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Videos of The History of Desert Hot Springs (presented somewhat chronologically)

The Travels of Fred and Elmer to Desert Hot Springs -February 1980

Fred Anderson (d. 1996) and Elmer Dills (d. 2008) were a couple of travel and cuisine reporters who did special segments for KABC Channel 7 Eyewitness News out of Los Angeles.  These fun reports were aimed at informing the viewers of places they might not have visited.  They did 3 segments on Desert Hot Springs.  We are fortunate to have these very interesting videos - each are about 3 minutes.  (note: the original quality of the video was poor but we've worked to get these as best as possible)


Click on image to view the video (Windows Media)

Segment #1 - "What can you find in Desert Hot Springs"

- General overview of the city

- Dr. Robert Bingham, Late Director of the Desert Medical Clinic in Desert Hot Springs.


Segment #2 - "What can you do and see in Desert Hot Springs"

- Jogging

- Road Runners

- Kingdom of the Dolls, Betty Hamilton

- Cabots Old Indian Pueblo

- Cole Eyraud

- Peter Toth's Indian head statue/carving

- Whitewater trout farm


Segment #3 - "Where can you stay in Desert Hot Springs"

- Various Hotels and Spas: Sam's Family Spa, Ponce De Leon, Two Bunch Palms, and Lido Palms.

- Various Eateries: Hayden's Steak and Fish, Csers Hungarian, and Costas Italian.




DHS Resident Lynn Wade on "Dinah and Friends"

Desert Hot Springs held a beauty pageant called "The Eternal Youth Beauty Pageant" (if anyone can help us with more info, we'd appreciate it).  This pageant was for women 50 to 100 years of age.  Cole Eyraud escorted the winner, Lynn Wade - age 73, to the TV show "Dinah and Friends" (1974-1980).  On the show is: Dinah Shore, Charles Nelson Reilly, Lawrence Welk , Ricardo Montalban, and Ken Minyard.  Lynn gets a dance with Lawrence Welk and then everybody starts dancing!  10 minutes.


Click on image to view the video (Windows Media)




DHS Community Overview - mid 1980s

Sometime in the mid 1980's the Desert Hot Springs chamber of commerce produced a 12 minute promotional video highlighting the city, it's history, development, growth, and re-development.  In this video: Cabot Yerxa, Cabot's Lodge, Coffees Hot Mineral Springs Spa, Mission Lakes Country Club and other sites around the city.  


Click on image to view the video (Windows Media)




History & Memory Project 2001

Desert Hot Springs Historian John J. Hunt compiled a video of several DHS residents.  This 17 minute video contains interviews of:

Bob Broughton - 5/21/2001

Betty Hudspeth - 4/6/2000

Jerry Skuse - 3/14/2000

Mary Gibson - 7/6/2001

Dr. Robert Bingham - 4/4/92

Click on image to view the video (Windows Media)





The Demolition of Coffee's Spa filmed by John J. Hunt

Click on image to view the video (Windows Media)

Built July 12, 1941 by L. W. Coffee it was the first hot water spa in Desert Hot Springs.  Coffee's Hot Mineral Baths was known the world over.  Sadly it fell into disuse and was taken down in January 1991.  This video captures the demolition.  Today Desert Hot Springs is still known for its amazing hot mineral water spas -- many of which are restored and updated better than they were originally built.  We wish Coffee's was still here...  2 minutes




A Discussion with Cole Eyraud at Cabot's Lodge about a "wailing wall" by John J. Hunt

Click on image to view the video (Windows Media)

John J. Hunt captured a short discussion with Cole Eyraud regarding a "wailing wall" that Cole would have liked to build on the Cabot's Lodge grounds.  Cole is credited with saving Cabot's Lodge from demolition.  2 minutes




Dot Reed (8/2010) talks about her arrival to DHS in May of 1978.  She shares her involvement with the city, her volunteerism and time on the City Council.  Interviewed and filmed by Alta Hester and Ron Gilbert - 33:28 minutes.

Click on image to view the video (Windows Media)




Charles Hayden (7/2007) talks about his family and their restaurant "Fisherman's Warf of the Desert" back in 1957 along with other bits of DHS history (Bill Schultz, L.W. Coffee). Interviewed and filmed by Alta Hester - 37 minutes.

Click on image to view the video (Windows Media)

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Inez Learnard 100 years old - February 13, 2006


Inez Learnard lived from 1/6/1906 to 9/5/2010. She was 100 years old at the time of this interview by Alta Hester, Audrey Moe and Nancy Cain.

