Twentynine Palms Historical Society
29 Palms, California


"What draws us into the desert is the search for something intimate in the remote." ~Edward Abbey

Old Schoolhouse Museum photo

The 2014 Twentynine Palms Annual
Weed Show logoSM
will be Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 8 & 9.
This years theme is "ALL RHYME, NO REASON."
Click here for this year's categories and rules.


  The 2014-2015 Second Friday Lecture Series continues...
    Friday, November 14th at 7:00pm

   Glimpes of the Gobi Desert - as seen from Ikh Nart Nature Reserve at the northern margin on the Gobi in Eastern Mongolia: Archaeology and Wildlife Conservation

     Ikh Nart Nature Reserve in eastern Mongolia is home to the remains of thousands of years of human activities. Dr. Schneider has been studying the kinds of archaeological sites, their locations, and their characteristics in order to develop a plan for conserving these fascinating remnants of human history. During their 2010-2013 field seasons in Ikh Nart, her team has made great progress toward their goals. So far, they've logged sites ranging from New Stone Age (Neolithic) about 6,000 years ago, an era marked by the domestication of herd animals, to sites from the Tibetan Buddhist period, from around the 13th century AD to 1937. Chronologically in between these are Bronze Age, Iron Age, Turkic, and Mongolian Empire sites.

    Dr. Schneider received her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Anthropology from the University of California, Riverside. She recently retired from her position as Associate State Archaeologist, California State Parks, Colorado Desert District and has worked for over 20 years in arid regions of the world, including the Colorado, Mojave, Sonoran, Negev, and currently, the Gobi Desert in Mongolia.

    There will also be an optional dinner with the speaker at 5 pm at the 29 Palms Inn, space is limited and attendees are responsible for their own meal. If interested in dinner please RSVP to Stokes, 760-367-5535 or

  Click here or on the photo above for more information.
  Click here to download a flyer for this lecture.


The Twentynine Palms Historical Society is pleased to announce the inaugural "Old Timer of the Year" honorees. The "Old Timer of the Year" is a newly created program to honor early or long-time residents who contributed significantly to the development or betterment of the Twentynine Palms' community. The program is intended to honor "everyday heroes" whose contributions and efforts over the years have largely gone unsung.

The first Old Timer of the Year Honoree is Mr. Nolan Lockwood. Nolan graduated from Yucaipa High School and Redlands University, then accepted a teaching position at Twentynine Palms High School for the 1961-62 school year. He was a gifted math teacher who consistently found innovative ways to connect with his students. During his 37 years at TPHS, Nolan invested thousands of hours as the faculty advisor to the Associated Student Body and Student Council. He spent uncountable hours assisting and supervising ASB and Student Council activities and fundraisers. Inspired by his dedication, many ASB'ers continued in community service throughout their lives. Many former students have said they would never have survived math without Mr. Lockwood's help and dedication. After retiring in 1998, Nolan became involved with the Morongo Retired Teachers Association and currently serves as its president. Nolan is a driving force for the Retired Teachers Association Scholarship Program. He also became a volunteer with the Twentynine Palms Historical Society and serves as our treasurer. His skills, attention to detail and financial acumen have contributed greatly to the continued success of the Society. Nolan continues to show his dedication by participating in nearly every Historical Society event, work party and fundraiser.

Our next inaugural Honorees are Bruce Arnett and Marilyn Fernald. Bruce arrived in 1947 as a recent graduate of San Bernardino High to help his father, Bruce Sr., build a commercial building on Adobe Road (most recently it was the Stumps Bar and Grill). In 1948 Bruce, along with his brother Leslie and cousin Jimmy, opened Arnett Feed and Fuel at the Skeleton Ranch on North Adobe Road. He also operated a trucking company with his cousin Jimmy in Yucaipa. Bruce continued to help his father build cabins and commercial buildings in the Morongo Basin. He built the first snack bar in Luckie Park in support of youth sports. Bruce was one of the first resident California Highway Patrolman in the area and later served as the first full-time San Bernardino County Deputy Coroner. He also ran one of the first local mail routes. Bruce later owned and operated Arnett Sporting Goods and was a cofounder of the Twentynine Palms Coaches Association. The Coaches Association conducted all organized youth sports in Twentynine Palms until the creation of the Park and Recreation District. Bruce served as the Association's president and volunteered as a referee/official for many years. He has been involved with the Historical Society for many years and volunteers for almost every event, fundraiser and work party the Society conducts. Bruce was also a member of the Kiwanis for many years.

Marilyn Fernald first came here in 1948 as a 13-year-old with her family. The Fernalds returned to Twentynine Palms for good in 1952. Marilyn attended her first year of high school at the small three-room school that is now the Old Schoolhouse Museum. She graduated from Banning High School and while attending school in Banning she often rode "Old Betsy", the recently restored Johnny Hastie Bus. After returning to Twentynine Palms, she, along with her parents Herm and Marie, built a commercial building on the family property on Didsbury Rd. From this building they ran the "A & F Swap Shop". Marilyn worked at Hoffman's Refrigeration and Brooks Jewelers. She owned a jewelry store in Yucca Valley and also managed and kept books for Arnett Sporting Goods. She was a dedicated "room mother" for all of her children during elementary school and was the costume designer for TPHS "Europe '74", a program where members of the music department and choral groups traveled to Europe and performed during the summer of '74. Marilyn has been involved with the Historical Society for many years and currently serves as our display curator. She is a well-known local artist and has donated many of her works to the Society for fundraisers. Marilyn volunteers for many projects of the Society and for many years helped put on the Weed Show. In the mid 1950s Marilyn married Bruce Arnett and had three children, daughters Terry and Dana and son Keith. Three generations of the Fernald family have attended Twentynine Palms High School and four generations have made their home here.

All of our Old Timers of the Year Honorees have, in their quiet unheralded ways, contributed greatly to youth and betterment of the community of Twentynine Palms. We are proud to present them as our inaugural Old Timers of the Year.

Everyone is welcome to come help us honor them during the 2014 Old Timers gathering at the Old Schoolhouse Museum on Saturday, October 18, 2014, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.

The Old Schoolhouse Museum is located at 6760 National Park Drive in Twentynine Palms. Directions and more information is available on our web site

We need your help to pay for the Hastie Bus Restoration project!
Hastie Bus - 24 October 2012

If you would like to be a part of making this historic bus run again please donate. It's easy, you can click the donate button below to make an on-line donation or you can send a check to us at the address below.

Hastie Bus
29 Palms Historical Society
6760 National Park Drive
P.O. Box 1926
29 Palms, California 92277

To learn more about the Hastie Bus restoration visit the project page.

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Help us out by purchasing some items from our wish list.

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