The Twentynine Palms Historical Society was founded by nine individuals on April 26, 1982. Today, it continues its original purpose of preserving and interpreting the historical heritage of the Twentynine Palms area through a variety of educational activities including field trips, lectures, and a quarterly newsletter. The Society is a non-profit educational organization classified by the Internal Revenue Service as 501(c)(3), incorporated under California State Codes on August 23, 1982 and is not funded by any city, county, state or federal agency. The Society’s mission is to collect, preserve and display information, artifacts and memorabilia pertaining to the culture and history of Twentynine Palms and the greater Morongo Basin. Its purpose is to educate and to make research materials available to the public.
The Society owns and operates the Old Schoolhouse Museum located at 6760 National Park Drive in Twentynine Palms. The museum is housed in the oldest public building in the Morongo Basin and provides visitors with a chance to experience a 1920s era schoolroom and view artifacts and exhibits pertaining to the history of Twentynine Palms and the surrounding area. The museum is open 1:00 to 4:00 pm, Wednesday through Sunday, (September - May) and 1:00 to 4:00 pm, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday during the summer (June - August). Admission is free, however, donations are always appreciated. Gifts, contributions, endowments, and material donations are all, or partially, tax deductible.
The Society’s library offers a collection of books and other historic resource materials, which are available to researchers. Biographies, family histories, photographs, newspaper clippings, Twentynine Palms High School Annuals, and numerous organizational records and publications provide a wealth of material for those seeking community history. It also has most of The Desert Trail newspapers dating from 1935 and all issues of the original Desert Magazine plus an index. The library is open to researchers on Wednesday mornings from 9:00 am to noon and can be made available at other times by prior appointment.
Throughout the year the Historical Society offers its members and the community special programs. These programs seek to educate the public in the history of the area. Almost a thousand students visit the museum annually as participants in class tours designed to help fulfill California history-social science standards. In October the “Old Timers” gathering is held at the museum during the City of Twentynine Palms annual “Pioneer Days” celebration. The first weekend in November there is the annual “Weed Show,” started in 1940, featuring desert flora in unique artistic arrangements.
Since 1999 the Society and the Desert Institute have co-sponsored the “Old School House Lecture Series.” These lectures, presented on the second Friday of each month, September through June, offer information about the local history, culture, natural science, and arts in the Morongo Basin area. They are presented by expert instructors and researchers.
Membership in the Society is open to anyone interested in helping to preserve our area’s rich heritage. With membership you receive the Schoolhouse Journal every quarter filled with articles of interest, information about the community and the Society and much more. Business memberships are also available.
As an all volunteer supported organization, the Society offers a variety of opportunities for individuals who wish to serve their community. There is always a need for volunteers to serve as docents; conduct school tours; serve on various committees; do building and grounds maintenance work; maintain our archival documents, library, photograph, and artifact collections; create and maintain displays; edit our Journal; fill seats on the Board of Directors; and perform the many other jobs - big and small - that keep the Society running and the museum doors open.
Twentynine Palms Historical Society
Employer id number (ein)
AddressPO BOX 1926