Our Wonderful Historical Society

A Historical Society (sometimes referred to as a preservation society) is an organization that aims to preserve, collect, research, and interpret historical information or items related to (in this case) a city’s history. These society’s play an integral role in protecting and preserving records while interpreting and presenting things of the past to the general public. It should be celebrated that our city, Desert Hot Springs has a storied history, one that should be archived and celebrated. Today we spotlight the Desert Hot Springs Historical Society for their efforts in preserving key treasures from our rich history while sharing this information to showcase to all. I believe this will be the first of many stories concerning our Historical Society, and I look forward to telling their story!!!

“The Historical Society of Desert Hot Springs Mission Statement begins by sharing their purpose, which is “To bring together members of the community who are interested in the rich heritage of this general geographic area…to encourage the preservation of the community’s history.” An organization’s history is only as strong as the members from the community they represent, the diversity, talents, and contributions residents make. It is the activities of the people of our city who you learn about from [for example] Advance DHS who are making the history of tomorrow”, Marge Snell.

A little history according to Marge Snell (one of the organization’s leaders), Cabot Yerxa built the most well-known historic location in DHS in 1941. The Hopi inspired Pueblo Museum was his home, and he later became a Charter Member of the Historical Society. During that same decade, in 1946 Lee Watson built their “Pil-O-Rox” home. Both men, with the support, strength, and spirit of their pioneering wives, helped paved the way in the development of our city. Homesteaders and pioneers worked tirelessly during the desert climate, using remnants of wood, found objects, and gathered rocks from the desert to build their structures, as well as Cholla cactus for furniture.

Snell added, “The Historical Society volunteer Officers and Committee Chairpersons are also working to “Advance DHS” in areas of research, exhibits, outreach, clerical, oral history interviews and writing. We have authored an Arcadia Publishers book [entitled] ‘Images of America, Desert Hot Springs; Postcards from the Desert’, which is a brief History of Desert Hot Springs. [Additionally] we are currently preparing to publish the monthly emailed stories sent to our members each month (the Fun Facts: a compilation of over 60 unforgettable short stories about the people and places in our wonderful town). These stories are from the findings of The Historical Society Archive Group [that were retrieved] during our research of items donated such as historical documents, heirlooms, newspapers and scrapbooks from other organizations and DHS families.

The time to join the Historical Society is NOW! As they prepare to grow and enhance, they are giving the community a special opportunity via a new Membership Drive. The Membership Drive is to Honor the 55th Anniversary, and to Celebrate the Preservation of the Historic Rock House (which the Historical Society will use for our community as it works with other cultural and educational organizations of the city). The dues for this season will only be $3.00, the same as Cabot paid when we were organized, 1964! Wow!!

Additionally, you will be able to take a glance at the following books at various Historical Society Events John Hunt’s book The Waters of Comfort
· Celebrities in Hiding and Desert Walk by Audrey Moe
· Various books about the Pueblo, including Abram Yerxa Cabot, On the Desert Since 1913,
· Desert Hot Springs Why? by L. W. Coffee

Our most well-known special events are the three Soup Suppers every season at Miracle Springs Resort and Spa. The next Soup Supper will be changed to the THIRD THURSDAY, January 16, 2020. Doria Wilms, Assistant City Manager will speak, “NEW AND IMPROVED DESERT HOT SPRINGS. Stay in touch with us about our activities, your interests and we welcome your membership by writing us at Historical Society, P. O. Box 422, Desert Hot Springs, CA, 92240 or reading more about us at

Posted in

More From Advancing Desert Hot Springs...

Watch Them Soar: DHS High

By Kephyan Sheppard | February 8, 2020

DHS High should be celebrated! Not only because it’s a great school, but because of the innovative approaches that Principal Cota and her staff employ daily. Over the course of the last year I have witnessed academic excellence, school pride, and exemplary professionalism from students and staff. However, I have now become aware of some…

DHS Celebrates Dr. King!

By Kephyan Sheppard | January 23, 2020

He stood for equality, he marched for peace, he died sharing the vision of a day that he knew he would never see in his lifetime…Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a true hero. This weekend as hundreds of thousands of people marched and celebrated his legacy worldwide, you were able to catch a glimpse…

The Ophelia Project

By Kephyan Sheppard | January 4, 2020

Imagine a program that aims to help young girls achieve all they can in life, one that meets them right where they are and is committed to ‘rescuing their potential’. That program does exist, it is called The Ophelia Project. After years of operating on campuses throughout the Valley, the program will officially launch through…


By Kephyan Sheppard | November 25, 2019

Youth sports are a staple in every growing city. The notion that we must keep our youth busy year round is one that is well received nationwide. Here in DHS, our Junior All American Football and Cheer program has proven to be a successful model of consistency for our youth, but has also served as…

Veteran’s Day and Beyond!!!

By Kephyan Sheppard | November 9, 2019

Principal Arseo Meet principal Arseo! She has been served as principal at Bella Vista since the school opened in January of 2014. (She previously served as the principal at Edward Wenzlaff for two years.) She has a passion for Bella Vista, one that is evident every time you see her walk through the halls and…

Diversity DHS!!!

By Kephyan Sheppard | October 19, 2019

A while back, we presented Diversity DHS to some of you in an effort to highlight the many things they do to Advance DHS. This week I was able to catch up with Sam Messler, the groups co-founder and dicussed their growth and plans for the immediate future. Groups like Diversity DHS are part of…

A 4 Time Emmy Award Winner Calls DHS Home!

By Kephyan Sheppard | September 21, 2019

Ask anyone in Hollywood and they will tell you that the Emmy Award is an award of prestige. An Emmy Award (Emmy), is an award that acknowledges excellence in the television industry. This award is coveted by many, and bestowed upon few. Now I know you may be asking the question, “What in the world…

Once Again, DHS High Leads the Way!

By Kephyan Sheppard | September 15, 2019

A few weeks ago, I sat down with Principal Cota of Desert Hot Springs High School. Not only did she impress me, but based off of the responses I have received, she has impressed many of you. We are extremely fortunate to have what I believe to be the most innovative principal here in the…


By Kephyan Sheppard | August 31, 2019

What a beautiful time to be in DHS!!! The summer season is coming to a close, our version of Friday Night Lights will kickoff soon as our Golden Eagle Football team will soon take the field, and of course our beautiful view hiking trails will be prime for enjoyment. This week I asked a simple…


By Kephyan Sheppard | August 17, 2019

Homelessness numbers are in the rise throughout the state of California. It has been well documented that varying factors such as drug abuse and cost of living issues have and will continue to impact those without shelter. Many analysts have forecasted that the numbers will continue to rise, and although our numbers here in the…