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

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