Inez Learnard came to Desert Hot Springs in 1944 when there were 12 houses.

0:55 - Desert Inn (Palm Springs) discussed.
2:40 - The Idle Hour discussed, including how the mail was brought from Palm Springs to the Idle Hour where people came to pick it up.
9:00 - She recalls the first time she came to Desert Hot Springs. Coffee's was the only spa then.
19:35 - She says that the "Desert Sentinel" was written on such poor paper that copies that people tried to save just disintegrated.
20:50 - She speaks about Cole Eyraud. He told Ms. Learnard that a woman came to Desert Hot Springs and wanted to write its history and wanted the city to pay her for it.
22:15 - She talks about Cabot and Portia Yerxa.
25:15 - At age 97 she decided not to drive anymore.
27:35 - She never believed the story about Al Capone.
45:45 - She describes how street names were chosen for Acoma through Ironwood.
50:00 - She says that Cabot's first Eagle Nest on Miracle Hill was destroyed by developers when they leveled off the top of the hill.
55:40 - She talks about Jack Dempsey and Jean Harlow staying at a ranch where she was a caretaker.
57:20 - She mentions Paul Gregory and Janet Gaynor.
1:03:45 - She mentions John Santucci.
1:04:25 - She recalls the city's first store, which is the Escapade today.
1:08:00 - Recalls her frequent visits to Coffee's Spa.
1:11:25 - She talks about her late husband and her own funeral plans




Desert Hot Springs: Home of the Healing Waters

Click on image to view the video (Windows Media)

A 40 minute documentary video by Maggie Abbott


This is a wonderful documentary (made in 2004) featuring many of the revived spas of Desert Hot Springs.  You can purchase the high quality DVD by calling our Chamber of Commerce 760-329-6403.  Thanks to Maggie and Leanna Bonamici of Casablanca Studios in Desert Hot Springs for allowing us to put this video on the web.




John "Whitey" Morgan (7/2007)

talks about his coming to Desert Hot Springs because his wife needed a "dry" and "hot" climate for her health.  He worked many years for the city of Desert Hot Springs and the Mission Springs Water District.  Interviewed and filmed by Alta Hester - 7 minutes

Click on image to view the video (Windows Media)

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1/18/2013 - Tom Morgan interview



Tom Morgan at Morgan's Collectables.

00:09 Born in 1942 in Redlands, came to Desert Hot Springs in 1944.
00:19 Store built in 1945.
00:39 His father was instrumental in starting the Baptist Church, the fire department, the library, street lighting.
00:57 His father was also instrumental in starting Angel View Hospital.
01:04 His brother developed polio in 1948. After surgery in Los Angeles he returned to Desert Hot Springs to take advantage of the hot water.
02:08 Angel View's first office was next door to Morgan Collectables on Pierson, built in 1954.
03:17 In 1959 his father built the building that is now Gypsyland.
04:09 Cabot Yerxa was a friend of his father's. Steve Covey, Dr. Compton, Wardman, and Coffee were also friends of his.
06:13 He went to grade school on 1st Street. He recounts the story of his First Grade girlfriend, Paulette, whose father owned the Desert Hot Springs Theater at 2nd and Palm, where the Seventh Day Adventist church is now. Her father also was in charge of Two Bunch Palms Resort.
08:09 The First Grade class had a big party at Two Bunch Palms.
09:28 He attended Nellie Coffman Junior High School in Palm Springs.
10:08 He attended Mt. San Antonio Junior College and returned to Desert Hot Springs in 1968.
11:10 He said Playoffs bar used to be The Oasis. He recalls Leo who would tie up his horses to a billboard across the street while he drank at the bar. Leo rode a horse from Florida to Desert Hot Springs and then got a job at T Cross K Ranch which is now part of Mission Creek Preserve.
13:05 He says The Alibi was across the street from The Oasis. When he was 14 or 15 he and his friends would sit at Palm & Pierson and count the drunks going back and forth between the bars.
13:47 He recalls that when somebody decided to have a street dance, they just had a street dance. Traffic was no problem because everyone in town attended the street dances.
14:15 He learned to swim at Coffee's Spa when he was three years old at the deep end.
15:35 Before incorporation one local resident said "What this city needed was a good, crooked city council." That man was elected to the first city council.
16:40 Skip Wright was the first mayor. He had a son, Jim, who would put his donkey in his truck and go to Tiki's Bar, which was located where Rancho Grande Carniceria is today. After he got bombed he would ride home on the donkey.
18:12 He recalls seeing grazing ponies that belong to Indians who had a reservation behind the T Cross K Ranch.
19:30 He tells about going to Cabot's original Eagle's Nest on Miracle Hill. He said it was torn down in 1958 or '59 when the land there was subdivided.
23:38 North Palm Springs used to be called Covey's Corner and Whitewater was called West Palm Springs.





