Southwest Stories: Finding Felicity (and Yuma)


One of my favorite places on the planet is Felicity, California. Located in the Colorado Desert (actually, it could be in the Yuha Desert - it's hard to know where that one starts and stops), just west of Yuma, Arizona and the Colorado River, and close to Los Algodones and the Mexican border, Felicity is one of the most fascinating towns I've ever visited.

The town is owned by Jacques-Andre Istel and his wife Felicia, for whom the town is named. It has been officially designated as the official center of the world, a designation that has its roots in a children's book Jacques authored years ago, where a dragon lives at the center of the world in a pyramid. Yes, of course, there is a pyramid here. And a church on the hill. The hill wasn't there before Jacques arrived.

But my favorite thing about Felicity, outside of its two remarkable founders, is that it is home to the fantastic Museum of History in Granite. This is an ever-expanding outdoor museum with its exhibits inscribed into granite panels. There is the History of Humanity, the History of the United States of America, the History of Arizona, as well as California, the History of French Aviation, the Foreign Legion, a U.S. Marine Corps Korean War memorial, the Felicity Stone, the Hall of Fame of Parachuting (Jacques is known as the Godfather of Skydiving), and The Wall for the Ages, where you can have your own personal history etched in granite for the ages to come. A new section, Animals of the World, is opening in February, 2019.

In this episode of Southwest Stories, we headed south toward the border for a visit to Felicity, while crossing over the border into Arizona to learn about the city's Colorado River waterfront project, as well as to enjoy the town and do a bit of shopping at the swap meet - one of my favorites. Yuma's a great base for exploring this part of the desert, and a fun town with some great historical attractions. I always enjoy my time there.

If you find yourself wandering down Interstate 8, I highly recommend spending some time in Yuma, and a day set aside for Felicity and its wonderful Museum of History in Granite.

Learn more about the Museum of History in Granite HERE.

You can purchase Southwest Stories DVDs for only $4.95.

Full interview with Jacques-Andre Istel

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Just an old sea cook seeking an outward bound voyage.

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© 2019 by Shanghai Brown, Sun Runner Media.