Newsletters

Saving the Legacy: Cole Henry Eyraud

Saving the Legacy: Cole Henry Eyraud

By the time of his death on March 5, 1965, Cabot Yerxa had hand-built a 35-room pueblo with 150 windows, 65 doors, and 30 rooflines. As noted in last week’s newsletter, Portia Yerxa helped her husband operate the pueblo as a museum offering tours and a trading post. When her health failed and she entered a nursing home, the property ...

Read more

A Woman of Spirit: Portia Fearis Graham Yerxa

A Woman of Spirit: Portia Fearis Graham Yerxa

After his first marriage ended in divorce, Cabot remained on his own for some 20-plus years before wedding again at the age of 62. The following profile of his second wife, Portia, comes from Cabot Yerxa’s Family Circle. That book, published by Cabot’s Museum Foundation, contains a more in-depth reconstruction of Portia’s life based on research by the foundation’s history ...

Read more

A Woman of Character: Mamie Katherine Yerxa

A Woman of Character: Mamie Katherine Yerxa

Our knowledge of local history is blessed by the fact that Cabot Yerxa was an astute observer and prolific writer. Much can be gleaned from his personal journals, letters, and newspaper articles. To develop an even deeper understanding of his life and legacy, Cabot’s Museum Foundation History Committee delved into and organized the pueblo museum’s trove of archives. Additional investigation ...

Read more

Ways and Means

With all the time we’ve had to spend in our homes for some eight months now, our abodes can seem small to us, even with thousands of square feet under a roof. In Desert Hot Springs’ homesteading days, cabins encompassed something like 120 square feet. Cabot Yerxa described the early 1900 dwellings in his 1962 presentation to the Desert Hot ...

Read more

Land Marking

Land Marking

Our recent newsletter about Los Angeles-based developer L.W. Coffee mentioned his finding his way to Bill Anderson’s homestead by following a map that Cabot Yerxa gave him showing the landmark of Two Bunch Palms. In a 1962 speech to the Desert Hot Springs Improvement Association, Cabot talked about how that spot had guided him and others to their homesteads.  When ...

Read more

Money in Trust

Money in Trust

As noted in recent newsletters, two gentlemen from Southern California cities trusted enough in the future of Desert Hot Springs to invest time and money in developing its raw land as early as the 1930s. One was developer L.W. Coffee, who came from Los Angeles and opened a bathhouse/resort. The other was Aubrey Wardman, a successful businessman in Whittier whom ...

Read more

United States of Mind

United States of Mind

We’ve reviewed the development of Desert Hot Springs in recent newsletters. This week, we zero in on a key component that advanced the viability of a livable town that became a city: Desert Hot Springs Improvement Association. Cabot Yerxa was among the area’s most ardent promoters, so it logically follows that he became one of the organization’s founders. According to ...

Read more

Coffee and Hot Water

Coffee and Hot Water

Last week’s newsletter excerpted a 1958 newspaper article that Cabot Yerxa wrote about Desert Hot Springs’ early development. He continued by quoting an article from developer L.W. Coffee published in 1947. Though we were unable to uncover the original piece, we found other sources that reinforce what Cabot presents. And so, here is another side of the story (also excerpted/edited) ...

Read more

From Desert to Desert Hot Springs

From Desert to Desert Hot Springs

For some six and half years (1951-1957), Desert Sentinel published a weekly column by Cabot Yerxa, titled “On the Desert Since 1913.” In 1958, the newspaper gave him space to present in one fell swoop his personal account of Desert Hot Springs’ history. Below is a considerably edited offering for those who missed the original article that approached 4,500 words. About 1910, ...

Read more

Rules to Abide By

Rules to Abide By

In last week’s newsletter, we featured a 1911 letter that Cabot Yerxa wrote to a former president — Theodore Roosevelt — after hearing a speech Roosevelt gave at a college. Years later, in 1918 and 1919, Cabot served in the Army, where he came in contact with a future president: Dwight Eisenhower. Cabot was a mess sergeant in the tank ...

Read more