Palm Springs has a beautiful history that many people have not known yet. While it is now popular for countless visitors and sightseers as Hollywood’s Playground of the Stars, its roots remain untold for the larger population of fans and audiences worldwide. It has evolved beginning some two thousand years ago from being an oasis for Native Americans to its present identity as the Golf Capital of the World.
The Cahuilla people are the first to settle in the area. They lived in isolation and spoke a unique dialect that belongs to the Uto-Aztecan language. There were only 35 people who could speak the language according to a census in 1990. As of 2010, the tribal enrollment was only 410. The Cahuilla people are known to have a habit of trekking to higher elevation with a cooler temperature. Today, this place is accessible for everyone through Aerial TRAM provided in Palm Springs.
If you want to know more interesting facts about this historical landmark, read on the following details:
Revisiting the Past of Palm Springs
Palm Springs is also best known for its Cahuilla name “Se-Khi” which means boiling water. Cahuilla surnames are also being used to name the streets and corners in the place, such as Andreas, Belardo, Patencio, and Chino among others.
The beautiful sights of Native American house pits, dams, petroglyphs, and irrigation ditches can be enjoyed in Tahquitz Chino. Likewise, when you stay at Andreas Canyon, you can see mortar holes and pictographs which attract many visitors.
According to some historians, the first white people to visit Palm Springs are Jose Maria Estudillo and Brevet Jose Romeo who were on the expedition. They were sent by the newly established government of Mexico in December 1823 to search for another route from Sonora to Alta California.
However, it was said that Spanish explorers arrived in Palm Springs earlier than the aforementioned. They called the area “La Palma de la Mano de Dios” (The Palm of God’s Hand). At this time, they are believed to have made contact with Cahuilla people, or knew their presence in the land.
Historical Facts from 1770s to early 1990s
Another explorer named Fray Francisco Garces visited the base of the San Jacinto Mountains in 1770s. His expedition was followed by Don Juan Bautista de Anza who had a solo exploration across the desert from present-day Tubac-Arizona to the south border of Palm Springs. Eventually, Garces and Anaza worked together for one mission: to explore their specific destinations. They were on expedition in 1774 from Tubac to Mission San Gabriel (Los Angeles area) and from Tubac to San Fancisco Bay in 1775 to 1776. Anza made an assumption that an overland route existed because the residents in Tubac, Arizona were fully aware of the huge ships travelling across the coast of California.
In 1876, the Agua Caliente Reservation was established by the United States government covering 31,128 acres in a checkerboard format with 640 acres alternating sections. The format includes the downtown of Palm Springs which made the Agua Caliente as one of the richest tribes in the U.S. On the other hand, the alternating non-reservation areas were given to the Southern Pacific Railroad as their incentive to build rail lines through the Sonoran desert.
One interesting fact about the Palm Springs properties is that many homes or condos are leased. This may have surprised those who have plans of buying certain real estates in the area. The right to lease in the place was granted by the Agua Caliente to its members for 99 years beginning in 1959.
The first non-Indian inhabitant in Palm Springs is John Guthrie McCallum who stayed in the place in 1884. A prominent McCallum Theatre is named after his family. Today, the theatre serves as a museum in Palm Canyon Drive.
Another non-Indian settler named Jack Summers gained popularity for running the stagecoach station out on the Bradshaw Trail in 1862 – the time of the smallpox epidemic in Cahuilla.
Palm Springs started to establish itself as a world-class destination in the early 1990s. A lot of people have decided to settle in the place because of its dry and hot climate which was believed to be very beneficial to health, especially for those with tuberculosis.
By the 1930s, Palm Springs became the number one getaway for Hollywood stars (not Las Vegas) until the late 1940s.
Why Palm Springs Became a Getaway for Hollywood Stars?
Being a beautiful place for relaxation is not just the reason why Hollywood celebrities chose Palm Springs over any other destinations in the 1930s until 1940s.
The image of Hollywood stars could easily be stained during this time, due to gossip or scandal. This can be attributed to the conservative or puritanical culture of America in those days. As such, the celebrities would usually live under the threat of surveillance and paranoia. Thus, Palm Springs would eventually become known as the safe haven for the stars to get away with the prying eyes and to enjoy their privacy and protect their image.
Many celebrities have visited the place or bought properties there. Some of those are Spencer Tracy, Frank Sinatra, John and Lionel Barrymore, Leslie Howard, John Wayne, and many more. Numerous stars who have stayed in the place have had their names enshrined on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars.
Today, Palm Springs is popular for being the Golf Capital of the World. It is located 107 miles from Los Angeles.
Palm Springs can be an ideal place for you if you are a gulf enthusiast or someone who wants to visit an amazing view with some historical artifacts. You can be on a solo trip or with someone you dearly love. The place has a welcoming ambiance for everyone, no matter where they come from.