Preserving and sharing the history of the Coachella valley

Coachella valley historical society, INC.

 

Coachella Valley History Museum with Gloria Greer

As featured on "Exploring the Arts with Gloria Greer"  follow the link to see the full episode on the Coachella Valley History Museum

The Coachella Valley Historical Society, 1965: 50 Years of Preserving the Past for the Future

Local history matters.  That's what a dozen prominent citizens thought in 1965 when they incorporated the Coachella Valley Historical Society.  Every community has a story to tell and the Coachella Valley is no different.  This exhibit will celebrate the establishment and work of the Society in 1965 along with a step back in time to enjoy mid 60s' car culture, foods, music, films, memorabilia from local high schools, clothing styles and the  local and national events that made headlines.  Come and see what was here then and is still with us today!

This two-year exhibit can be viewed in the 
Heritage Room during normal operating months (October - May) at the
from October 1, 2015 to May 31, 2017.

The Outdoor Gallery

Available land and water brought people to the Coachella Valley to grow fruits, vegetables and hay over 100  years ago before there were any automobiles or air conditioners.  Paying homage to the pioneers, cultivators, railroad workers and blacksmiths this array of tools, structures and equipment are on display to give a sense of how this valley was being transformed to pave the way for the 21st century. 

  • Adobe Demo
  • Blacksmith Shop
  • Fire, Railroad, Hay, Horse Drawn Farm  Equipment
  • 1921 Water Tower (Under Renovation) & Submarine

The Gardens

The Gardens of the Museum offer a variety of plant species that thrive in the desert.  From native plants to plants introduced to the desert by pioneer families, the gardens are open for the enjoyment of the visitors to stroll during their visit.  Native plants are scientifically identified to educated our visiting 3rd Graders!

  • The Rose Garden
  • The Japanese Memorial Garden
  • The Jardin del Desierto (Desert Garden) - Provided by the Dr. Carreon Foundation
  • The Cork Tree
  • The Date Garden

Pioneer Hall

Hosting the rotating artwork of local artist each month, Pioneer Hall was renovated in 2012 with the help of the Indio Sunrise Rotary Club and the Woman's Club of Indio, to showcase the talents of local artist.  The hall also serves as a venue for intimate gatherings both public and private.

1909 Indio Schoolhouse

The 1909 Indio Schoolhouse, Indio's third school, was built with the help of the Southern Pacific Railroad.  It's craftsmanship resembles many of the early train depots.  This gem was originally located on Oasis and Bliss Avenue then transferred to the old Roosevelt School grounds and finally relocated to the Museum campus in 1999.  This is definitely a trip back in time!

The California Date

History Museum

The date palm is one of civilization's oldest cultivated crop.  The people of Egypt, Babylonia and Arabia have cultivated the plant for over 5,000 years.  From the introduction of the date palm to the Coachella Valley in 1900, this exhibit explores the history of this industry from its Middle Eastern origins, to the horticulturists who brought the date successfully to California and the essential workers who harvested this fruit of the desert.  Just outside the Museum, a working date grove features the variety of dates produced in the Coachella Valley.

Smiley-Tyler House

The "Smiley Place" was the private residence of Doctor and Mrs. Smiley which also housed his medical practice.  Visit us to learn their amazing story and how the Smiley-Tyler families enriched the history of this historical property. 

The Smiley-Tyler House hosts:

  • The Desert Cahuilla People Room
  • Water & Agriculture Exhibit Area
  • Heritage Room -  this years annual rotating exhibit
  • Railroad & Fire Department Room
  • The 1930's and 1940's Kitchen 
  • Pioneer Hall

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