Twentynine Palms Historical Society
29 Palms, California

29 Palms Old Schoolhouse

In 1927, the community of Twentynine Palms raised $300 to build a one-room schoolhouse. This schoolhouse is now viewed as the "Oldest Public Building" in the Morongo Basin. It has been declared an historic building by the City and, in 1996, was so recognized by the Billy Holcomb Chapter of E. Clampus Vitus which placed a bronze plaque at the site.

Old schoolhouse - 1928
Nine Students at the 29 Palms Schoolhouse - 1928


Old schoolhouse about 1929
29 Palms School about 1929


In 1931 the growing student population necessitated the expansion of the original school room and the construction of a second room.

Old schoolhouse about 1936
Old Schoolhouse about 1936


By 1939 additional space was again needed and a third room was added increasing the schoolhouses size to about 3000 square feet.

In 1992, the Historical Society was able to move the building to its present location at 6760 National Park Drive near the Oasis of Mara.

Moving the Old Schoolhouse
Moving the Old Schoolhouse

The Society now operates a museum in this historic building with a collection of artifacts from the groups of people in high desert history - Indians, miners, cowboys, homesteaders, and the military. Here, alongside Native American pottery and projectile points can be found an ore cart and tools actually used by local gold miners. Desert coolers and old glassware - turned purple by the sun's rays - are among items used by cowboys and homesteaders. Rotating exhibits display the objects used in activities which took place among the inhabitants. A collection of early mimeograph newspapers produced by the American Legion Post are preserved for research along with copies of our first linotype newspaper, The Desert Trail. The Louise and Fred Vaile Reference Library, containing a variety of books on the desert, is located in the museum. The Vaile collection was donated to the Society in 1983 and continues to grow through donations.

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