About Palm Springs Historical Society

The Palm Springs Historical Society is a non-profit organization founded in 1955 by Melba Berry Bennett. The Society operates the two oldest remaining buildings in Palm Springs: the McCallum Adobe (built in 1884) and the Cornelia White House (built in 1893). 


 The McCallum Adobe (1884)

The McCallum Adobe

The Adobe, once the residence of Palm Springs first white settler and his family, is now home to new exhibits for the season; Frank Sinatra in Palm Springs, Palm Springs Road Races, Fabulous Homes in Coachella Valley, Toys and Objects from Palm Springs' First Settlers, The First White Settlers in Palm Springs, plus desert modern architects, early pioneers and much more.

Here inside the Museum you will find modern exhibits displaying Palm Springs’ colorful life. You’ll be unable to resist hundreds of historical photographs dating from the 1880s to the 1980s; including photos, letters and paintings from the early pioneers who made us who we are today. Then take a seat, get comfortable and watch an absorbing 20-minute video about the City’s beginnings.

Margaret O'Brien at Ingleside Inn Palm Springs, CA

New Exhibit for 2016-2017 Season
A new exhibit will debut featuring the career of legendary child star Margaret O'Brien.

Meet Margaret O'Brien
A special reception to meet Margaret O'Brien at the McCallum Adobe Museum on Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 2:00pm. This event is FREE and open to the public. Please join us!  Check out the details

Photo Credit:
Margaret O'Brien at the Ingleside Inn. Photo by Gail Thompson courtesy of Tracy Conrad. All rights reserved.


 The Cornelia White House (1893)

Cornelia Whitehouse Palm Springs

If you’re curious to see what a turn-of-the-century Palm Springs residence might have looked like, walk next door to the Cornelia White House. This house was once part of the first hotel in Palm Springs (The Palm Springs Hotel) and was later home to pioneer Cornelia White.

Knowledgeable and personable curators are always on hand to answer questions - and if encouraged they probably might have a story or two to share.


 Welwood Murray Memorial Library (1941)

Welwood Murray Memorial Library

The library located at 100 South Palm Canyon Drive at the corner of East Tahquitz Canyon Way, designed by architect John Porter Clark, opened in 1941.

The library's recent renovation now houses a research library and storage facility for the Palm Springs Historical Society, provides tourism information, computer stations and community meeting space for the public.

Palm Springs Historical Society Research Library

VIEW the Research Library Online
The PSHS Research Library offers numerous materials from the Museum's collection. Browse our extensive online database, explore photos, books, periodicals, manuscripts, and much more.

Check out our Online Collections Database

VISIT the Research Library
Palm Springs Historical Society Research Library Tel: 760-656-7469 
If you need further assistance please call to make an appointment. Arrangements must be made prior with the Historical Society to access historic archives on site at the library.

PSHS Policies and Services

Downtown Public Library and Visitors Center

Public Library Tel: 760-323-8296
The WMML provides library services as a branch of the main Palm Springs Library, free WiFi, public computers and a browsing collection of national magazines and newspapers. It will also function as a downtown visitors center from 9 am to 9 pm everyday.

WMML Policies and Services

100 South Palm Canyon Drive Palm Springs, CA 92262


 Palm Springs Historical Walking Tours

Palm Springs Historical Walking Tours


Join us for an entertaining stroll through Palm Springs, enjoy walking tours full of history, fun stories, famous architecture and intrigue.

Come visit us and see for yourself. 

Walking tours are now only available by arranging a private tour. Contact the Palm Springs Historical Society for pricing and to make arrangements.  Our regular walking tour season will begin again in October 2017. 


The Palm Springs Historical Society is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, and all proceeds from our walking tours and events benefit the Palm Springs Historical Society. Your support plays a unique role in preserving the history of Palm Springs. Thank you for your contribution.

Admission is free to both museums.

Please note summer hours. The museums are closed during the months of June, July, and August. However, staff is in the office available for phone calls and by appointment only.

Hours Open

Monday - 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Closed Tuesday (phone calls and appointments only)
Wednesday - 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Thursday - 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Friday - 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Saturday - 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Sunday - 12 noon to 3:00 pm

Contact us if you have any questions or want to learn more about the society.