Palo Verde Historical Museum Presents: A look back at Mesaville's history

Mesaville, pictured: Rebecca and Jenny Bevens. (Archived file photo/Palo Verde Historical Museum & Society)

Mesaville was established in 1909, when about a hundred people homesteaded desert land northwest of Blythe. Their plan was to grow citrus. It is believed that they located in that area because they thought it would be by the proposed branch of the Santa Fe Railroad that reached Blythe in 1916.

It was also on the wagon road that brought freight from Rice (Blythe Junction) to Blythe. This road was built in 1909 when the riverboats stopped operating and it was also shorter than the freight routes to Glamis, Ogilby and the Bradshaw Trail.

Mesaville also served as a stop on the road to Rice for water, food, etc.

The homesteaders planted citrus trees and had one deep well for all the citrus in the area, which proved inadequate. They decided they would drill another deep well and were getting ready to drill it, when in 1912, an untimely freeze occurred and all of the citrus trees were lost.

This discouraged many of the growers and most of them moved away in 1913-1914.

There was a store and Post Office in Mesaville and they remained open until after the railroad was built in 1916.

After the railroad opened most of the freight wagons ceased to run anymore. The town was abandoned after that. Prior to the dams being built on the Colorado River, the Palo Verde Valley flooded occasionally and created a need for the farmers affected to move out of the valley during the flood. Several farmers homesteaded in the Mesaville area and they would move their families, livestock and chickens to the Mesaville area until they could occupy their farms again.

For many years, the only thing to signify where Mesaville was located was a Mesaville sign by the railroad. It is still there today. There are several citrus groves in the Mesaville area today and that is evidence that the early growers had a good idea.

(Note: The ongoing Palo Verde Historical Museum & Society contributions are from a collection of “History of the Communities of the Palo Verde Valley” submissions dated and published in November 2001.)

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