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Palo Verde Valley Blythe/Quartzsite Times | Blythe, California and Quartzsite, Arizona

home : features : features December 17, 2014


5/16/2013 5:00:00 PM
Residents worry Palo Verde may become a ghost town

Jeanette Hyduke
Palo Verde People


PALO VERDE - The community and residents of Palo Verde are crying for help as their once busy town was the high spot of the Palo Verde Valley.

Palo Verde had its beginnings in the '30s and grew to become a town filled with a number of businesses and a town that was alive with activity.

Now the town has become almost a ghost town where businesses are concerned. At this time there is only one store and gas station and a café.

In the '50s and '70s there were three restaurants, four gas stations, a nightclub across the lagoon, several beauty shops, a market complete with butcher shop and two bait and tackle shops.

What happened? No one is really sure.

Until 1965 there was no through road to El Centro or Yuma. Folks had to travel the old road, which was sometimes dangerous to get to either of these areas. However, the town still flourished.

Some think when the feed lots left, it hurt the town, however, since the road was opened to Yuma and El Centro and the Imperial Valleys, having the feed yards close should not have made that much difference as now we have hundreds of trucks and hundreds of vehicles traveling through town on Highway 78, which should make Palo Verde a booming town.

Lora Jean White believes change will come and it will be even better if outsiders become aware of the small town's potential.

"The Lagoon Lodge and other businesses attracted many in the past, and perhaps the old folks have died off and new blood is required to pep up the town and create the atmosphere the town used to have," she said.

Young people are beginning to come to town now as Palo Verde is known to have the best fishing in Southern California and it is a town where people can enjoy water sports, the lagoon and privacy.

"Hopefully we can interest new businesses to come to Palo Verde as the business is here," said Josh Garcia, a longtime resident. "We need someone to develop the town once again

Fort Gaston Historical Society and Museum held their last meeting for the season last week. There will be no meetings until September.

It was announced at the meeting that the Veterans of Foreign Wars, in Blythe donated a new flag to the town. It flies at the museum.

This was quite a donation as flags cost over $100 each.

Another donation was made by Dan Garin when he paid the Blythe Area Chamber of Commerce their fees for the year.

Another donation was given to the Society by Ted Stortz, who was in charge of the estate sale at the post office building. He will also be donating the money from an estate sale this week.

The Soroptimist International of Blythe is also making a donation to the Society and will present the check to the board members at a barbecue dinner to be held at the Church of Christ May 21. Other donations have been promised to the Society, which will aid a floundering organization due to a lack of funds to pay their mortgage, taxes and other expenses that keep the museum from gong under.

The Historical Society members have worked hard to collect and find a building to house the history of the small town.

The museum will be closed after Memorial Day for the summer. More members are needed and all are welcome.

The board members are: Lavina Brandsma, Dan Garin, Irene Tokarz, June Hamilton, Mary Lou Stansell and Jeanette Hyduke.

For those who did not receive their monthly commodities this month, call Kathy Broadwell at 760-854-0054. There will be a change as to where you can pick these commodities up next month.

The Mother's Day breakfast was held recently and was well attended.

Some of the organizations will be planning events during the Memorial Day weekend. We will keep you posted on this.

The Palo Verde County Water District office manager Kathy Frice announced this week that the solar project proposed for the Water District building should be started soon. She also said that the sewer project is progressing slowly and could not be ready for several years, which is not good news to home owners.

Fishing has been holding steady as the cool weather continues. Mary Anderson, caught a 10 pound catfish last week. She uses dough balls.


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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Article comment by: ideas only

If we embrace the ghost town title will we have more visitors than we currently have. I suggest we start a rumor that ghosts are running wild and have taken over our town. Maybe a reality show or the worlds largest Halloween party in the making?

Posted: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Article comment by: Ru Armendariz

I thought Palo Verde was already a ghost town.

Posted: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Article comment by: Clark Wayan

@Loner Stoner, I was unaware another club opened up in Palo Verde??? The Gun and Skeeter Club sounds like it might have a chance in a dying town. Not sure what events or functions they'll have, but hey, I'm sold! Where do I seek Membership?? (in case you are wondering, yes, that's sarcasm, becasue you clearly have no idea what's going on in Palo Verde!)

As for the Million Dollar question.. that's redundent. Everyone KNOWS what happened! The town is dying, because the old folk are dying! All the properties were bought by Elouise, (deleted)_To open a place up, would require bringing everything up to code, where it was originally Grandfathered in.

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement.

Posted: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Article comment by: To M R

I think Palo Verde will remain longer than 30 years due to the farming around the area. Now I doubt it will grow cause Blythe cant even grow but I think it will remain a small town. Now if we run out of water it will be gone.

Posted: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Article comment by: Loner Stoner

Instant boom to Palo Verde's economy would be to open a medical marijuana dispensary and In-n-Out. Why not? I guess the gun and skeeter club prolly wouldn't approve. Yes, ghost town IT IS!

Posted: Monday, May 20, 2013
Article comment by: M R

My opinion/insight: People have to have a reason to move to a town. What industry is there in Palo Verde, what opportunity? There is none. What is there to do for young people? Not much. People don't just move out into the middle of the desert for no good reason. If anyone is clueless as to why the town is shrinking, they really need to move somewhere else for a while in order to get an outsider's perspective. Too many people want both Palo Verde and Blythe to remain small, but they don't want to face the consequences of a small town. Towns must grow or face extinction this is just the evolutionary cycle of a city. I don't think Palo Verde will last another 30 years, because it's well past the point of no return.



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