Original pen & ink sketch map showing the existing and proposed routes for the railroad line connecting the Southern Pacific Railway in and Inter-California Railway in the area of the Yuma Indian Reservation, covering the eastern portion of the Inter-California Railway,after it re-entered the US from Mexico.
The map was drawn by a draftsman working for the Southern Pacific Railway. It shows two lines, one coming from Pilot Knob, Araz, and the Proposed Townsite for Powell, California, with extensive notes concerning the progress of the railroad.
The map shows a number of contemporary details, including the location of the Yuma Indian Reservation, the boundaryline between California and the Territory, extending from the point where the Gila enters into the Colorado River and tracking the Southern Pacific Line to the west and the "A" Line to the South. One of the more interesting features is the "Proposed Townsite of Powell," a town that may never have come into existence, between Araz and Yuma. Pilot Knob was an early stop on the Butterfield Overland Mail Stage.
The Hanlon Property shown at the bottom of the map was owned by Hall Hanlon (1823-1912). Born in Maryland, Hanlon moved first to New Orleans, then came west during the Gold Rush. He arrived in Yuma in 1854. In about 1856, he opened a general store 2 miles south of Fort Yuma. Later, he successfully claimed a homestead in the land at the northwest intersection of the Colorado River and the California-Mexico border, where he raised cattle and establishd a ferry crossing. The land was sold in March 1903 (for $13,000) to the California Development Company when it began construction of the Imperial Canal.
In March 1874, the Yuma Sentinel notes the Ferry operated by "Hanlon & Bowan, across the Colorado River six miles below Fort Yuma, at the regular crossing of the U.S. Mail Lines. . . " A number of subsequent references to Hanlon appear in the Yuma Sentinel, including a note in February 1891 that Hanlon's house was completely under water as a result of the massive flooding.
A later report noted "Vistors from Andrade, formerly called Hanlon's, says (sic) that the California Development Co. is fencing in the Hanlon ranch and preparng to lay out a townsite. . . ."
Completed between 1902 and 1911, the "Inter-California Railway" line branched from the Southern Pacific's Sunset Route at Niland, CA, to Calexico into Mexicali. It then curved eastward for 50 miles, before re-entering the the U.S. California at Algondones, Mexico, connecting with the Southern Pacific's Sunset Route at Araz Junction, about 5 miles west of Yuma, Arizona. It was this railroad that the Southern Pacific used to block the flood of water into the Imperial Valley that formed the Salton Sea (253' below sea level) in 1911. The line was operated under a lease agreement with the Southern Pacific.