Images of America: Palm Springs


Nestled beneath the San Jacinto Mountains in an oasis of palm trees is a mineral hot springs. For thousands of years, this was the winter home of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, the original inhabitants of this harsh desert region. A U.S. government survey party discovered the spring in 1853 and identified the area located at the base of “two bunches of palms.” In 1884, Judge John McCallum of San Francisco purchased land near the springs for $800 and built the first adobe structure, which still stands today. Stage lines and railroads provided transportation through the area, bringing in visitors year-round.

Dr. Welwood Murray built the first Palm Springs Hotel, and in 1909, Nellie Coffman built The Desert Inn, which would become famous as a tourist attraction. This was the beginning of the area’s major industry. Today Palm Springs is still a destination for visitors throughout the year and home to a growing population of permanent residents.

Author: Moya Henderson and Palm Springs Historical Society
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
Soft Cover - 128 pages
© 2009

The book was compiled by Moya Henderson, a Palm Springs resident of 70 years, along with the Palm Springs Historical Society. Includes 200 historical photographs dating back to 1876.

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