ARTICLE & PHOTOS BY LYNNE TUCKER
The Mission of the Coachella Valley Historical Society, Inc. is to preserve, interpret, and share the artifacts that create a dialogue about the evolving history of the Coachella Valley.
The Coachella Valley History Museum is the best way to learn about the history of the beautiful valley. With their rich collection of exhibits, you can learn all about the people, places, and times that have made the Coachella Valley the epicenter of so much in Southern California history, resulting in a rich, entertaining, and educational museum experience for adults and kids alike.
Once home to the indigenous Cahuilla people, the Coachella Valley evolved over the years to become a major railroad stop, an agricultural center and, more recently, a hotbed for modern design. Today, the desert’s evolution is well-preserved at the Coachella Valley History Museum in Indio. Its historic buildings include the Smiley-Taylor House, an adobe home built in 1926, and the Indio Schoolhouse, built in 1909. The grounds are also home to the Date Museum, the Coachella Valley Historical Society’s archives, a Blacksmith shop, the Coachella Valley’s oldest cork tree and several gardens. The museum is open seasonally from October through May.
Looking for something fun and interesting to do in the Coachella Valley? The museum grounds are packed with historic buildings and exciting exhibits! With annual events including the festive Dia de los Muertos celebration, as well as a wide variety of performers, guest artists and entertainers passing through our doors every month, you are guaranteed to discover something that nurtures your spirit and delights your imagination.
1909 Indio Schoolhouse
A real trip back in time, the 1909 Indio Schoolhouse – Indio’s third school- was transferred to the museum grounds in 1999. The school was originally built with help from the Southern Pacific Railroad, something that is clear in the early train depot design. Student desks are set up as they were so long ago, complete with slate boards for writing lessons. The 1909 Indio Schoolhouse is truly a must-see!
The California Date History Museum
Where did dates originate? How have they evolved? How did they make their way to the Coachella Valley? Experience the culture of the Coachella Valley Date through this historical exhibition that covers the history of the world’s oldest cultivated crop – the date palm. From its origins in the Middle East to its introduction to Coachella Valley and up to the modern-day, you can learn about the horticulturalists and essential workers who helped the date palm take hold.
Friday, Saturday & Monday
10AM – 4PM
1PM – 4PM
82616 Miles Avenue
Indio, CA 92201
Think History and Visit the Coachella Valley History Museum!