Saturday, November 10, 2007

Pioneer Days in Twentynine Palms

Twentynine Palms, a high desert city 128 miles east of Los Angeles, 40 miles northeast of Palm Springs, is located between between the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, the largest marine base in the world, about the size of Rhode island, and the idyllic Joshua Tree National Park (more on the park later...)

During the the 1920s and 30s, homesteaders (the original 29 Palms pioneers) drove Model A and Model T cars over a miner's trail that started in Banning, California, 60 miles west. The city's early residents, many of them World War I vets suffering lung ailments from battle, were sent to this part of the high desert by Pasadena's Dr. Luckie so that their illnesses could be cured in the clean, dry air.

On October 19-21st , 2007, the city of Twentynine Palms hosted its 70th annual Pioneer Days celebration and parade. Grand Marshals Janet Benito Owen and Valerie Hinshaw Hunt, a pair of the early pioneers, rode classic cars on the parade route up Adobe Road.

My father-inlaw, Darold, drove his 1930 Model A in the Pioneer Days Parade. William rode on the running board while my daughter and I waved from our perch in the rumble seat. Residents and onlookers pointed and waved back at us as if we were celebrities. Some good old-fashioned fun!

For trivia buffs:
Twentynine Palms has a population of approximately 28,000 and is at an elevation of 2,000 feet above sea level. The city was named in 1855 when an explorer, Colonel Henry Washington, found an oasis with 29 (a number that has been disputed) palms.

(photos: Pioneer Days parade 2007)


Dana said...

I can't BELIEVE they got that thing running! It's a miracle!!

Dana said...

I can't believe they got that thing's a miracle!!