Twentynine Palms Historical Society
29 Palms, California


"What draws us into the desert is the search for something intimate in the remote." ~Edward Abbey

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One With The Creosote cover
Gateway To The Morongo Basin
By Thomas Crochetiere

This book shares the history of the Morongo Basin communities of Morongo Valley, Twentynine Palms, Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree, Pioneertown, Landers, and Johnson Valley. Also included are the communities of Yucca Mesa, Flamingo Heights, 29 Palms Marine Base, and Wonder Valley, as well as the history of the many pioneers who moved there. These pioneers arrived in the desert, long before civilization would follow in their paths. Many of the pioneers stayed only a short time, while many long remained. Some of their exciting life stories have been told in one form or another over the years; but as many stories go, they may be forgotten until shared again. These pioneers helped shape the communities as we know them today. These are their stories; the gateway to the Morongo Basin.

One With The Creosote cover
Keys Desert Queen Ranch - A Visual & Historical Tour
By Thomas Crochetiere

From an early American Indian site, to a cow camp, to a mill site, to a family ranch; Desert Queen Ranch was the home of Bill and Frances Keys. Together, they made a life and raised their children in this remote desert location. Through their hard work, they built one of the largest, most self-sustaining ranches of its kind in the area.

Written by a local historian and park volunteer, this book will take you on a tour of the ranch, telling you of the history of nearly everything you would see there today and a time gone by. Keys Desert Queen Ranch is a ranch like no other and is a cornerstone of Joshua Tree National Park.

One With The Creosote cover
William F. Keys of Joshua Tree National Park
By Thomas Crochetiere

Written by a local historian and park volunteer, this book tells the life story of William F. Keys or Bill as his friends called him. Born in Nebraska, Bill started life working in the family business. He left home at age 15 and moved west to become a cowboy. During his journey, he learned to be a cattleman, miner, prospector, assayer, miller, muleskinner, lawman, blacksmith, carpenter, mason, engineer, farmer, homesteader, husband, father, and friend. Bill led a one-of-a-kind life. He adapted to the ever-changing challenges he encountered throughout his life and would become a cornerstone of Joshua Tree National Park. This is not just Bill Keys' story; it is a story of an American pioneer!

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Willie Boy & The Last Western Manhunt
By Clifford E Trafzer

The saga of Willie Boy has survived over one hundred years and the captivating story remains alive today. American Indians throughout Southern California, the American Southwest, and Great Basin remember the story well. Willie Boy's pursuit of redemption, his attempt to become culturally whole again, reflects a tragic journey that still resonates today, over a hundred years on from the deaths of William Mike and Carlota. In his journey to survive, Willie Boy challenged numerous lawmen eager to capture or kill him, prompting the posse, press, and citizens to demonize Willie Boy.

Clifford E. Trafzer is a Distinguished Professor of History and Costo Chair of Amerian Indian Affairs at the University of California, Riverside. He has published A Chemehuevi Song, Fighting Invisible Enemies, Strong Hearts & Healing Hands, and Shadows of Sherman Institute.

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