Q: What nearby town was larger than Parker in the 1930s?

Crossroads (2 of 3)

This is basically all that’s left of an entire town that was situated just a few miles from Parker, a town with the larger population during the 1930’s. According to the BLM, this town had 5 grocery stores, 3 restaurants, pool hall, barber shop, beauty shop, mortuary, bowling alley, 3 service stations, 2 used car lots, several garages, post office, church, power plant, several saloons, several tourist cabins and up to 3000 people at its height.

Do you know where it is and what it was called?

A significant percentage of the Parker community knows the answer, but we’ll bet a majority do not. The town was called Crossroads, located on the California side of the Colorado River at Bowmans Wash, opposite what is now the southern side of Patria Flats. It’s now an OHV area, and a great place to set off into the California desert on hikes or off-roading excursions.

Crossroads was home to the workers building Parker Dam and the aqueduct for the Metropolitan Water District during its construction. The town was essentially the home of the people who created Lake Havasu. It was a rough place to live, according to the BLM. Several deaths went unsolved during the town’s heyday, and the town’s residents were involved in grueling work at the dam, at the time of the Great Depression.

Today, Crossroads consists of this one building and not much else. The structure used to be the Cross Roads Mercantile Company, later renamed Schwanbeck’s, which also served as a U.S. Post Office. Operation of the store continued all the way until 1973.

Do you know any more about Crossroads? Let us know in the comments section below!

Crossroads (3 of 3)

Crossroads (1 of 3)

21 comments

  1. Michael Amescua

    Anthony Chavez is this the Indian burial grounds? Hahahaha

  2. Carol Mathers

    Kewl info. …drive by it all the time!

  3. Maggie Alcaida Lee

    Guess I should of the opened the link first before just guessing. Interesting article. My mom was born in Parker in 1930. I’ll have to ask her if she remembers this. Thanks.

  4. Jim Wooddell

    Would be neat if someone would fix that up as it was back then.

  5. Brad Finch

    That was my school bus stop in the late 70’s early 80’s.

  6. …maybe some of my Parker Amigos will take me out there???

  7. I wonder if Crossroads Cafe in Parker was named for this town.

  8. Up until the store/post office closed, it was operated by the Schwanbeck family, specifically Mrs. Schwanbeck. The family lived and worked there. To the east side of the remaining structure, they had a nice manicured lawn with palm and citrus trees. As a child I remember there was also a bar/lounge with a huge sign on a pole of a swan. The neon sign definitely made an impression on me. Some other family names from the Crossroads era are Vasarhely, Dussman, and McCullough. Some of the descendants still live in the area.

    ~ Deanna Beaver
    Parker, AZ

  9. Schwanbecks was founded in the early 1930s to support the folks building Parker Dam. It was a general store, Union 76 gas station and post office over the years. It was built by my grandparents Mary and Herman Schwanbeck. Them moved from Drake AZ around 1931 to open the store. They brought their five daughters with them. Eleen, Margarite, Ruth, Lucille, and Pauline. Over the years the daughters married and Herman died in 1945. Mary remarried Leroy Price and continued to run the store until her death in 1967. My Mom, Pauline, moved back to the store after the death of her husband Steven in 1961. She subleased the store for a few years after Mary’s death but eventually let it go around 1973. My brother and I lived there with my Mom and Grandmother from 1961 to 1967. The last of the businesses I remember there were Johnnies Tackle Box and The Do Duck Inn. The Do Duck was a bar/burger place and burned down while we lived there.

  10. I currently am helping to care for the lovely Miss Ruth Dussamand. She’s 99 years old and the daughter of Mary Schwanbeck. She tells stories about this time which are fascinating to me. We are hoping to have a huge celebration next year for her 100th birthday party and hope her relatives will get in touch to attend! Find me (Holly Aoyama Fair) on Facebook please!

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