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Brushes With Greatness

Brushes With Greatness

With Cabot Yerxa’s keen interest in art and studying at Académie Julian in Paris, it is not surprising that he befriended many artists in the desert. Among them were Carl Eytel and Agnes Pelton, whose works are in museum collections and prized by private collectors. One artist with whom Cabot became especially close was Burt Procter, whose work is in ...

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Not So Fast

Not So Fast

In one of his “On the Desert Since 1913” columns for Desert Sentinel newspaper, Cabot Yerxa quoted from an editorial column by another Coachella Valley pioneer: Randall Henderson, Palm Desert founder and publisher of Desert Magazine. In 1956, Cabot wrote that the excerpts below had appeared in Henderson’s publication “10 or 12 years ago.” They constituted a tribute to three ...

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Road Toils

Road Toils

Cabot Yerxa and fellow Desert Hot Springs pioneers envisioned a city capitalizing on the area’s hot mineral water and immediately recognized the need for roadways to encourage commercial investments (and bring jobs to the desert). The following comes from Cabot’s “On the Desert Since 1913” newspaper columns, which have been collected in a book published by Cabot’s Museum Foundation and ...

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Yours, Mine, and Ours

Yours, Mine, and Ours

Myths draw us in with their colorful stories and characters. The ones that tell of lost treasures are even more compelling, because we love to think we could discover them, whether or not we actively pursue such dreams. The legend of the Lost Peg Leg Mine is commemorated by California Registered Historical Landmark No. 750 in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. ...

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Desert Hot Springs’ ‘Classification’

Desert Hot Springs’ ‘Classification’

A little more than a half-mile west of Cabot’s Pueblo Museum lies another property bearing the Desert Hot Springs pioneer’s name. Twelve years ago this month, Cabot Yerxa Elementary School opened for K-5 education. As someone who enjoyed imparting lessons, Cabot surely would be pleased not only with having a school named for him, but also with the museum’s commitment ...

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Branching Out

Branching Out

Many people who have read or heard about Cabot Yerxa are aware that his first name derives from the maiden name of his mother, Nellie — a distant relative of Boston’s prominent Cabots. The Yerxa surname is less well recognized. The following information on the family tree comes to us from research by Cabot’s Pueblo Museum’s History Committee. Paulus Jurcksen ...

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Cat on an Indian Pueblo Roof

Cat on an Indian Pueblo Roof

A lover of creatures great and small, Cabot Yerxa found companionship and enjoyment in the burros, snakes, lizards, and tortoises with whom he shared his property. He also had a more common pet — a situation that arose from happenstance. It was in 1953 that Cabot heard a weak cry and spotted a tiny black kitten, which retreated into a ...

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Petal Power

May typically brings the peak of wildflower season. But Mother Nature makes no guarantees, perhaps because she delights in surprises. Cabot Yerxa noted as much in his newspaper column in 1957. We hope to enjoy some of the sights — and fragrances — he describes before the calendar moves on to June. The following excerpts come from the museum’s book ...

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Food for Thought

Food for Thought

In 1886, when Cabot Yerxa was 3 years old, his parents, Fred and Nellie, moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, from the Dakota Territory (the Dakotas were not admitted to the Union until 1889). Fred Yerxa joined two older brothers in opening and operating grocery stores for some 15 years after that. Ads and newspaper articles around the turn of the century ...

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Leaving Space to Believe

Leaving Space to Believe

Given his connection to nature and his extensive exposure to other cultures, including time living among Native Americans in Alaska and the desert, it’s no surprise that Cabot Yerxa developed an open mind about spirituality and “alternate” systems of belief. He explored automatic writing (a method of “turning off” the conscious mind while the hand writes) and was a follower ...

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