The Twentynine Palms Historical Society was founded by a small group of local volunteers on April 26th, 1982 as a non-profit, public benefit corporation. It is dedicated to preserving and interpreting the historical heritage of the Twentynine Palms area through a variety of educational activities.
In 1927, the community of Twentynine Palms raised $300 to build a schoolhouse. This schoolhouse is now viewed as the Oldest Public Building in the Morongo Basin. It has been declared a historic building by the City and, in 1996 was so recognized by the Billy Holcomb chapter of E. Clampus Vitus which placed a bronze plaque at the site. Additions to the building over the years have increased its size to about 3000 sq. feet. In 1992, the Historical Society was able to move the building to its present location at 6760
National Park Drive near the Oasis of Mara.
The Society now operates a museum in this historic building with a collection of artifacts from four groups of people in hi-desert history - Indians, miners, cowboys, and homesteaders. Here, alongside Native American pottery and projectile points, can be found an ore cart and tools actually used by local gold miners. Desert coolers and old glassware - turned purple by the sun's rays - are
among items used by cowboys and homesteaders. Rotating exhibits display the objects used in activities which took place among the inhabitants. A collection of early mimeograph newspapers produced by the American legion Post are preserved for research along with copies of our first linotype newspaper, The Desert Trail. The Louise and Fred Vaile Reference Library, containing a variety of books on the desert, is located in the museum. The Vaile collection was donated to the Society in 1983 and continues to grow through donations.
Open Wednesdays through Sundays from 1:00 to 4:00 P.M., the museum is staffed entirely by volunteers. The docents are eager to show visitors around and to answer any questions they might have. A gift shop within the museum offers unique gifts related to our historical theme in a selection appropriate for all ages. Books, maps, and assorted notepaper and postcards portraying this part of the Mojave Desert are featured.
Throughout the year, the Historical Society offers its members special programs and field trips within the community... These are varied and seek to educate the public in the history of the area. School classes are encouraged to visit the museum for
special instruction in local history. Annually, an Old Timers reception is held at the museum to
honor the pioneers of this desert region in conjunction with the City of Twentynine Palms Pioneer Days
For more information about the Society, or for membership information, please3 write to: