Early missions were built in the area by Fathers Eusebio Kino and F. T. H. Garcés; however, settlement did not occur until after Fort Yuma was built (1850) to protect overlanders on the route to California. After 1858, Yuma was a river port and the center of a gold-mining boom. Points of interest in the area include Fort Yuma (on the west bank of the river), the territorial prison (built 1875; now a museum), St. Thomas Mission (16th cent.), three dams on the Colorado River, and the California sand dunes.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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