Thanks for taking time to read my blog on my travel to southern USA. This post is a bit longer than most of my other posts. If you missed my story on our visit to San Diego, you’ll have to go the archives of my blog. It was a great visit but then, we had to get going after 4 full days visiting the San Diego area.
Direction: Yuma , Arizona. I was curious about this town as I only knew the name. The drive from San Diego was not very long. 173miles/277 km. Nothing really interesting to see . Only the highway. In one area, we could see some fields with green crop. I am not really sure what it is but it needs good watering as weather gets really hot there from May to October.
One thing was a bit strange for me was to see the fence between the USA and Mexico. We were quite close to the border as we were driving. We could see the fence easily. I never really knew about it but now I know it is real. If you are curious about it, it is very easy to see more photos. You can just google : fence border USA Mexico and look at the photos. The U.S. states along the border, from west to east, are California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. The United States has 5,525 miles of border with Canada and 1,989 miles with Mexico. My photos are not very good as we didn’t stop but I will post one here in order to give you an idea. The steel fence is about 18 foot high.
We organized to spend a full day in Yuma . We visited the Yuma Territorial Sate Historic Park. On July 1, 1876, the first seven inmates entered the Territorial Prison at Yuma and were locked into the new cells they had built themselves. The complex of buildings was a prison until 1909. A total of 3,069 prisoners, including 29 women, lived within these walls during the prison’s thirty-three years of operation. 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. One hundred eleven persons died while serving their sentences, most from tuberculosis, which was common throughout the territory. Of the many prisoners who attempted escape, twenty-six were successful, but only two were from within the prison confines.
By 1907, the prison was severely overcrowded, and there was no room on Prison Hill for expansion. The convicts constructed a new facility in Florence, Arizona.
Let’s say the visit teaches you one or two things. People had different reasons to go to jail. Some didn’t stay as long as the sentence they were given. Some women spent time in that jail . Now , there are jails just for women ! The Bandit Queen, Pearl Hart, had quite a story ! One thing is sure , you can “enjoy” the visit but you would not like to be there as a prisoner.
In Yuma, we also visited the Saguinetti House museum and gardens. Home of pioneer merchant Eugene Francis Sanguinetti. Born in California in 1867, he came to Yuma at age 15, penniless, but quickly became a civic-minded businessman whose various enterprises such as electricity, ice house, ranching, farming, merchandising, banking, real estate- advanced his own well-being and that of he community he loved. It was interesting as our guide made it really fun and because we were just a group of 4 we could ask all the questions we wanted. We learned about ghost towns of the area and also about Mr. Sanguinetti ‘s story. The house was small but they added rooms as they needed more space for their family. Always fun to see how people lived before we were born.
We had a nice dinner on Main street. We had enough time to see what was interesting in Yuma. We had time to walk along the Colorado river and relax. Yuma is not so famous but you probably heard about the movie 3:10 to Yuma . I haven’t seen it yet. The next day, we were ready to keep going on our adventure. Arizona has plenty of great places to discover….
Thanks again for reading.