 Updated Aug 15, 2003

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    Cells' grades are locked with padlocks. The padlocks are located enough outside the cell the prisoner not to be able to try to unlock it. Am I wrong? Hmm... if you have loooong and very thin hands...

    CELL'S  LOCK
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    What a wheel!

    by matcrazy1 Updated Aug 15, 2003

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    You can see wheels as on my picture and the whole old... carriages (?is it correct name, how do you call it in English?) in Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park.
    They are, as you can see, made of wood with external layer (how do you call it in English?)made of metal (iron?).
    Not so easy to fix a wheel-clamp to it, am I wrong? :-)

    OLD WHEEL
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    Water for elictricity?

    by matcrazy1 Written Aug 15, 2003

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    All water for the Yuma Territorial Prison came from the Colorado River. Inmates dug a network of tunnels at the base of the hill which would fill with river water. From there water was pumped up into 85,000 gallon granite-walled tank, also inmate construction.
    In 1893, after continual pump breakdowns, prison officials and Yuma Water and Light came to an agreement:
    water was piped to the prison in exchange for electricity produced by the prison's electric dynamo. Good deal? hehe.

    COLORADO  RIVER
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    Commercials in sky :-)

    by matcrazy1 Written Aug 15, 2003

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    There are a lot of commercials "in sky" = on tall poles in the USA and surely in Yuma as well - just to be well seen from far distance while driving. Look at Yuma Inn Motel commercial in my picture.

    The same in most European countries, btw does this idea derive from the USA? I think so.

    YUMA  INN  MOTEL  COMMERCIAL
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