Twentynine Palms Historical Society
29 Palms, California

Accessions Report - Winter 2019

by Cathy Snodgrass

Wednesday morning volunteers

I might have mentioned in my previous report that although I am the Accessions Curator (Oh the power!), it is very much a team effort. That was very much true in the last accession we received for 2019, and I got the immense pleasure of standing on the other side of the library watching that in action. With the passing of her husband, Walt, Velma Holland will be going to live with her daughter. (Of course, that means dealing with their household effects—a job we don't relish for anyone.) Velma's son and daughter donated one of Velma's beautiful paintings as well as a dress, bonnet, and cape that belonged to Walt's grandmother, Belle Whitten. I watched my co-volunteers' eyes light up with joy and wonder over the dress and painting. It filled my heart with such joy that I can't even described the feeling accurately. The dress does need some mending, and Marilyn Fernald is ready to tackle the job. I look forward to watching the process…and learning from her.

During this last quarter we received 25 accessions that contained 299 items. One accession was thirteen boxes of books the Twentynine Palms Library was no longer allowed to carry. The county had made the decision local history books would not be carried, and so all those books were donated to the Twentynine Palms Historical Society. Steven Reyes and Paula Steib (from Friends of the Library) helped Cheryl Erickson and I sort through the boxes to get the accession done in record time. I don't know what we would have done without them. We added 206 books to our library and some duplicates went to the Gift Shop for sale. The fate of other duplicates, books in poor condition, and books determined to be unrelated to local history has yet to be determined.

The Exhibit Room is ready for the holidays, thanks to Dana Bowden's efforts and vision. It will make you smile and perhaps remember similar times in your homes. As always, if you're looking for something unique as a gift, our Gift Shop is the place for you. Dana and Melanie Robbins have worked hard to make it extra special. They've even started offering crystals for sale. (Some of them might have even come home with me.)

We said goodbye to beloved volunteers Sue McMahan, Velma Holland, and Kelly O'Sullivan this quarter. Each moved out of the area and all of them donated items to the Historical Society. We now have a plethora of photographs to peruse of events Kelly recorded during her time in the area—going through those will keep us busy and out of trouble for a bit.

All researchers studying the history of Twentynine Palms or the Morongo Basin are welcome to visit us on Wednesday mornings from 9:00 a.m. to noon. This is the work day for volunteers and we are always at the Old Schoolhouse Museum Library on that day. (We are always needing volunteers for a variety of things. Stop by on Wednesdays to see what you might be able to do.) Those of you who live out of the area may contact us through our website for information on how to obtain research assistance. Our website is:

Okay, I've chattered enough. Here is the list of accessions for the last quarter of 2019:

  1. There were multiple donations from Sue Mahan: six toys; a Velma Holland painting; The Red Pony by John Steinbeck; framed "Lady From 29 Palms" sheet music, framed "Christmas in the Desert" poem.
  2. Twentynine Palms Library gave us 12 paintings from various artists. (Most of these are hanging in Founders Hall.)
  3. We accessed 206 books from the Twentynine Palms Library.
  4. Jeff Ohls donated a book, Stagecoaching on El Camino Real.
  5. Bob and Edie Carter gifted us with ceremonial scissors to cut the ribbon on Founders Hall. These belonged to Bob's father Ken and were used to cut the ribbon on the Sears store on September 24, 1959.
  6. J.B. Carroll donated documents from the Condor Field War World II Reunion in 1989 and the 2007 City of 29 Palms Development Status Report.
  7. Dana Smith brought us a leaflet from the 1957 graduation exercises for Twentynine Palms Elementary School.
  8. Trophies and a T-shirt relating to the Hastie Bus were accessed as was a wooden sign "The Hockett's."
  9. Multiple accessions came from Kelly O'Sullivan: books; memorabilia from Twentynine Palms, the murals, the Joshua Tree National Park, and the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center; hundreds of photographs from the area's events; artwork; DVDs and VHS tapes also from the area's historical events.
  10. An unknown donor left artwork and photographs.
  11. Breanne Dusastre gave us trophies from Pioneer Days events that were destined for the trash because Twentynine Palms Park and Recreation no longer wanted them.
  12. Krista Barrett gifted the Historical Society with an autographed Howard Pierce piece of two owls in a tree. (It's now part of our Howard Pierce exhibit.)
  13. Geraldine Hagman donated a cast iron toy plane from WWII, and an autographed book of poetry by Margaret Roberts—Desert Flowers, Poems of Love and Life, Expressions From a Military Wife.
  14. A sun-purpled Durkee salad dressing bottle came from Sylvia Attay and is now in our purple glass display.
  15. An anonymous person donated a 1996 book, The Mojave by David Darlington.
  16. Barbara Uyeda gifted us with the aforementioned dress, bonnet, cape, and a Velma Holland painting.

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