Palm Springs Real Estate




    For
    thousands of years, the Coachella Valley was home to the Agua Caliente
    Band of Cahuilla Indians. During the winter months, they established
    their village around the natural hot mineral springs (current site of
    the Spa Resort Casino). In summer, to escape the extreme temperatures of
    the desert floor, the small band moved to the canyons where it was more
    comfortable because of the higher elevation. Few had ever seen a white
    man.

    In
    1877, the Southern Pacific Railroad completed its line through the
    desert to the Pacific Ocean. A Congressional policy established that
    every odd section of land for 10 miles on either side of the track
    became the property of the railroad (a section was defined as one square
    mile). The even-numbered sections remained the property of the federal
    government.

    In
    1884, Judge John Guthrie McCallum of San Francisco and his family
    became the first non-Indians to settle here. McCallum, with the
    assistance of local Indians, built a 19 mile stone-lined ditch from the
    Whitewater River into Palm Springs bringing in pure, precious water for
    irrigation.

    Throughout
    the 19th century, various explorers, colonizers, and soldiers came
    through the desert, but it was not until 1853 that the United States
    Topographical Engineers mentioned the oasis of palm trees and springs
    which they called “Palm Springs.” The name did not stick at that time,
    however. After California became a state in 1850, various stage routes
    crossed the desert, and “Big Bill Bradshaw’s” freight line began to stop
    at what Bradshaw called “Agua Caliente.” The place was known by that
    name or variations of “Palm Valley” until 1890 when Harry McCallum
    referred in a letter to his post office address in “Palm Springs.”

    Dr.
    Wellwood Murray, of nearby Banning, opened Palm Springs’ first hotel,
    called the Palm Springs Hotel, which was conveniently located directly
    across the road from the Indian bathhouse where his guests could take
    advantage of its warm, curative waters.

    In
    1909, Dr. Harry and Nellie Coffman started their sanitorium, The Desert
    Inn, which was originally a place for those afflicted with
    tuberculosis. The Inn later became a world-renowned resort hotel
    catering to the very wealthy, which included captains of industry and
    well-known millionaires such as the Vanderbilt and Hearst families.

    World
    War II brought rapid growth to Palm Springs with many new housing
    developments and businesses. The Desert Museum opened its doors in 1938,
    a public library was established in 1939 and the Desert Hospital opened
    in 1951.

    In
    1938, Palm Springs opened the first high school in the Palm Springs
    Union High School District, which, in in 1948, was combined with the
    Desert School District to form the Palm Springs Unified School District.
    Prior to this, high school students from the area were bused daily to
    nearby Banning.

    Other
    famed guests were FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and Mayor Jimmy Walker
    of New York, along with many other notables and celebrities. Even little
    Shirley Temple learned to ride her two-wheeler on the grounds of the
    Desert Inn. Palm Springs was now on its way to becoming a thriving
    resort.

    Palm
    Springs was incorporated in 1938 with Philip Boyd as the first Mayor.
    World War II brought rapid growth to Palm Springs with many new housing
    developments and businesses.

    In
    the 1950s, about 3,000 sections of land were transferred to the Agua
    Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. This created a checkerboard pattern
    of growth, still evident in the area today. The Agua Caliente also hold
    title to the fan palm oases of Palm, Murray and Andreas Canyons.

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