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Yuma in Yuma County, Arizona — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Main Cellblock

Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park

 
 
Main Cellblock Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 14, 2014
1. Main Cellblock Marker
Inscription.  The main cellblock was built to house up to 204 prisoners, but at times the Superintendent's report stated that up to 240 prisoners were kept here. Each cell was approximately 9 foot X 12 foot and could hold six prisoners. When space became limited, the more trusted prisoners would sleep in the hallways. Cells were constructed of strap iron and granite rock, which was plastered and whitewashed. The iron was shipped in from California via steamboat, but the granite was quarried by prisoners on site. Originally, the cellblock was completely enclosed and not exposed to the elements as it appears today. One of the earliest electrical generating plants in the West furnished power for lights and a ventilation system in the cellblock.

In 1902, a hospital was constructed on top of the main cellblock. This well supplied facility contained a dispensary, a doctor's office, operating room, attendant's room, bathroom with flushing toilets, and a consumptive ward. It wasn't uncommon for prisoners from other institutions to be sent to the Territorial Prison at Yuma to recuperate their health.
 
Erected by Arizona
Marker detail: Post Abandonment Photo image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Post Abandonment Photo
(Main cellblock with hospital atop in background)
State Parks.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureLaw EnforcementScience & Medicine.
 
Location. 32° 43.617′ N, 114° 36.899′ W. Marker is in Yuma, Arizona, in Yuma County. Marker can be reached from Prison Hill Road half a mile north of Harold C. Giss Parkway. Marker is located in Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park, overlooking the subject cellblock. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 220 Prison Hill Road, Yuma AZ 85364, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Yuma Territorial Prison (a few steps from this marker); Prison Labor (within shouting distance of this marker); Incorrigible Ward (within shouting distance of this marker); Yuma East Wetlands (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Yuma East Wetlands (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Yuma East Wetlands Today (about 300 feet away); Ocean-to-Ocean Highway Bridge (about 300 feet away); View of the Prison from Across the River (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Yuma.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park
 
Also see . . .  History of Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park
Main Cellblock Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 14, 2014
3. Main Cellblock Marker
. Ground was broken on April 28, 1876, and some of the prisoners were pressed into service to build their cells. The first seven inmates moved into the facility on July 1, 1876. The Prison continued in operation for 33 years when, due to overcrowding, all inmates were moved to a new facility in Florence, Arizona. (Submitted on October 20, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Main Cellblock Door image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 14, 2014
4. Main Cellblock Door
Original Iron Bunkbeds image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 14, 2014
5. Original Iron Bunkbeds
These bunkbeds were made in Oct 1901
This change from the old wooden bunks became necessary in order to rid the Cell House of bed bugs which had become an intolerable nuisance.
Herbert Brown, Superintendent, 1901
Main Cellblock (<i>northwest corner view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 14, 2014
6. Main Cellblock (northwest corner view)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 20, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 19, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 66 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on October 20, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
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Mar. 6, 2021