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Cities Neighboring Yuma
- Fortuna Foothills
- San Luis Rio Colorado
- Los Algodones
Native American tribes first settled in the Yuma area over 500 years ago; today, descendants of these early settlers now reside within the Quechan and Cocopah reservations. In the mid-1500s, two visionaries, Hernando de Alarcon and Melchior Diaz, visited Yuma’s territory and quickly recognized the narrowness of the Colorado River, just under 1,000 feet across, making it the ideal place to build a bridge and city.
The city was originally known as Fort Yuma, then as Colorado City, and though it lay on the Arizona side (at the time Arizona was part of the New Mexico Territory), the new town was claimed by the jurisdiction of California and taxes were collected by San Diego County. In 1858, the town was renamed to Arizona City, but after the Great Flood of 1862 nearly wiped the entire town out, it was rebuilt on higher ground and in 1873 it was renamed, yet again, to Yuma.
In 1877, the Southern Pacific Railroad bridged the river. Throughout the latter 1800s and early 1900s, Yuma served as the main crossing into California. Yuma was a main stop for steamboats travelling up and down the river, helping the city to thrive.
Yuma is located in southwestern Arizona in close proximity to the California and Mexico borders. The city is 106.7 square miles (276 km2) of land and just .07 percent water. The Pacific Ocean’s Gulf of California and Sea of Cortez is an estimated 60 miles away.
2000 U.S. Census Population: 77,515
68.3% White (49.8% Non-Hispanic White Alone)
45.7% Hispanics or Latinos
3.2% Black or African American
1.5% American Indian and Alaskan Native
0.2% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander
Per capita income: $18,393 (2006 U.S. Census)
Median household income: $39,885 (2006 U.S. Census)
Leading industries: military, healthcare, education, agriculture, government
Yuma Parks & Recreation
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