BULLHEAD CITY — The Bullhead City Colorado River Women’s Leadership Council made a stop in Needles on Nov. 13 as part of their A Day of History tour.
The tour highlighted the three areas that had a tremendous impact on the growth and development of the Tri-state area; the Colorado River/Davis Dam, the railroad and the discovery of gold; said Julie Hassett, coordinator of the tour.
Stops included Davis Camp and petroglyphs, Davis Dam and the Golden Vertex Mine.
“The program is for people who want to be more involved in the community, people who are leaders in the community and want to make a difference in their community,” said Hassett.
Hasset said the program encompasses one full day every month on different topics. “The days that we coordinate range from history to tourism; media and how to use it for your organization or business; government and public safety,” said Hassett. “There are a lot of components to it so they can learn about the community and it is all overseen by Norma Brummett, the coordinator for the Bullhead City Colorado River Women’s Leadership Council.”
The tour had lunch at the Wagon Wheel Restaurant in Needles where Patrick Martinez, city of Needles development director and Rainie Torrence of the city addressed the council.
Martinez talked a little bit about the history of the city.
“We consider ourselves East California and as you know the borders were changed in 1863 and we now are located here,” said Martinez. “We were founded by the railroads: Topeka Railroad and Santa Fe. In 1882 we were founded as a city so we have lots of history. From the 1920s to the ’70s, the city saw lots of Route 66 travel coming through here.”
Martinez said that the city has created a policy to take advantage of the cheap energy.
“Davis Dam provides us with 9 cents per kilowatt charge and we are our own power utility company,” said Martinez. “We are able to capitalize on that competitive advantage and really capitalize on the cannabis industry here in the city of Needles. It’s actually brought up our property values. We had the second-highest growth in property values in the county last year, which was a 32 percent increase.”
Torrence talked a little about the water entitlements for the city.
“The city has both present and perfected water rights that date back to 1885,” said Torrence. “They even have entitlements that they purchased from BNSF that date back to 1896 and the steam engine rights.”
Jan Jernigan, Needles Downtown Business Alliance President, addressed the council.
“If you go down to Santa Fe Park we did the Route 66 sign, we did the Route 66 Wayside Rest Stop that’s on the way to Laughlin.”
Their last stop in Needles was a tour of the El Garces.
Hasset said that when she coordinates A Day of History she always makes Needles a stop because there is so much history in the city.