FELICITY, Calif. – Not far from Yuma is Felicity, California, a town internationally recognized for its unique monuments and architecture. The New York Times, L.A. Times, and Time Magazine have all featured the small city of 280 people.
“Welcome to Felicity!” That’s how Felicity Mayor Jacques Istel greets everyone who visits his home.
On Friday, he’ll welcome Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls for a game of desert bowling. Everyone is invited to join in on the competition. It costs five dollars to play, and all the proceeds will go to the Yuma Community Food Bank. Games begin at 11 a.m. (MST) in downtown Felicity.
“This is a game that is played on rough ground. In addition to skill, there’s an element of luck,” Mayor Istel added.
This quiet town full of history attracts visitors from all over the country. The Princeton Alumna founded Felicity and named it after his wife.
“We had bought after the Korean War some desert land. Thirty years later, when I sold my company, I told my wife we were going to sit in the desert and think of something to do,” Istel explained.
That he did; Istel began building a monument known as The History In Granite in 1990, and Istel described it as “the history of California, the history of Arizona, and the history of humanity.”
A chapel sits atop what the mayor calls, the hill of prayer. An arm points to it from far below.
“Three dimensional reproduction of Michelangelo’s arm of god painted on the Sistine Chapel. It’s a sundial.” He said.
Then there’s this staircase – a little piece of France’s history.
“Section twelve of the original staircase of the Eiffel Tower.” When asked how he got his hands on that, he said, “by paying too much!”