Twentynine Palms Historical Society
29 Palms, California

Accessions Report - Spring 2020

by Cathy Snodgrass

Wednesday morning volunteers

Since my last report we've received 12 accessions that contained 184 items—112 of which were telephone books dating from 1941 to the present. This stack of telephone books had been with the Historical Society for some time, waiting for someone to do something with them. I made accessioning these a priority once all those books donated to us from the Twentynine Palms Library were complete. The telephone books are now safely stored in the Archive Room.

Every once in a while, someone donates an item that blows me away. In this reporting period that item came from Stephanie Ince—a Howard Pierce nativity set glazed in blue and in mint condition. You'll find it with our Howard Pierce collection in the Exhibit Room.

As I mentioned previously, the Twentynine Palms Branch Library donated boxes and boxes of books to the Historical Society. We accessioned what we felt were relevant to our mission, then came the problem of what to do with the remainder. The solution was brilliant! In conjunction with the Friends of the Library, the Twentynine Palms Historical Society had a leap year book and art sale. That event raised over $3,000, which was divided equally between the organizations. Extra special thanks goes to Dana Bowden for the idea and her hard work getting this done.

The biggest challenge lately for our Wednesday work staff has been identifying individuals and events in photographs donated to the Historical Society. Ninety-nine percent of these photographs have nothing written on the back. As an example, we were given a three-ring black binder filled with pictures from what we believe is the Comptroller's Office aboard the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center. The very sad part of this is that I remember faces but not the names. (I am sooo embarrassed!) Another example is the stack of photographs from mural events—again, we don't have a clue...or we wake up in the middle of the night with the correct name. So, we are always grateful to anyone who wants to help with identification. (It's not as easy as it sounds.)

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:

Here is the list of accessions for 2020 so far:

  1. "I'm A Desert Trail News Hound" T-shirt from Kelly O'Sullivan.
  2. Three business directories from the 1960s – Source unknown.
  3. Howard Pierce blue-glazed nativity set from Stephanie Ince.
  4. Four plastic telephone book covers from an unknown source.
  5. 112 telephone books from 1941 to 2020. These were donated throughout many years.
  6. Pat Rimmington brought in a key ring/bottle opener from Break-N-Run Billiards, 29 Palms, CA.
  7. Laura Morang-Worsfold donated two wooden nickels that say "Good for one drink at Barnett's Peacock Lounge, Wonder Valley." She also dropped off a Bobcat Cub Scout pin, a Shriner's badge, and an enameled sign with "Paul Roberts" on it. (If anyone knows who Paul Roberts is, we would appreciate the information.)
  8. Marilyn Fernald gave us three of her paintings.
  9. Also from an unknown source—1902 Sears & Roebuck catalog and a magazine "The Camera".
  10. A Mojave Desert Dictionary came from Sue McMahan.
  11. We have a photo album from Ruth Ann Morris entitled "War Breaks Out" centered around Operation Desert Storm.
  12. Cheryl Erickson donated old photographic equipment that was once used by Harold Weight.

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