Desert insiders know Palm Desert as the geographic and cultural heart of the Coachella Valley. This resort town with over 30 golf courses started as a barren outpost aptly named Sand Hole. Founder Cliff Henderson envisioned a modern utopia growing from the scrub andas a centerpiecebuilt the Shadow Mountain Club in 1948. With its glamorous figure-eight swimming pool and high-dive competitions, the club drew celebrities, presidents, and future residents. Cliff’s brother Randall Henderson spotlighted another side of desert life when he established the headquarters of Desert Magazine in the new town, luring readers to pack up their jeeps and move to Palm Desert. The brothers’ twin vision made Palm Desert the irresistible blend of city and wilderness it is today. Visitors can shop El Paseo, known as the “Rodeo Drive of the Desert,” then in 10 minutes embark on a mountainous thrill ridethe Palms to Pines Highway.
About the Author
The photographs in this book come from the collection of the Historical Society of Palm Desert, as well as the never-before-displayed private collections of Cliff Henderson and other pioneers. The photographs were compiled by Hal Rover, past president of the Historical Society of Palm Desert; Kim Housken, member of the Palm Desert Historic Preservation Committee; and Brett Romer, vice president of the Historical Society of Palm Desert.
Table of Contents
1 Early Ranchers 9
2 Palm Village and the War Years 19
3 It Took a Family 33
4 The Shaping of Shadow Mountain Club 41
5 Canyons, Coves, and High Places 61
6 Building a Community 79
7 Famous Folk and Colorful Characters 101
8 Today in Palm Desert 119