Twentynine Palms Historical Society
29 Palms, California

The Old Schoolhouse Museum & The Desert Institute
Present the...

2016-2017
Second Friday Old Schoolhouse Lecture Series

September 2016 - June 2017

Desert Institute Logo
Old Schoolhouse Sign

Where – Old Schoolhouse Museum
6760 National Park Drive
Twentynine Palms, CA
(across the street from the 29 Palms Inn)

Time – Lectures begin at 7:00 p.m.

Seating is limited! It is advisable to arrive early.

Admission – $5.00 at the door

Season tickets – available for $40.00
SAVE $10.00 by becoming a subscriber!
Click here to purchase a subscription on-line.

Become a subscriber to the entire series for only $40. and, as a subscriber, you will have a “reserved seat” held until 10 minutes before the lecture begins. Click here to purchase your series subscription.

Meet the speaker – Dinner at the 29Palms Inn on your own with speaker 5 p.m.
RSVP by Wednesday prior to the event: to 760-367-5535.

For further information call:
Kevin Wong, Desert Institute Program Coordinator
760-367-5535
or email desertinstitute@joshuatree.org

Click for directions to the Museum.

Download a flyer with this season's schedule.


December 9, 2016

The Hatches of Twentynine Palms
Liz Meyer, daughter of Bill & Ada Hatch

Bill Hatch came to Twentynine Palms in 1931 for his health as he had arthritis and needed a dry climate. He set up his house, which had previously served in the athletes' village during the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics, on a hill that now hosts housing for military families west of Luckie Park. He picked the site because his first job was maintaining the electrical plant at the 29 Palms Inn, and from the top of the hill he could look out and see if the lights went out at the inn requiring him to head to work. He and Ada met while they were in college, she attended Scripps College and he went to Caltech. Later, when she and a girlfriend came to Twentynine Palms to visit, he proposed. They traveled to New York for the wedding and then sailed back, through the Panama Canal to Los Angeles, on their honeymoon, before settling back in Twentynine Palms. The Hatch's had three children, Ada Hatch Jr., Martha Reich and Liz Meyer. "Life out here was pretty simple," Liz Meyer said, adding that most of the roads were dirt and people created their own entertainment, whether that was holding picnics or exploring the desert.

Liz Meyer is a former city council member and mayor of Twentynine Palms and she serves on the Board of Trustees at Copper Mountain College.


January 13, 2017

Pioneering Women of the Morongo Basin
Pat Rimmington, Author, Historian

Join author and historian, Pat Rimmington, as she recounts the history of "The Pioneering Women of the Morongo Basin". Long-time resident of Twentynine Palms, Pat Rimmington, was introduced to the area when she and her husband, Sid, purchased a home which turned out to be the oldest standing adobe homestead in Twentynine Palms. She began learning the history of the area when she volunteered to transcribe the taped interviews of early residents of this area for both the local library and the Joshua Tree National Monument (as it was then.) She is a charter member and past president of the Twentynine Palms Historical Society.


February 10, 2017

Virginia City
To Dance with the Devil
Nick Clapp, Historian and Author

Where else but in Virginia City could a penniless Irish miner in a few short years amass a fortune greater than any of America's robber barons, simply by dint of hard work and intuition, and remain a humble, caring human being? Here as well, Mark Twain discovered and honed his comic voice, and notorious badman Sam Brown was lined with lead, with a coroner's jury concluding, it served him right. Here also Julia Bulette, a kindly harlot beloved of the city's firemen, was the toast of a rowdy Fourth of July parade. In Virginia City mines, men plunged into the scalding, hazardous heart of the earth, tantamount to partnering with hell's dread demon, so that they could enjoy five Shakespeare companies performing at once, food rivaling Delmonico's in New York, and frocks ordered directly from Paris that could be worn in this barren, windswept middle of nowhere. Virginia City had twenty turbulent bonanza years - what a time it was!

Documentary filmmaker and author Nicholas Clapp has studied and filmed the deserts of the world. With a master's degree in cinema from the University of Southern California, his first professional break came when he produced and directed The Great Mojave Desert, a one-hour special for CBS and the National Geographic Society.


March 10, 2017

Marshal South Rides Again
Diana Lindsay, Author

Zane Grey and Louis L'Amour have an unknown competitor for the hearts and minds of Western readers. Marshal South writes in the same vain, and for years his stories have been lost. For the first time since their publication and rave reviews in the 1930s and 1940s, two of Marshal South's westerns have been reprinted. South was previously re-introduced to readers with the publication of Marshal South and the Ghost Mountain Chronicles, which was a reprinting of all of this articles that ran monthly for nine consecutive years in Desert Magazine that recounted his family s daily life during an experiment in primitive living. That experiment ultimately lasted for 17 years.

Diana Lindsay is the founder and president of Sunbelt Publications, an independent publishing house that focuses on natural science, historical and cultural interests, and the San Diego region. She is also an award-winning author and photographer and has been writing about the Anza-Borrego region since the 1960s.


April 14, 2017

Henry Mockel, the Artist
Tania Marien, founder/editor of ArtPlantae.com

Henry and Beverly Mockel often took trips to Joshua Tree National Park to see the wildflowers. They made frequent stops so Henry could paint flowers along the way. Eventually they decided they should move closer to the flowers, so they moved themselves and their 47-foot house trailer to Twentynine Palms in 1961. After settling into their new home, Henry and Beverly opened the Pioneer Art Gallery in what is now the Historic Plaza. One can only imagine that this new exciting desert lifestyle was quite a change for Henry, a former bookbinder, farmer and cattle rancher. Taken with the desert and its flora and fauna, Mockel spent many days studying plants and drawing them in the field. He studied botany and took copious notes on his desert adventures with Beverly. The culmination of 14 years' worth of observations resulted in a book they co-wrote in 1971 titled, Mockel's Desert Wildflower Notebook.

Interested in interpretive techniques about plants, Tania Marien creates engaging learning experiences involving botanical illustration, science and storytelling. She has introduced the public to plants and botanical art at environmental education events, botanical gardens, museums, private gardens, and specialty garden shops.


May 12, 2017

The Adobes of 29 Palms
Pat Rimmington, Author, Historian

Join author and historian, Pat Rimmington, as she recounts the history of "The Adobes of 29 Palms". Long-time resident of Twentynine Palms, Pat Rimmington, was introduced to the area when she and her husband, Sid, purchased a home which turned out to be the oldest standing adobe homestead in Twentynine Palms. She began learning the history of the area when she volunteered to transcribe the taped interviews of early residents of this area for both the local library and the Joshua Tree National Monument (as it was then.) She is a charter member and past president of the Twentynine Palms Historical Society.


June 9, 2017

The Military History of the Salton Sea
Sid Burks, Historian

Few people know that the Salton Sea played a major role in the development of the atomic bombs that were dropped on Japan during World War II. Discover the fascinating but little known history of the World War II Navy Base at the Salton Sea and its post-war use by the Atomic Energy Commission. This lecture is extensively illustrated with historical photographs.

Sid Burks is a retired community college teacher and administrator and he currently teaches full-time for Cal State San Bernardino. He is a serious enthusiast of anything military, aviation, or desert history. He's given many lectures throughout the Coachella Valley on aviation and military history.




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