The area's first settlers were Native American tribes whose descendants now
occupy the Cocopah and Quechan reservations. In 1540, expeditions under
Hernando de Alarcon and Melchior Diaz visited the area and immediately saw the
natural crossing of the Colorado River as an ideal spot for a city, as the
Colorado River narrows to slightly under 1,000 feet wide in one small point.
Later military expeditions that crossed the Colorado River at the Yuma Crossing
include Juan Bautista de Anza (1774), the Mormon Battalion (1848) and the
California Column (1862).
Following the establishment of Fort Yuma, a town sprang up