Videos from The Desert Hot Springs - soup suppers



The Secret History of Desert Hot Springs: stories of some of the celebrities who have been coming quietly to Desert Hot Springs since before there was even a Desert Hot Springs (and still come today).  By Audrey Moe (Education Chair - Desert Hot Springs Historical Society)






New Discoveries at Cabot's Museum - Judy Gigante and Richard Brown (Board Members of Cabot's Museum)





The Hidden Waters of Desert Hot Springs: Tunnels, Aqueducts and the Birth of a City - Jeff Bowman






I was a Kid at Cabot's - Jason Bruecks





5/3/07 - Dr. Richard "Dick" Roger

History of the B-bar-H Ranch

28:03 minutes Windows Media Video format

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Videos of The History of Desert Hot Springs (continued)



Roy Wininger, Sept 30 2014


1:40 - "This little town was my paradise."
 - Memories of the Idle Hour Cafe AKA "The Palms"
 - He was with the volunteer fire department
 - He is not pleased with Palm & Pierson as it



MSWD 60 year History of Mission Springs Water District



Filmed 1/23/2013 at Mission Lakes Country Club, Desert Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce Breakfast. This presentation was in honor of Mission Springs Water District's 60th Anniversary. MSWD's Board President Russ Martin, General Manager Arden Wallum, and main presentor John Soulliere.




The naming of the John H. Furbee Aquatic Center

On September 4, 2012 the Desert Hot Springs City Council unanimously voted to name the 'Aquatic Center' at the Desert Hot Springs Community Health and Wellness Center to 'John H. Furbee Aquatic Center' for his Significant Contribution to the Community



John & Julia Santucci - August 6, 2012

Residents of Desert Hot Springs from the 1950s and founders of the famous Capri Restaurant, John and Julia Santucci are interviewed by John Furbee and Dot Reed.



John Furbee and Jim Haidet (10/2010) talk about DHS.   Interviewed by Alta Hester and filmed by Ron Gilbert. 


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Video 1

00:00 John Furbee introduces himself. He came to Desert Hot Springs in 1969.
01:38 Jim Haidet who came to Desert Hot Springs in the 1940s introduces himself.
07:55 They discuss the locations of various grocery stores, including the homemade bricks for Horton's market at Cahuilla and Palm.
10:30 Recollections of Cabot Yerxa.

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Video 2
00:15 They recall Jerry Skuse when he was young.
01:35 When DHS incorporated in 1963, and its first police department.
02:05 John Furbee talks about the drug store he bought in 1969.
10:30 Jim Haidet was on the Mission Springs Water District board. Sewers are discussed.

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Video 3
00:00 They discuss DHS Mayors.
02:50 Who was Carl May?
03:16 Bill Gibson, husband of the late Mary Gibson, is discussed.
04:36 John Furbee mentions Mayor Alex Bias.

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Video 4
00:00 Jim Haidet discusses the elementary schools he attended.
01:10 They discuss elementary schools.
04:00 MSWD bottled water.
05:00 A discussion of the facts of the supposed seismic fault under the site of the proposed elementary school.
09:50 In 1943 or '44 Jim Haidet would ride in a Model A Ford to get to school in Palm Springs until they began to bring the school bus up to Garnet. In 1946 or '47 the school bus began to come all the way to DHS.
11:40 John Furbee recalls a couple of movies that were filmed in his drug store and in his hotel.




Bill Gibson (5/2/2011), former Mayor of Desert Hot Springs, talks about his coming to and being in DHS.   Interviewed by Alta Hester and filmed by Ron Gilbert.



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Part 1 (24 minutes)


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Part 2 (22 minutes)




Who was Carl May? - November 2011

In November of 2011 the City of Desert Hot Springs held a ribbon cutting for the remodeled "Carl May Center." The Desert Hot Springs Historical Society was asked to provide a history of "who was Carl May." President Jeff Bowman provided the history to the city council and visitors and presented them with a picture of the late Carl May.







The old "five and dime" on the corner of Palm and Pierson, circa 1969