Yuma is located in the Southwestern corner of Arizona near the borders of California, Sonora, Mexico, and Baja California, Mexico.
Yuma's history dates back to 1540 when Hernando de Alarcon, the Spanish explorer, became the first white man to see the site of the present day City of Yuma. From 1540 to 1854, Yuma was under the flags of Spain and Mexico, but in 1854 became a territorial possession of the United States through the Gadsden Purchase. In the 1850's, Yuma became the major river crossing of the California gold seekers. From the 1850s to the 1870s, steamboats on the Colorado River transported passengers and goods to mines, ranches and military outposts in the area, serving the ports of Yuma, Laguna, Castle Dome, and others.
In its early years, Yuma was identified by several names. From 1854 until 1858, Yuma was known as Colorado City, from 1858 until 1873, it was named Arizona City. Yuma received its present name by the Territorial Legislature in 1873.
The City and County were named for the original inhabitants, the Yumas. The Yumas were a combination of Indian tribes of the lower Colorado Region, which consisted of the Quechans, Cocopahs, and the Mohaves; these tribes were bound by being members of one linguistic group.
Yuma is rich in the history of the old West; mountain men, Fort Yuma Soldiers, river men, railroaders, and the inmates of the infamous Yuma Territorial Prison made Yuma's history unforgettable.
Yuma is the third fastest growing area in the country for the period 1990 - 2000, behind Las Vegas, Nevada and Naples, Florida with a growth rate of 49.7% and is also Arizona's third largest metropolitan area, behind Phoenix and Tucson.
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