Palm Village

The story of this one town begins with two brothers.

Randall Henderson, who drove his 1925 Chevy across ancient, rutted carriage paths, loved the natural desert, its character and beauty.

 

Where Randall saw poetry, his younger brother Cliff saw opportunity.

 

One was a conservationist, the other was a businessman with a gift for promotion. One discovered the land under Palm Desert, the other built the town on top of it.

Imagine Cliff’s audacity.

But before there was any address in the town that was to become Palm Desert, there was a desolate place called Sand Hole that grew into an outpost known as Palm Village, which Cliff later described as “just a bankrupt subdivision, one or two houses, a gas station, and that was about it.”

 

(Actually, no. There was a motel, a pump house with a grocery store, and trees. Three really tall trees.)

1930s

Gallery Photo Credits:

Photos courtesy of Historical Society of Palm Desert.

Special thanks to Jim West.

Some 30 years after a

handwritten sign was

posted, he was buying

parcels of mostly vacant

and barren sand totaling 1,600

acres for about $26 per and

proclaiming “this will be the smartest address on the American desert.”

If you visit:

The area once called Palm Village is generally along De Anza Way, which is parallel and to and just north of Highway 111, between San Pablo and Santa Ynez Avenues.

 

To learn more:

https://www.museum.ucsb.edu/news/feature/387

https://www.wallpaper.com/architecture/donald-wexler-william-krisel-palm-springs-modernist-architecture

Topics: Mid Century Modern Architecture, Rudolph Schindler, Palm Desert History, 

General George Patton, Clifford Henderson, Randall Henderson

The north side of Highway 111 went from date groves and alfalfa fields in the 1930s to a colorful town synonymous with Palm Desert by the 1950s.