Twentynine Palms Historical Society
29 Palms, California

The Oasis Storytelling Project

Get Caught Up in the Past

Become a Part of History (Really)

The 29 Palm Historical Society is partnering with the City of Twentynine Palms on the Oasis Storytelling Project. Two new sculptures will be placed on National Park Drive honoring: 1) our Pioneer Women and 2) the Native people who knew the Oasis of Mara as their homeland for thousands of years. The Pioneer Women sculpture will be adjacent to the museum on National Park Drive.

Oasis of Mara - 1938

For a small donation (coins to cash) you can register your support. Register at the gift shop.

In remembrance, when the sculptures are installed all donor names will be placed in an Indian clay pot (olla) and buried under one of the sculptures.

Register you and your loved ones now. Pets allowed.

P.S To finance this project, the City and the Society are applying for a matching National Endowment for the Arts Grant. Your support counts towards the $$ match and as proof that we are an enthusiastic community of history and art lovers.

So, just what is the Oasis Storytelling Project?

Jim and Matilda Pine, W.E. Johnson and Ben DeCrevecoeur-1909

For thousands of years, a unique mile-long geologic feature, the Oasis of Mara, offered residents and travelers life-saving water, food, and shelter. The stories of the miners, cattleman, and founding homesteaders of Twentynine Palms are chronicled in existing public art murals and sculptures, but two critical chapters are missing: the sacrifice by Native peoples and the contributions of women.

The Oasis Storytelling Project, through art and interpretation, will offer residents, students, and visitors a history lesson that includes sculptural groupings of Native peoples and pioneer women with interpretative signs on National Park Drive, the boulevard linking the City with the Oasis of Mara and Joshua Tree National Park. The City has invested in the median's native landscaping, directional monument sign, sculptures, and an accessible meandering walkway and bike trail. This project will provide the final phase.

Hilda Graham in front of her cafe.

The federal NEA grant requires a match of the same amount from the City of Twentynine Palms, including supporters. The Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians, an important part of the Oasis story, has already pledged $12,500. The rest of the matching support comes from the city's Public Arts Advisory Committee (PAAC) budget for the next three years. While the PAAC budget is an appropriate source of funds, it will cut into their Youth and the Arts Granting Program.

A donation of any amount (coins to dollars) will not only support the project, but also help to return funds to the PAAC's Youth and the Arts Program. In addition, the contributions will show the NEA there is public support for the Oasis Storytelling Project.

How to donate: Leave an envelope with your name, town, state, and donation at the Old Schoolhouse Museum, 6760 National Park Drive; the 29 Palms Inn, 73950 Inn Avenue off National Park Drive; or the Chamber of Commerce, 73484 29 Palms Hwy., downtown Twentynine Palms. If under 18, include your grade level. Make checks payable to City of Twentynine Palms. Tax deduction receipts (over $250) will be available from the City.

Click here to read Sarah Krushat's history of Twentynine Palms' PTA just one of the many accomplishments of our pioneer women.

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Project locations map


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