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.
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!
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.
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 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.
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:
This two-year exhibit can be viewed in the
Heritage Room during normal operating months at from October 2017 to December 31, 2019
Preserving and sharing the history of the Coachella valley
Coachella valley historical society, INC.
As featured on "Exploring the Arts with Gloria Greer" follow the link to see the full episode on the Coachella Valley History Museum